Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The trip to the beach

We have recently returned from a whirlwind vacation with family. First we had to drive there! Long car trips are usually pretty enjoyable for us in the car, it is the lack of moving around that is hard. I found it even harder as a pregnant person, unable to recline the seat. (We were in the truck, since we haven't replaced the taurus yet.)

I know lots of people find travel with kids hard and swear that the only way to travel is with movies and such, but we don't have those and I don't think we will ever need them. Instead, we read stacks of library books, listen to books on tape, talk about all sorts of things, take naps, play games, and enjoy one another's company. When I'm not playing the role of facilitator - passing out food or drink, providing navigation information, or setting up a tape player - I crochet. It's a relaxing thing to do with my hands while I can still talk.

What games? We play I spy a lot, the kids love it. We also play counting games and this trip Dinoguy added a rhyming game and adding/subtracting games. He would give me an addition problem, I'd answer, he'd tell me I got it right or not, then he'd tell me to give him a problem and he'd figure it out with his fingers. Trainboy also enjoyed these games. We also tell jokes, many of which are made up on the spot.

The car is one of the places where we seem to have many deep conversations. I have been asked all sorts of deep questions while we are driving, and really, we have lots of time to talk about it while driving, so it is a great place to talk about things. Dinoguy has asked questions about death & religion lately, while Trainboy is asking questions about where things come from, who makes them, how they are made, etc. Consequently, we don't listen to music much on trips.

Dinoguy & Trainboy love the Magic Treehouse books on tape. We also had Roald Dahl's The Twits & The Minpins to enjoy and many more. Aliki's books about dinosaurs read on tape were favorites of Dinoguy, and both boys love Choo-choo. That book was listened to at least 10 times. (I am grateful for headphones when repetition is desired by the boys.) Our library has a great selection of books on tape that come with the storybook and the boys picked out a bunch to take with us and listened to most of them I think. We don't have a CD player in the truck, so we are glad to have tapes still available at the library. I have been told that many libraries also have books on mp3 available for free download lending to listen to, if you prefer mp3 players.

Anyway, we had a full day of driving before stopping at my grandfather's house for a day visit. I had a wonderful time talking and doing genealogy with him on the computers. We did other things as well, including seeing his lovely garden that he has made hydroponic by using tubs to hold water under the pots. The boys liked exploring the hill gardens behind the house too.

A fun story from their house was the bicycle horn Trainboy found. He squeezed it and the look of pure joy that crossed his face upon hearing its responsive sound was priceless. One of those moments you wish you had a video camera running on your kids 24/7. He was thrilled to pieces and proceeded to honk it around the house for the next hour, waking up people taking afternoon naps and dancing around with it until his dad distracted him with the TV remote in exchange for the horn.

I realized that I should have done more pot gardening this summer as grandpa showed me his tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, beans, etc. The tomatoes were awesome, as all fresh picked ones are. He picked a fresh bell pepper for us to try and Dinoguy proudly showed it off in the photo, before we ate it in the kitchen. It was super tasty. :)

We left the next day to finish our drive to Edisto Beach in South Carolina and decided to take some back roads which were a bit more direct than the freeway. It was a relaxing fun trip thru rural Georgia and South Carolina. We passed a few fun looking restaurants that Fixitman really wanted to stop at and sample. We did get some fried chicken at one for a snack and it was awesome.

We got to the beach around sunset and after unloading the truck, I took the boys down to see the ocean. Again, I wish I'd taken my camera or video camera with me, as the pure joy of the boys at seeing the ocean for the first time in a year was awesome. I had left it in the house because it was twilight and I figured I'd just get pictures the next day. But the reactions were different the next day. They still had fun, it just wasn't that first reaction they'd had the night before.

3 comments:

Mel said...

Beautiful gardens. I love your car games. We are into car games. No movies for us either. We also talk a great deal. We do get our jam on too. It sounds as if you were all able to relax some. Annual beach trips with the family are special times.

mariann and Tory said...

That is a great idea about pot planting! THe soil here is awful! I will have to do that next year! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I don't like watching videos in the car either!

Christa said...

I's cool that you guys have turned traveling into a fun time! We do have a DVD player in our van, and we do rely on it at times, but we also like listening to music, talking, and playing games. What a fun trip to start your vacation with!

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