Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Trip To Georgia (And a Little Bit of South Carolina)

Stellan and I spent the weekend in Georgia visiting my good friend Leigh Arnold and her family. (If you're one of the truly old school, you'll remember her as Leigh Rogers.) It was super awesome, and I will lay it all out part by part to make my long post seem shorter.

Part 1: The Trip
We flew because a last-second plane ticket was a little less than gas would have been. (We live really far south in Florida, and she lives really far north in Georgia, so it's about 600 miles each way.) Stellan has decided that, contrary to past experience, he is immune to sleeping on airplanes. Too bad I tried to pick flights that were during his nap time, because it just meant he skipped it.

Part 2: The Georgia Aquarium
After Leigh picked us up at the Atlanta airport, we went to the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta before we took the 2-hour drive back to Evans. Her three wonderful kids, Hailey, Brooks and Reagan, were real troopers there. The aquarium is really cool, the largest in the world, but it was really crowded, so the little ones had to spend a lot of time in strollers, and the older ones were not permitted to stray far either. That said, there was lots to touch, and I think the thing we all liked best was "The Tunnel" (as Hailey called it), a ginormous tank with a clear tube along a lengthy walkway so you can see all the fish in the tank. Not just fish, but sharks and turtles and really awesome stuff. They even had some whale sharks in the tank, which blew my mind. Enjoy these photos.

Part 3: On the Way Home
It was a bit of a drive back to Evans, and Leigh and I took advantage of the chance to catch up. (We did that a lot all weekend.) Evans is pretty far west, and near the South Carolina border. At one point, I asked her if we had to go through South Carolina to get to her part of Georgia. She said no, and I got confused, because we had definitely just passed a "Welcome to South Carolina" road sign. It turns out that we were so caught up in the conversation that we missed the exit. Luckily, we were only about 15 minutes past it, so it was a quick retreat back.

Part 4: Sunday
Sunday is of course church day, and for the parents of small children, perhaps one of the most stressful days in any given week. Leigh and Patrick have 3 kids, all age 5 or under, so I figured I'd have some company in the hallway while Stellan ran around wild. I was right. We (Stellan and I) didn't last 10 minutes before we had to leave the chapel (the main area of the church building). Luckily (for me, not Leigh), Reagan was also having a hard time, so they got to play together in the Relief Society room, where we could listen to services over the PA system. I tried to go to Sunday School, but we didn't make it past the opening prayer. However, my ace in the hole (a bottle of milk) and a healthy dose of exhaustion won me the chance to enjoy almost all of Relief Society. They had two comfy armchairs in the back (for moms with small babies, or anyone else willing to hold the small babies), and mostly parents of babies and toddlers manned them. But by the last 3 minutes of the meeting, Stellan was the last toddler standing, so to speak. (An attack of the poopies seemed to have swept the room.) So he took to his throne with gusto as King of Relief Society.

Part 5: The Trampoline
After church, Stellan took a very nice nap. When he woke up, the three Arnold kids were out back and of course he had to join them. I must mention that Stellan was instantly enamored of all three Arnold children and absolutely loved playing with them, watching them and just breathing the same air as them. I think he's in withdrawal this afternoon now that we're home. Anyway, they have a trampoline (the kind with a mesh net around it), and I knew Stellan would love it. So I let him try it. I was right. Here are some photos that aren't particularly great, because he was moving fast and I took them through a screen. However, you may want to watch because this slideshow has photos that actually prove that Stellan and I really do play together.

Part 6: We Talked A Lot
Leigh and I both stayed up later than we should have on Saturday night and Sunday night, but it was worth every second (at least for me). She is a really amazing person and I love her dearly. We've been friends for a long time, probably about 10 years. We're not always good at keeping in touch regularly, but we manage to catch up when we can. (If you are reading this, you're likely in this situation as well; I don't call you as often as I should, and I'm sorry. But I still love you.) It's fun to see how we've both changed over the years, but how much we still appreciate each other. And it's fun to see how relate on new levels now that our lives have evolved. For example, she had some really great casserole tips that I can't wait to try. OK, that may be one tip I won't be taking, but trust me, there were many others. I didn't get a picture of the two of us together, but I'm sure she'll post one on her blog soon and I can link it.

Part 7: Trampoline Encore
Before the long drive back to Atlanta this morning, I let Stellan burn some calories on the trampoline. Just as fun the next day, but the photos were worse because I took them from inside the bouncing trampoline cage. View at your own risk.

Part 8: The Flight Home
Not so good. Stellan was tired but still really ready to move around. He tried to be good, I'm sure, but the temptations were too many. We were in an aisle seat so we have easy access for aisle roaming, but we were pretty close to (completely verboten) first class; we were sitting next to a college student trying to watch a movie on her irresistible laptop; the lady behind us had a Heineken that must hold some very strong toddler appeal (it was starting to look appealing to me too by the end of the flight); did I mention it was only one plane ticket? Yep, he's getting kind of big to be expected to fly on my lap. We were almost there when the flight attendant announced that, due to storm conditions in Fort Lauderdale, we would be in a holding pattern for another half hour. Everyone within 10 rows looked straight at us when she said that. Half looked at me with sympathy, and the other half looked at Stellan in exasperation. But the good news is that we made it. And we had a blast. So thanks, Arnolds - we'll be back!

1 comment:

Patrick and Leigh said...

Krissie, I'm loving your recap-I had so much fun catching up with you...and staying up far too late talking about your love of casseroles and my sense of direction. Stellan is a CUTIE-although the aquarium is and always will be amazing, I'm wondering if the zoo or even a park would have been a better fit for the one yr. olds.

Thanks for making the trip!! (sorry the plane ride was rough)