Well, our family vacation brought on many twists and turns that is worth telling about. So I'll try to line it out the best I can from beginning to end.
Our timeline goes a bit like this:
Monday: proposed time of departure (by car) with the family for the beach is 9:00am. We're all excited, up at 7am getting everything together.Then the phone rings at 8:00am and it 's my mother sounding not so happy saying we are on hold for departure because of a tropical storm that is possibly heading right to the location that we are going...sigh. So we wait til 11:00am for the updated report. I get a call from mom at 11:00 and she said we are gonna give it a go and see what happens when we get there. Yipee!! Everyone is gearing up, getting the car loaded with all the stuff, only to get another phone call a few minutes later and we screech to a hault again. A deputy from the beach area returned a call from my mother and highly discouraged that we come. So, we sit and wait for a possible alternative plan to spring up. In the meantime we decided to take the kids down to Barton Springs for the day to help kill time until we knew more that evening what we were to do. So then dad was surfing around the web Monday night trying to find other places to go because they were pretty much resolving to the fact that the beach is out. So he finds this farm house online out in Bastrop, in the country, 6 bedrooms, a covered pool, hot tub, game room, plenty of space for all to sleep and things to do in case it rained half the week (which it never did). And it was available last minute! Oh, and the road trip would be cut by about 3-4 hours. Definitely a bonus! It's not the beach but somewhere we can still have some good family time together. So after corresponding with each other that night, we decided to say goodbye to the hopes of going to the beach and take a wack at this other place and made plans accordingly for the next day.
Tuesday: departure time is 10:30am. After discovering that the storm never hit our original vacation spot and accepting that we could have still gone to the beach after all but are still not going, we all leave on time to head to Bastrop and arrive there at noon.
I'll now share quote of the day is from Faith. As we were driving toward the farm house, there were lots of cows of course, and Faith said "Oh! I thought those were just decorater cows, but I saw an ear move". We still laugh about that one. That's my intuitive girl!
So when we arrived at the house, the owner was still there cleaning (which we knew she would be) as we had given them very short notice obviously, so that was fine. Well, this next part will be the surprise of the day I think. We 1st learn when we arrive quickly that this is definitely a farm with all the old shack-looking buildings around the house (obviously not shown on the web). We then find the "game room" is a dirty glorified garage. It's no wonder they didn't show this room on the web either. Then we walk into the kitchen only to find some leftover food laying around, the fridge and freezer had food in it still(eyes are getting bigger by the minute), then we find that there's many filled closets, a very used laundry room with dirty linens still laying around, floors that really are not very clean, you get the picture. Just not exactly what the web made it look like to say the least. The rooms were quite nice though and had made beds and all. So that was very appreciated. Oh and for the record, the owner did empty out her fridge for us before she left. It just needed cleaning afterwards. So after a final analysis, we finally realize that the people who own this house actually live here!! It turns out it's a farm house that a couple lives in, but goes and stays in an RV in their shed next door while some strangers come and take over their home....can I say strange!? It took me and the others some time to get used to the idea. But there we were, so we adjusted over time. We just kind of all rolled with it, got settled, found a groove for the week, and became used to living in someone else's home while they lived in their RV...still wierd. I felt pretty bad that first day for my mom and dad, since they were the ones who paid for all of this. They seemed a bit perplexed as well. But we spruced up some things throughout the week before it was all said and done and made the best of it. The guys then took the kids swimming that afternoon while us ladies went and did all the grocery shopping for our meals for the week. The pool was definitely a hit...and the food got eaten quite well. :)
Wednesday: We went to check out Lake Bastrop this day. It was actually quite beautiful to look at. It just felt like we were swimming in bath water. The kids didn't seem to mind, but I couldn't stay in that very long. The water was feeling warmer than the outside air. We also had a picnic lunch out there. We did let the kids attempt to fish too and they loved that. Serah caught a dirty sock, but that's the best anyone could seem to do. We then went back to the house later and jumped in the nice cold pool. It felt so much nicer than the lake, needless to say.
So later that day, we had dinner and were just visiting around the table, when suddenly the ceiling fan above us lost a blade as it was on and it fell on Tim. It was like a "Money Pit" movie moment. We were waiting for the ceiling to just cave in...lol. A bathroom cabinet door fell off the day before as well. And we couldn't get the top range to work where the double ovens were. But then later in the week it started working. Hmmm....what else will we discover in this house? Time would tell.
To cap off the day, we got the kids settled in bed and the enjoyed some fun game-playing amongst the adults. That will go down as my favorite times of the trip. We did it every night after the kids went down. Lots of great laughter and just plain fun
Thursday: We were awaiting the arrival of Liz that day. This was definitely a big blessing from changing our plans. She wouldn't have been able to come had we been 5 hours away. So we went on our normal routine that morning. The guys offer to take the kids swimming at the pool while us ladies caught up on "So You Think You Can Dance" (you know...priorities). We had tivoed it the night before on the big TV there. So as we were enjoying the show, suddenly I hear a door open and a crying child. It turns out it was Tim and Hannah. And he was holding her arm up as her hand was falling limp. She had fallen off the diving board at the pool and landed on her hand on the concrete. On the bright side, at least it wasn't her head. And we pretty much knew by the looks of her hand that her wrist was broken. So off to the hospital Tim, Hannah, and I went. After we left the ER, we took Hannah for some ice cream and to buy a game or two so she wouldn't be too bored the next few days while the others were swimming. Her friend Azalea apparently was so worried the whole time we were gone as she paced around waiting for our return to the farm house. Azalea was so cute the next few days being Hannah's little hand-maiden as she helped her to do things you can't do with just one hand. Hannah was a trooper and really hasn't complained much about her wrist. She's a tough kid. We capped off the day once again with some good ol' game-playin' that night. This time we had Liz with us which made things even more fun.
Friday: no more surprises this day, thankfully! Well, except for the miserable cold my dad started coming down with. Poor guy! But the guys graciously let us ladies, along with Hannah and Azalea, go do some window shopping but without the little kiddos, at the town square in Smithville. We enjoyed lunch together too at a local soup/sandwich place that once was an old filling station years ago. We then came back and did some swimming with the family again, played some ping pong at the pool, had dinner later that evening, and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics as a big family. The kids even watched most of it until most of them fell asleep in our laps. It was a very special time.
Saturday: time to head home! We were all scurrying around that morning getting everything together, loaded up the cars, and said our goodbyes by about 11:00, and made our quick drive back home. That quick trip was fantastic by the way. I had the whole rest of the day to unpack and unwind. Big bonus for sure!
To mom and dad: Thank you so much for all you do to keep the tradition of our family vacations going every year. We could never do it without you. And it's not about where we go, but who we're with. This year was a bit different than others and some ways difficult at the beginning, but when it's all said and done, we still were able to accomplish what we wanted, and that's to just be together, make great memories and have more stories to tell, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. This will go down as another very memorable, fun-filled time with my incredible family and friends. Love you all so much!
Ed, Liz Timothy, and Silas: I'm so glad that y'all were able to squeeze in one more vacation with us. We are so glad that y'all were included in this memorable week. We hope y'all are able to take some memories from it with you to Atlanta. We love you guys!