Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break 2009- Chapter 1

Spring break 2009

We set off for our grandest family adventure yet, we drove from Florida to West Virginia and then from there onto the DC area. I am currently writing all about it as we head home from a wonderful week full of family, friends and new faces and places. We left early (5 am) on Saturday, April 4th with Matt's parents in tow and headed for West Virginia where grandparents awaited us. We were so excited to be going to see Matt's grandparents and introduce them to their great-grandchildren for the first time. The van was loaded, the cooler was packed with sandwiches and treats, we had travel scrabble, good music and the anticipation of all that was to come ahead of us- we were ready!

Matt had worked until 3:00 am and had gotten home just in time to shower, have a bowl of cereal, help me lift sleepy children from their bed to their carseats and then crashed for the first leg of our trip. We thought for sure Piper and Dax would fall fast asleep as soon as we started moving, but they were like two kids on Christmas morning and were way too excited to close their eyes and risk missing anything. It wasn't too long though before they realized that there would be nothing fun to see for quite a while and they closed their eyes for a few hours. Grandad at the wheel we were a quiet van full of Mitchell's and we didn't awake until the Waffle House near Jacksonville. Matt opted to sleep while we ate inside the greasy shoebox and filled ourselves full of eggs, bacon and of course waffles.

The kids had their own table at Waffle House. Dax looks thrilled, hu?

Back on the road and before too long we were entering the state of Georgia! I was determined to get a picture of each state sign as we passed the state line. I was pleased with how well the first picture was accomplished and even more excited that we were out of Florida! By this time Matt was awake for the most part and decided to join Kelly and me in a game of travel scrabble. We didn't get too far before we stopped for a potty break and Matt decided to give Dad a break behind the wheel. Kelly and I sat in the back and chatted with the kids and handed out sandwiches, fudge rounds and water as needed. We hit bad traffic once we were in the Carolina's and it didn't ease up much until we crossed into Virginia. The major highlight while sitting in the slow moving traffic was seeing the Appalachian Mountains. Our kids have never left the state of Florida (well Piper did when she was 4 months old, but I think she would be hard pressed to tell you anything about California) and our state is boring and very FLAT! Their expression when seeing the mountains for the first time was priceless, even though the picture quality isn't great I am so glad I snapped this picture!

WOW! Don't be alarmed by the Stitch alien in the picture. He is as sweet and cuddly as they come.

The traffic was brutal as it seemed half of the east coast also thought this would be the perfect day to travel. We literally went 5 miles in about two hours while in North Carolina and while the state is beautiful it is horrible when it comes to coordinating road construction! The slowest 5 miles of our life were the result of taking the interstate from 2 lanes to 1 for no other reason to just put some cones in the right lane. Good timing! We were so happy to cross into Virginia and know that we were only a state away from Mullins Drive. The ride through Virginia was beautiful and with Scott behind the wheel Matt was able to take some picture from the passenger seat and we all ohhed and ahhed over the rolling hills and beautiful countryside that Virginia had to offer us. We also noticed how cold the air outside had changed and spent most of the time covered in our blankets. The kids were so excited when we passed through our second tunnel and when we came out we found our final state sign of the day! Welcome to West Virginia, indeed! We were driving up in the mountains and the road curved this way and then that way, but Dad seemed like he had never left his home state and took the turns with ease. I, on the other hand, was on the edge of my seat the entire time! We had hoped to be at Great-Grandma and Great-Grandad's by around 7:00, but the traffic we hit changed that and we found ourselves pulling into Dad's childhood home at 10:00 p.m. We all piled out of the van grateful to know that we would not have to get back in after a quick potty break and and headed up the stairs to the front door.

Great-Grandma met us at the door and we were so happy to see her and I think it is safe to say she was pretty happy as well. We introduced the kids and I watched as Matt took his Grandma into his arms and gave her a gentle hug and then headed down the hallway to see his Grandad. The kids followed behind and gave their great-Grandad soft hugs as to not overwhelm his 91 year old body. His eyes were lit up with a joy that I probably can't understand but hope to one day know when I take my own great-grandchildren in my arms.

We unloaded the van and got the kids settled and into their sleeping bags and they were sound asleep before too long. The rest of us headed into the kitchen to heat some of Great-Grandma's homemade vegetable beef soup. YUM! I have never tasted a soup so delicious before and made sure to have several more bowls before leaving on Monday. We ate until we were full and then the weariness of traveling for 17 long hours set in and we all headed to bed. The day had been long, but good memories were made and we were looking forward to the week ahead. As my head hit the pillow I thanked Heavenly Father again for a safe journey and to be safely tucked into a warm bed on the side of a mountain in Charleston, West Virginia.


Anonymous said...

I was so proud of Dax and Piper on the journey up to West Virginia. 17 hours of travel is way too much to expect from anyone but they were wonderful. Oh, their parents did well too. Love you all - Kel

Aaron Shaw said...

Glad your still alive and kicking I was starting to worry when you hadn't blogged in a couple of weeks! Glad you guys had fun.

Trevor, Caci, and Jace said...

Wow! I bet Dax and Piper were SOOO excited for such a big vacation! And that is especially great that they got to meet their grandparents! Can't wait for the upcoming posts!