Saturday, March 31, 2018

preparing for Easter!

After driving for a very long day we kind of came inside, turned on the furnace and fell into bed. This morning, I've been up and unpacked the van, started unpacking the items from the van, cleaned the fridge and now will go to get Easter stuff for coloring eggs, Easter basket bootie and then spend some time being creative.

Brad and Katie went to Katie's trap shoot and then to her practice for the Easter Vigil this evening. Brad has started a loaf of bread.

Anders and Emma have reunited and have been spending time playing the card game Magic.

Osten has been watching and playing football since we returned.


the longest day...

Our family woke at 3:30am Eastern Daylight Saving Time and packed up the comfortable silver minivan. We left Mount Pleasant at about 4:18am with Brad taking the first shift of driving while the kids and I tried to settle in and get some rest. He drove through most of South Carolina and we got stuck in a line of cars that were detoured (still don't know why the detour happened). Stopped at a gas station for a potty break and coffee and then I drove the second leg. I drove through the rest of South Carolina and all the way through North Carolina and into Tennessee. Time for another bathroom break and to switch drivers again.

We got through the beautiful Smoky Mountains and had lunch at a McDonalds in Kentucky. Back in the car and once again got backed up in a LONG line of cars near Conway, Kentucky for about an hour. It was in a construction zone and evidently three cars were involved in a crash. We pray everyone is safe and healthy. On the move again and made it to Indiana. I kept looking on the navigator to see if there were more accidents and found an alternate route through central Illinois that would avoid more backups. Low and behold, it took us directly to Normal, Illinois, Anders' birthplace.


I drove from a rest stop in Indiana to Bloomington while Brad got a little shut eye. We tried to dine at Lucca, a pizza place that was really unique, but the wait time was too long. We then drove to Tobin's Pizza (another favorite) where we had RC, Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza, a 1/4 chicken and spaghetti and meat sauce. We drove to Anders' hospital--OSF where we just drove past and said hello. We also drove past the Barnes and Noble where I went into labor and said hello. Brad and I remembered parts of Bloomington/Normal, but it's been nearly 17 years so there was a lot that didn't look familiar.





It is now about 8:20 and we have 6 hours to drive so we headed on I39 and drove north. The kids and settled in to watch Jurassic World while Brad drove through the night. I finally fell asleep around 10:30 and woke when we were near Eau Claire and noticed the snow was really coming down. Brad ended up driving very slowly 20-40 mph. We arrived home safely in River Falls about 3:00am Central Daylight Saving Time.


We traveled just over 24 hours, saw a lot, relived good times but boy, it's nice to be home!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

on the 7th day...

It was mainly a day of rest. Brad and Anders rolled into the condo about noon. Brad brought in the pork and put it in the freezer. Both boys took showers and I started a load of laundry.

Katie and I went downtown Charleston to check out the Historic Charleston City Market. Friend Jessica recommended a stroll. We went to a good lunch spot (recommended by a woman on the street) called Another Broken Egg where Katie had the best chocolate milk of her life (complete with whipped cream) and I had a yummy BLT with avocado.








We bought some grits for Brad and some taco clothing for Anders. Then we walked to St. Michael's Church in downtown Charleston.






Back to the condo where we tried to take a dip in the pool--way too cold.


I then walked the Arthur bridge while the rest of the family stayed back and relaxed. I walked about 4 miles in total and really tangled my hair with the very high winds.









Now we're watching some Fixer Upper and will soon wake Brad and see if he wants to go to dinner with us.

the sixth day

Day six is now in the books. Waking up really late on day 7 giving a testimony to the fullness of day six.

We split up--Brad and Anders dropped Katie, Osten and I at the Aquarium at 10am while they went hog hunting a few hours away with a guide. 

Osten, Katie and I toured the aquarium and especially enjoyed the shark, watching for dolphins in the harbor, seeing the sea turtles who have been rescued and touching different marine life in a touch tank. 



We then ubered (got a driver who works for Uber) to Folly Beach. John, a very kind, friendly driver got us safely to Folly Beach. We set up our spot on the beach after changing into our beach attire. We sunscreened up (not enough looking at Osten's skin the morning) and the kids ran into the surf as I lounged/beach walked and enjoyed the full South Carolina sun. 



We ate lunch at a little cafe on the beach, walked down the boardwalk to watch the surfers and then went in search of some fun clothing/mementos from Folly.




After searching four stores Katie chose a nice sweatshirt that says Forever Salty, Osten chose a tee-shirt from the Surf Shop that says "The Surf is Strong with this one" featuring Darth Vader. I chose a beach sweater with horizontal stripes of cream, blue, yellow and orange. I bought a pair of US flag socks for Anders and didn't get anything for Brad because nothing "spoke" to me. Keep shopping. 

We had to pay a premium on our way back from Folly back to the condo but a very nice man named Donald picked us up as we were finishing off ice cream cones and got us safely back to our condo. Showered up and prepared to go see the 3D movie Ready Player One at a little movie theater/restaurant. We walked there and were served cheese pizza and pops. Not the best dinner ever, but it hit the spot. The movie was enjoyable and then we walked back to the condo and crashed for the night.




I did get a text from Brad that Anders had been successful on the hunt. They did spend the night there so will soon be back at the condo and will probably spend a part of the day just resting. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

fifth day

Day 5 dawned early. Our family arrived at Shem Creek park at 8am and boarded a charter with captain Richard. Anders and Brad fished with Brad catching one and Anders catching two red fish. Katie, Osten and I just enjoyed the sights.








We then trolled to a couple of different spots to get crab. Our bait was chicken backs and dead fish. All but Osten tried with Anders and Katie both snagging a few crabs--none of them keepers. We went back to dock and made it back to land. Osten was especially happy to be back on land.



Water's Edge is where we lunched--our server was pretty incredible. I ate a flounder sandwich and enjoyed a piece of Keylime pie, Brad had oysters on the half shell and clams, Anders had a burger, Katie had mac and cheese, Osten had buttered noodles.

After lunch we went to Boone Hall Plantation where we were wowed by the breathtaking drive lined with oaks (as seen on Gone With The Wind and North and South) and the movie the Notebook.











We're now back at the Condo for a little rest and then we will head out to a light dinner.

room switch

Last night before I headed out for the evening, we started the process of switching Katie and Osten's rooms. Katie has been upstairs and...