September 23, 2004

Vacation Day One

Writing from a hotel in Indiana we have had a huge day. We left our home at 2am - I had been up since 7am that morning without a nap. I drove until nearly 5am and then Serona took over and we drove until the kids needed a break. We stopped at a park in Wisconsin and we took care of all our needs, ran around awhile, ate breakfast and then the kids collected some leaves, acorns and other items from the park. We will have them collect from parks throughout our trip and compare them at home as we identify the things in the park by what we pick up.

We got back in the car and drove until we reached a mall in Illinois that we used to go to occasionally while in college. We got out for a break and for Cinnabon - Rhiannon saw a dress she really liked and we got Ciaran new shoes - so it turned into a shopping event. Rhiannon contemplated getting her ears pierced but decided to wait until she is older. It was a nice break and then we got back in the car and headed out again.

Our last stop was the Indiana Information Bureau. They had a wonderful setup with displays, activities and free activities and take home sheets and coloring books for kids. Rhiannon put on a puppet show, Ciaran made different animal tracks in a big sandbox and both did color rubbings of different animal tracks. We got a nice group of take home activities we can work on in the hotel and on the car ride home.

The ride went pretty well until the end - Sirah lost her patience and the last few hours were pretty tough - we were all very tired - especially Serona and I - he had about 6 hours sleep and I had about 3, He did more of the driving but it was tiring. We were very happy to see the hotel.

We ate dinner and took the kids down to the pool to burn off energy and release some of the cooped up energy they had from the LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG car ride. I went swimming with the two older ones and Serona held Sirah as she was very unhappy about going in the water. The kids took turns kicking and running laps across the pool with me holding them. I was trying to both get them comfortable in the water and to expend as much energy as possible. Ciaran went to sleep within minutes of laying in his bed as did Sirah - Rhia is still sitting up enjoying an extremely RARE opportunity to watch TV - she is watching Animal Planet - a special about Rhinos. I can't wait for my bed - it has been a long day - but the next few days should be enjoyable.


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