Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Road Trip

This last week was Spring Break for Mary and I, so we decided to go see Aunt Kathy Murphy in North Carolina. In fact, we have had this trip planned since around Christmas. We left on Saturday morning to start the first leg of the trip, needing to get to Charleston, WV where we booked our hotel room. We took about 9 hours to get to the hotel because it seemed every time we stopped, whether we had to buy food or pre-packed it, it took us an hour to get back on the road. The kids did really well in the car, good thing we had our DVD player to entertain them when there was a long stretch on the road. On Sunday we drove into Charlotte NC, to Aunt Kathy Murphy's house! All three of the kids wanted to drive straight through the night (Seamus even offered to drive his car the rest of the way), so they were very excited to be there. We got the tour of the place, set up the air mattress and the trio's sleeping bags and pillow pals, then spent some time relaxing on the veranda(balcony). The next morning we woke up to find that Helena ended stealing half of Aunt Kathy's bed. Later that day we all went to a drive through safari called Lazy Five Ranch. Helena acted like she was scared of the animals until we took them out of their car seats so they could climb all over Aunt Kathy.

Seamus, Helena and Katie trying out their sleeping bags

Seamus, Helena and Katie relaxing on the veranda

Emu at the ranch

Water Buffalo at the ranch

Llama Face at the ranch

Giraffe at ranch

Katie and Aunt Kathy at the ranch

Afterward we went to lunch at a fried chicken and biscuit place called Bojangles. We had to keep it authentic southern, before heading back to the house. Aunt Kathy was nice enough to cook us all a delicious dinner for the 2nd night in a row before we gave the kids a bath and put them to bed for the night. The next morning we woke up and found that Seamus raided the Aunt Kathy bed during the night. We then luckily got stuck in traffic after stopping for bagels on the way to Hilton Head Island. We were lucky because it brought us a different direction and we avoided a massive power outage that closed the roads that we were going to take. We then spent 3 days right off the ocean in a sweet suite with 3 balconies all facing the ocean. We walked around the beach when we got there, and the kids had fun finding shells, sand dollars and avoiding beached jellyfish. The next morning Seamus woke up at about 6:30 in the morning, so he, Mary and I checked out the sun rising on the ocean. That day we went to see a Light Housein Harbor Town, and stumbled upon a nice area with shops and restaurants called the Sea Pines Plantation. The last day we were able to spend some time in the actual ocean because the weather warmed up enough. The kids brought their sand toys, and Katie built a princess house from sand, Helena was finding shells , and Seamus made a Sponge Bob house. Really they all were just filling their bucket with sand and water. We then managed to run and play in the waves until they were freezing. They then got a second wind to swim in the kiddie pool before we had to head back to Aunt Kathy's house.

Aunt Kathy, Helena, Seamus, me and Katie putting our feet in the Ocean on day 1 on HHI

The Family on the beach

Seamus, Helena, Aunt Kathy, and Katie looking for sand dollars

Sun rise day 2 at HHI

Morning in the hotel room

Portrait time at the beach

Seamus and Daddy at the light house

Helena and Aunt Kathy at the light house

Katie and Mommy at the light house

When we got back to Charlotte, NC Aunt Kathy had a lot of "help" making desert and then dinner. After we ate, the kids had a bath and watched a bit of a movie before bed time. The last day at Aunt Kathy's house, all three of them ended up in the Aunt Kathy bed. We then started the drive home. The kids watched "Toy Story 2" and "The Little Mermaid" for the fifth time each on the way home. We made one final stop in Dublin, Ohio to sleep. Before we drove the rest of the way home, we went to the Columbus Zoo. We spent a few hours checking out the animals and aquarium before we headed home. It was a lot of time in the car, but we had an amazing trip visiting Aunt Kathy Murphy (they all called her by her whole name the entire week) for Spring Break. Aunt Kathy will be coming to visit in the end of May, so we have a tough act to follow.

Aunt Kathy and the trio starting desert

Apron Time

Finishing desert cookie

Last Morning in NC

At the aquarium in the Columbus Zoo

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