Friday, May 2, 2014

Roll that beautiful bean footage!

After the water park, we decided to go out for lunch.  Someone suggested the Old Mill.  Well, went to the restaurant and no place to park and over an hour wait.  Got back in the van and decided go elsewhere.  In the brochures, we had seen an add for the Bush's Baked Beans Museum which was free and a cafe there as well.  Why not?  Headed over there and through some beautiful countryside.  Got to the little cafe and museum across from the Bush's Baked Bean factory.

Cafe closed at 4. Got there at 3:30.  Of course you get to sample baked beans.

This was the boys' table along w/ Yana.  I got the girls along w/ Nik.

Alyona trying to photo bomb Sofie and Irina.

Summer, Nik and Sofie.  Goofing around for a photo op.

So, some of us got burgers, some corn dogs, some BLT's, and one Rueben.  ALL were delicious!  I was truly taken back by the quality.  Awesome, real food.  Was a quaint little place.  Waitress waiting on us was one of 11.  All adopted in her family as well.  Small world.  Was very pleasant and clean and good.  Loved the experience.  Then we were off to visit the museum before it closed.

And let the fun begin!

First morning, we woke up to beautiful sunshine and temps going to be in the 70's.  Perfect weather.  So, told the kids they could go to waterpark in the morning for a few hours, come back and we'd go out to lunch and tour a bit.  They agreed. 

I know you always see my kids smiling.  That's not the case.  This is real life here. They cry.  they have meltdowns.  This one was because we told Sofie she had to eat her eggs or couldn't go swimming at the waterpark.  After the crying, she relented and ate the eggs.  And then had fun.  

And the sisters hanging out in the morning.

Some of the younger kids wanted to join in the picture.

Can't have a vacation without at least one mishap.  Summer didn't know you had to slide the screen door instead of push it.  Warren and Max to the rescue.  Back in and not broken.  Phew.

Umm, an attempt at a selfie I believe.

Getting ready to head to the water park for some fun!  Stay tune for more pics.  No water park pics the first time we went b/c we were just having toomuch fun.  Next up, beans museum.  Yep, we went there.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Just like home-- condos

This was a trip in more ways than one.  Typically, we must stay at campgrounds for obvious reasons.  So this was a real treat to be able to stay at condos. 

Irina was right at home in the kitchen

Sofie, still tired from travel but checking out the couch.  It folds into a bed.

Huge table set up which we loved.

My kids like to play cards on trips.  But nothing like a deaf kid and apraxic kid playing go fish together.  Laughing b/c neither one could understand the other too well.   But, point is they had fun and were learning.  Summer and Nik were playing.  Alyona was helping translate.

4 of the girls stayed in this room while I had the king sized bed.  Oooh.  My room was incredible!

Chilling out watching a movie that evening.  Talking about plans for tomorrow.

Summer and Sofie sleeping.  Alyona did not sleep here.

Woke up to bright blue TN skies.

Sight for sore eyes after the previous day.  Could not ask for more perfect weather.  Just look at it!

What a blessing to start our day out with beautiful skies and sunshine.  Hey, where's Big Bird?  When can definitely spot our van wherever we go.  More to come.  Need to call it a night.

Tennessee Bound!

Well, time to tell of our awesome trip we had received as a Christmas gift.  I still am in awe of the generosity of this man.  We have never met him in person.  In fact, it was a friend's dad.  He wanted to do something special for our family and that he did!  So, we were headed to Tennessee for a 3 night stay in 2 condos.  But first, we have to get there.

So, on our trips, our kids have become excellent packers in the concept, less is more.  Behind the cooler are the backpacks.  One backpack each for shorter trips such as this and then duffles for the bigger trips in teh RV.

Alyona helping prep the van to travel.  Kids know van must be cleaned inside before we go on a long trip.  6 hours to TN.

Carseats make for cramped quarters and kids were mad when they find out we weren't taking the RV.

And Sofie's out!  Reni is reading.

 This is the weather we had on the way there.  Got so bad with hail at one point, we pulled off the side of the road.  Hail was big and just banging up the van.

Very ominous looking.  Umm, got much worse looking than this.  Sky was almost black!

And finally it clears a bit.  TN rest stop.  Quaint and that's when we grabbed all the brochures to decide what to do.

And insert kid screams here when they discover just what we're about to do.  This place is just massive.  Excitement builds as we turn in. 

Yikes! Behind again

Well, knew I'd be offline for a bit due to our trip.  Fantastic trip and will have some of those pics up soon.  The week has been super duper busy.  And tomorrow, we have a company picnic at Warren's work.  It's a carnival essentially.  Tons of fun and lots to do.  Kids can't wait.  We had a great vacation and can't wait to share it all with you.  Saturday, we have soccer all day.  Then, doing a ton of fix up on the outside of the house/ yard.  Can't wait!  So, for now, going to get busy writing the vacation posts and Easter posts.  Be prepared to be picture bombarded.