Sunday, June 12, 2011

From Ohio to Illinois

June 12, 2011—Day 2

We got up late and barely made it to the continental breakfast. They had the usual bread, bagels, and pastries, cold cereal, yogurt, juice, and a bowl of apples and bananas. They also had hot sausage and make your own Belgian waffles. Collin and I both wished they had had eggs since neither of us are sausage fans. Too many carbs, not enough protein:(. The Ramada worker in charge of the continental breakfast was really nice, she came around asking us if we needed anything and brought us some more apples.

We stopped at a gas station for a potty break and to eat some p.b. and j.s and watermelon. The kids beg me every time we go to a convenience store to let them use their own money to buy treats. I always tell them no because it is such a struggle to get them to eat healthy food. I have to give them a number of watermelon chunks to eat or carrot sticks, they are always trying to get by on the least amount of healthy food they can manage (except Ian, it’s never a struggle to get him to eat healthy food, 1 out of 3, I guess it could be worse).

To avoid an overload of technology during drive time, we’ve limited the kids to 1 or 2 movies in the car (the first one has to be watched in Spanish and if we don’t get to the second one in English, well that’s ok with me). They also get an hour of tech time where they can play Gameboy, apps, or listen to iPods.  The rest of the time I read a book outloud (currently we’re reading Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare) or they can entertain themselves by reading their own books, drawing, playing with toys, MadLibs, or puzzles. Or, my favorite, they can take naps.

We have 7 hours to drive today to stay with R and C in Bloomington, ID, right outside Normal, ID where R teaches at Illinois State University.

Travel Tips:
1.     1. Break up the movies and technology so that it seems more special.
2.     2. Play catch or tag at rest stops and potty breaks to stretch your legs and relieve boredom.
3.     3. Keep the Capri Suns in front of the car, away from kids, or they won’t be hungry for healthy food when you offer it.
4.     4Have a back up plan if your car GPS decides to go on a break.

     We passed a roller skating rink called Skateland and Collin told me to close my eyes so that I wouldn't try to make him stop there. We also passed a house with a GIANT cross in the front yard. I hope those people are Christian or if not that they got a really good deal on their house.

We got a little lost trying to find R and C’s house since our GPS decided it wanted to take a break from our relationship. Luckily, the maps app on my iPhone did a bang up job of getting us exactly where we wanted to go. R and C have a beautiful 100-year-old piano which I took advantage of by making Ian and Aidan practice as soon as we brought our bags in. R and C have an awesome raised bed garden in their backyard with the biggest strawberry crop I’ve ever seen in a residential yard, I believe the berries are early globe variety. The also had some vegetables, two blueberries bushes, two apple trees, a peach tree, and a red currant bush. C makes really great homemade wheat bread and strawberry freezer jam. (Watch out Sarah Mc., I think Collin may have found a new favorite strawberry freezer jam maker.) 

Their three boys were super cute. Although, I got on F’s bad side by trying to smooth down his adorable cowlick. He kicked me and then went around saying, “I don’t like that girl.” He hit me every time he walked by me (while I was practicing piano, washing dishes, sitting on the couch, etc.,) and told me not to eat all the Parmesan cheese at dinner. Note to self: some kids don’t like strange women to touch their hair. Their son S liked me fine, he had me hold his stuffed puppy for him so he could play with my kids  unencumbered outside. C made some really yummy spaghetti and meatballs. I ate BEEF and it tasted good. Yay for me! She also made strawberry/raspberry shortcake for dessert using strawberries from their garden augmented with strawberries from the grocery store.  R speaks Spanish to their kids exclusively, I really admire him for that. C is trying to finish her dissertation with a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and an 18-month-old. Our kids had a lot of fun playing with their three boys. Emma was doing her little mama thing with the youngest.

Collin set up our tents in the backyard and all the kids were playing in them. A, the 18-month-old, managed to get a leetle bit of poop on the memory foam we line the bottom of the tent with.  But it wasn’t that much and it cleaned right up. I washed the dishes. After such a delicious meal, I felt I had to make a small contribution besides the hostess gift we brought from Lewisburg. Tomorrow, Collin and R are golfing while C and I take the kids to Funk’s Grove and Sugar Creek Nature Center. The last time we saw R and C was at a 60’s theme Host a Murder party we had in Provo, Utah eight years ago in our BYU Masters Program days, so it has been really fun hanging out with them again after so long.


April said...

I LOVE your blog... you are such a creative writer! Not only is it funny and fascinating... I feel like I'm there but I'm not... so I'm jealous!

Susan said...

I love it! I especially love the "Travel Tips" section. It will help me pack! Your continental breakfast sounds slightly better than ours at the Quality Inn in DC-bagels, waffles, doughnuts, muffins, toast, english muffins, cold cereal. Help! My body is going into a carb coma!

Cecily said...

Tara, we're so glad you guys stayed with us. It was fun to see friends from BYU days. Hope the rest of the trip goes well (and that the foods is divine).

Cecily said...

Forgot to say one thing. Driving back from swimming lessons, S. insisted that he needed to play tag with Emma so that she would know that she was his best friend.

Adrienne said...

Best picture of Emma ... needs to be hanging in an Italian restaurant somewhere :)