Launa and Shadow at James and Jody's
This Spring Break was unusually eventful for us. I decided that I needed an internet detox, since I had been oblivious to my family to an unacceptable degree. I got off to a good start, but couldn't ignore my grampa's passing on Tuesday, so I wrote two tributes to him - one here and one on FB. Thursday, Daniel had his testing for learning disabilities. I'll get the results on May 7 -you know, two weeks before school lets out for the Summer. Hopefully we'll be able to start some strategies and get some kind of coping mechanisms in place before school starts in the Fall so he can take 3rd grade by storm!
Friday we went to visit my brother at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. We got there in the early afternoon, and hung out and made dinner together that night. Saturday we decided to go to the beach, so Jody got out her GPS and pointed it toward the nearest beach which just so happened to be Wrightsville Beach, NC. We grabbed lunch within a couple of miles of our destination at a local fast food restaurant, in which the girl behind the counter was especially rude to my brother and treated him like a moron. When we were done there, we headed back toward the beach, but got stuck in awful traffic. After waiting in traffic for about 30 minutes to get a mile, we realized there was some kind of event going on in town. People were dispersing from what appeared to be maybe a parade, and girls were dressed in old-fashioned debutante dresses out in front of the historic mansions of the town! Wouldn't you know it? We chose the annual Azalea Festival to visit their beach. But the town was beautiful, and the girls in their pretty dresses were a thrill for Launa, so it wasn't a total loss. When we finally got to the beach, we stripped down to our bathing suits, and ran for the water!
Did you know that the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina in April is FREEZING?! Well, you do now!
We spent a lot of time on the warm sand instead of in the water, although the kids really didn't mind the cold water much. They were having a blast finding sea shells and playing in the waves. Daniel surprised me since he can't swim, and is usually a very cautious kid, by running into the water up to his waist all by himself without any adults very nearby. (I have to admit that as his mother it also alarmed me tremendously, but any time that kid wants to be adventurous, I try not to discourage it.) We had a good time burying each other in the sand, and walking on the pier. Jeremy and I went over to the pier first and we got there just in time to watch someone pull a 40 lb stingray out of the water! It was very cool! Jeremy and I went back and got the kids and James and Jody, and we all went for a walk down the pier. After spending the day on the beach, we decided that we wanted to get some fresh sea food from a local place, so we went to a local shop and asked where a reasonably priced seafood place was. The guy told us to go to a place called Heironymous (I have no idea how it's spelled) and we plugged it into the GPS. So we got to the restaurant and got a place to sit. We decided after having a look at the menu that we would take the kids to McDonald's for dinner afterward in order to save money knowing that they probably wouldn't eat the more expensive food we would order from this restaurant. Two other parties were seated at the same time we were. The waiter took our drink orders, but didn't come back to take our food order until the other parties had already gotten their food. Then we waited for over an hour for our food. We decided to pay for our drinks and leave, so we asked for our check. Suddenly, the waiter was all excuses (he actually told us that they were putting a large party in priority over us because the two waiters were sharing the tips from them), cared about our food, and told us it was ready and in the window, were we sure we didn't want to stay for the food? Well, we allowed him to persuade us to stay. (BIG mistake!) The food must have been sitting in the window for a very long time because by the time it came out the food was cold, and crab legs couldn't be cracked. Anywho, we were pretty ticked off, but then we received the bill. Just under $100. Jody, spurred into action, went to have a chat with the manager, who incidentally was the man who seated us. He remembered seating us, and agreed with Jody that it had been an excessively long time ago, and gave her a $30 gift card to help pay for our meal. Meanwhile, our children are starving, because they had just spent a day at the beach and we stopped for dinner at 7 pm and it was now 9 pm. We still had a 2 hour drive home. So when we finally got to McDonald's, we decided that the kids had earned Happy Meals instead of dollar menu for being so good at the adult restaurant. Jeremy went in to order. 10 minutes, later, we were wondering what had become of him, so I walked in to see what the hold-up was. He was just putting in his order. I would like to take this moment to say that the restaurant was not packed out. I don't know why it took so long for them to get to him. I would also like to say that these time frames are NOT exaggerations, they are actual amounts of time that we waited for service and food. 10 minutes later, he finally emerged from McDonald's with the two Happy Meals he had ordered.
Maybe you can help us come up with a new slogan for Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Here are a couple that we came up with:
Wrightsville Beach, NC: Service at OUR convenience.
Wrightsville Beach, NC: Where we will get to you when we're good and ready, and not a minute before!
Despite all the food difficulties, we did have a good time at the beach, and the kids now know that the ocean is REALLY salty! Daniel, who was having a blast running into the ocean later amended his opinion of his day to say that it was the worst day of his life because he swallowed too much salt water. Whatever...I guarantee you I won't be able to keep him out of the ocean when we make another trip later in the Summer. We have come to the conclusion that there's no reason for us not to make a couple of trips a year to the ocean since we live so stinkin' close to it! This is a luxury! But we will meet James and Jody at a halfway point next time.
Daniel in the water - alone.
Jody, Launa and me.
Daniel Launa and Jeremy
Launa and Daniel with Uncle James. Note Uncle James' Haitian farmer's tan!
The most handsome man alive.
Pretty sky that day.
40 lb. stingray.
The good-lookin' people.
James kisses Jody on the pier.
Anyway, Sunday was our last day together, and Jody had been wanting to take the kids to a place called Monkey Joe's, which is a bounce house. Since we had such stringent time constraints, we did not keep the Sabbath holy and went to play. It was a good thing that we went. The kids got to get a lot of their energy out before we made the 7 hour trip home. And they went to sleep in the car and slept well, which was good since they had to go to school this morning. Since I had the car, I didn't Daniel up at 6:10, and instead let him sleep until 6:50 and then took both kids to their schools in opposite directions. Tonight, they went to bed nice and early without excuse or argument. They knew they were tired. We had a really good Spring Break. We just wish we could have spent more time in North Carolina. There was not enough time, but Summer break is right around the corner, so we'll do it again before Summer's out!
James after about 2 hours of Monkey Joe's.