Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day 2010 - The (Very) Long Weekend

Ah, Labor Day, the last big trip of the summer, especially now that Luke is in school. He was actually out of school on Friday, but that didn't help us much since everyone we would normally attempt to go see had to work. I took a half day off so we could try to hit the road early, for all the good it did. We left later than I wanted (::cough::DH's fault::cough::), but we were on the road by 3:15. It took nearly 2 hours to travel 45 miles. Traffic was insane! I knew Dragon*Con was in town, as it always is on Labor Day. What I didn't know was that there was a race this weekend *and* the first Georgia Tech home football game. Thank goodness the Braves were out of town! Sheesh. Traffic coming *in* to town was actually worse than going out, if you can imagine. At least we were moving, albeit slowly; they were not!

We stopped at "the camel place" (Loco's, whose logo is a moose, not a camel, though we can't seem to convince Luke otherwise) for dinner in Macon, then headed on to Vidalia. Less than 10 miles off the interstate, and we saw both a chicken running across someone's front yard and a large dead snake on the side of the road (DH: at least it was dead; Me: that doesn't make it any less BIG!). Can we go back to civilization now, please? I don't like the country. Way too much nature! LOL Neither the GPS nor Google Maps could find the hotel. We actually knew where it was, we just let Google Maps lead because we thought it's route might be shorter. Not when it sends you 15 miles up the road from where you're supposed to be! But we did eventually make it. The room was comfortable and we slept well, including Luke, who slept until 7 AM!

We spent most of the day Saturday in Vidalia visiting DH's family. We try to visit at least once a year, though we don't always manage. The last time we were there was, of course, for DH's grandfather's funeral back in December. That was the first time DH's brother had been to Vidalia in nearly 15 years (long story; don't ask). The visit went so well, BIL made plans to bring his wife and children to meet everyone this weekend. We weren't going to miss that for the world. We ended up with 14 people ranging in age from 85 to 3 months. It was a wonderful visit!

Granny Ruth with our niece M


We headed out after dinner for our next destination of Waycross. That was actually not as bad as I expected, since there us a US Highway that pretty much runs directly between the two. Much better than trying to do it via interstate, which would have more than doubled the trip time. We rolled into the hotel parking lot at 9:30. Mom and Dad were dutifully impressed with the new car. We hadn't told anyone we got it, so that was fun.

Luke was positively unconscious in the back seat. In his entire life, he has always woken up when we tried to get him out of the car and into the house/hotel, no matter how tired or asleep he was. He would insist on walking in, or even if carried, would still be slightly awake enough to demand to be changed into pajamas or something. This time, he tried valiantly but could *not* open his eyes, and when we laid him on one side of the bed to pull back the covers, he curled up and was dead asleep again before we had the bed ready. We left him in his clothes, dragged him over to the pillow, and tucked him in. He *never* woke up. He even asked the next morning "Daddy, how we got here while I was sleeping?" He had absolutely no memory of getting out of the car and into the hotel. Never in his life has that happened! It was so bizarre.

Sunday morning was our photo shoot with my grandfather. Having family portraits made with him is one of those things I've been meaning to do for a few years now. I am so sorry we never managed it with Pa-Paw and Granny after Luke was born, and now Granny is gone. With Pa-Paw's stroke, that scared me into action. With his new mobility issues, we figured it was best to bring the photographer to him. We didn't necessarily want full blown professional portraits, just some really good family photos. But by the same token, it would take a lot longer and be much more tedious if we had to keep running back and forth to a tripod. The son of someone my mom works with is an avid amateur photographer. I don't think he had any prior portrait experience, but he knew his way around a camera. He agreed to meet us out there and take the pictures for us. With a 5-year-old involved, having *everyone* looking at the camera at the same time was a bit tricky, but we managed some good shots. Thank you, Grayson, for helping us!

Luke, being a ham for the camera.

He's loved these rocks since he was a toddler. Here are some comparison shots between March 2006 and now.



After lunch with Pa-Paw, we headed back to my parents house. Normally, that would have been by way of my MIL's, but she was out of town, so it was straight to Brunswick for us. Our next family activity was Dad's birthday. Normally, non-child birthdays are not a huge deal in my family anymore. A phone call, a card, maybe a gift certificate. That's about it. So I know my father was getting suspicious why he was getting a cake this year, particularly as it is his 59th birthday this year. He might understand if it were his 60th, but this year? ::insert evil laugh here::

What we were giving him for his 59th birthday was his 60th birthday gift. I hatched a plan over 2 years ago that we were going to do something big and fun for his 60th birthday. After kicking around several ideas, we settled on taking him to Yosemite. Dad has always been a big national parks guy, and I know Yosemite and Yellowstone have always been high on his list. I think Luke needs to be a little older for Yellowstone, so we went with Yosemite. We'll need to do the trip in the summer of 2011, before school starts back for both Dad and Luke. The original plan was to get the trip all planned and then tell him about the trip in like March or April. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted him to be involved in the planning to make sure we were doing the things *he* wants to do. Plus, he's like me; planning the trip is part of the fun! So we decided to present him with the trip at this birthday so we can start planning, even though the actual trip is in honor of his 60th. Let me tell you, it is terribly hard to surprise my father, but the look on his face when I announced "we're taking you to Yosemite" was priceless! (And I forgot to have my camera ready, boo!) He's been researching things to do and places to stay ever since! LOL

We still had to eat dinner, and I really wanted to take Luke to the beach if at all possible. Labor Day is really our last opportunity to do so in a given calendar year, and I didn't want to waste it. We all put on our beach clothes, dined at Grandy's, then headed to Jekyll Island. It was perfect! The tide was just starting to go out, it was not hot but not cool, the sand wasn't hot, there were no bugs. I didn't even need sunscreen since it was after 6 PM! Other than a whole bunch of people being out there (still not what most people would consider busy, though I prefer it empty!), it could not have been better. The perfect end to a busy weekend.

After a good night's sleep, a pancake breakfast, and lunch of local shrimp, we headed back home. There were more cars than I have ever seen on I-16 at any time (other than a hurricane evacuation), but traffic more or less moved well. A couple of slow patches in Macon and near Tanger, but we made excellent time. We arrived with just enough time remaining to eat dinner, have a complete child meltdown, and tuck said child in bed. Tomorrow, it's back to the grind.

Currently feeling: running all over

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures! I miss Grandy's. The one we had here closed years ago. It was SO good....LOVED their mashed potatoes and gravy.....yum DH said when we drive to FL this winter, we are going to have to find us a Grandy's along the way. LOL


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