summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Monday, October 26, 2015

home from our travels again...what fun!

Mirielle and I with Miss Char and Miss Cam...we left on Friday...and picked up Mali and Lydia!

We surprised Sam! He has only met Lydia very briefly when she was tiny, back in August. Oh, the look on his face when he walked to the van and there was the car seat!

It was late when we got to the Army late that instead of going through the rigamarole (is that a real word?) of trying to get on base, we met him at the convenience store...and we were at the wrong convenience store...the one we were at was sketchy at best, and honestly, lots of shady characters were staring at us...but we were also staring at them...I felt like such a country girl. Anyhoo.

We got to our hotel in the wee hours of the morning, and had so much talking and visiting to do, plus with deciding who slept where and eating the pizza we had picked up at 1:20 was four when I closed my eyes. At eightish, Miss Lydia was all fed and fussing, so I took her and let Mali go back to sleep...oh, it was heavenly, I walked with her until she fell mostly asleep, then got into bed sitting up, with my back against the headboard, rocking her until she gave up and slept on my shoulder. There should be a name for that specific wondrous moment, when a baby falls alseep on the shoulder. The heaviness of the's amazing, and felt so familiar...I have probably experienced that particular joy a more than my fair share, but it was delicious.

Anyhow. I was tired, to say the least, but we made it down to gather up some breakfast before it ended, and brought it back to the room. Some of us then moseyed (is THAT a word?) down to the pool and the hot tub...ahh.

We visited Leesburg, Virginia....

Mirielle was in a coffee shop when I took this...the weekend flew by without us getting a pic of all of us. dang. This is Sam, of course, and Mali, of course, and the little girls.

Samuel was pretty glad to see baby Lydia.

And Mirielle loves Lydia too.

Anyhow. I love these random sibling groups who bond in different ways on these little weekends. Mirielle is the fourth "child", Mali the 7th, Samuel the 8th, and of course the princesses are the 15th and 16th.

Sam got Slushies for the little girls.

Here's a funny story. We walked around in Leesburg, Virginia, admiring the lovely houses, so old and brick and stately. We meandered around a cemetery, and browsed an antique store. We decided to tour a stately old mansion/house that belonged to a distinguished WWII officer, George C. Marshall. Well. It was a lovely house, but the tours were guided, and we found ourselves sitting in a room upstairs watching a twenty minute film. I felt myself getting what I call, "The Funeral Giggles", my inappropriate laughter. Whenever it's a serious situation and bursting out laughing would be totally wrong, I feel it bubbling up. I couldn't even look at Sam...because the Tour Lady was stopping the movie every few minutes and asking us questions like we were in school, quizzing us...and if you know anything about Sam, it's that he's absolutely brilliant about history, especially WWII. He answered a few questions, but didn't want to let on how much he knew, because for him, it was rather boring...and for the rest of us, snore.

Anyway. I felt like we had fallen into the rabbit hole. The house was fascinating, but the Tour Lady just droned. And she was so nice! And totally and completely excited about George's life! She was almost jumping up and down about how he met his first wife, and how he brought home this particular dresser from China...Mali was trying to keep Lydia happy, and the little girls looked like they were going to cry. We kept looking at each was seriously so slow, but the lady was so nice...and did I mention that we got in free instead of paying $10 each, military discount? So we didn't want to be rude. Then Sam, the rascal...he got a phone call. Said it was important, politely excused himself that he had to take it...came back in and said he had to leave, get back to base, right now. I was a bit alarmed, but thought I saw a tiny bit of a smirk in his eyes. Yeah, he made it up.

We excused ourselves with apologies, and Tour Lady, who was impressed with Sam, and that he is in the Old Guard, told us to make sure we come back some time to finish the tour! We thanked her profusely, and left without hurting her feelings, and fled to the van.

Those of us who had believed that Sam had to return to the base were relieved that he really didn't have to.

Now, I don't abide lying, but. He spared her feelings and got us out of there. Tour Guide lady couldn't have fathomed anyone being less than enthralled with George, and sorry, but our attention spans were maxed out.

Saying goodbye to Sam is never fun. But we left him on base, after going out for Mexican food for lunch, and started our long trip home....yeah, we got lost. We stopped for gas in Virginia, and fell down another rabbit hole. We could not find a gas station. We found ourselves in the hugest, richest, fanciest new housing development I have ever seen. It was Wisteria Lane on steroids. Blocks and blocks of HUGE fancy brand new houses, even the shops and grocery stores were new and build in spiffy non-store construction. There were paved walkways every where, and all the kids on bikes had helmets. The were pushing expensive strollers, and all the cars were nice ones. We spied a gas station and it wasn't open yet, so we drove around, of course using our phones to direct us to another one, but...that place was beyond extravagant, and we were pretty amazed. What do these people do for a living?

Anyway. We got home at close to 2:00 a.m. this morning, so wah, I am tired today.

But it was worth it.

1 comment:

mommeeof10 said...

Lowest gas prices on I 66 near dc are at exit 40, the Sheetz station.
It is less that 5 cents more than we pay 34 miles west of there. It was $2.05 a gallow when I stopeed there a few weeks ago.