First, I have to say, MY KIDS ROCK! Really, we should travel more often because my kids are Champion Long Haul Car Trip Passengers. Seriously. They were all happy and getting along and even laughing for, like, 99% of the trip to and from Georgia. The other 1% was Quinn pulling Midge’s hair, poking her face, and trying to steal her blanket, which led to screechy protests and hurt little girly feelings. But overall? Not too bad.
And Quinn had a cover “story” all in place every time he started torturing his sister. When one of us would turn around and tell him to stop doing whatever he was doing, he would immediately point to Midge’s face and say, “Nose!” Then he would point to each member of the family and wait for us to say, “Yes, so-and-so has a nose, too,” until we’d gone through all seven of us. Yeah, see, he wasn’t being ornery, he just wanted to show us that Midge has a nose! Yeah, that’s it!
Anyway, it is now WELL established that we all have noses, and ears, and mouths, and even belly buttons.
So we drove most of the way to Georgia the first day, but stopped for the night just outside Columbia, SC. My husband got us an apartment/suit at one of the hotel chains for only $75.00 per night. Seriously! When he came back to the trusty Suburban and told me the deal he scored, I figured the lady behind the desk had the hots for him and was hoping he’d be sneaking down her way later that night.
Then we got into the room. Hmm . . . forgot to mention the whole non-smoking preference, and the room stunk accordingly. But really, who couldn’t survive that for one night? No biggie. It didn’t take long, however, to come to the realization that the good rate had less to do with my husband’s stunning hotness and more to do with the fact that a cleaning crew hadn’t been up there since probably 1976. I’m talking dried urine on the toilet in the master bathroom and some kind of splatter which seriously looked like it could have been blood on the wall across from said urine encrusted commode.
But? No snakes or used needles anywhere, so I pulled out the sanitizing wipes I had brought for potty stop purposes and cleaned up a bit. Not the wall, though. I draw the line at blood spatter. It was only one night. We survived.
The next morning we went into Columbia. Because in Columbia? Is the EdVenture Children’s Museum which features this:
You can climb up inside this giant boy, named Ed, and jump around in his stomach, explore his heart and lungs, etc., etc., until you decide to . . .
. . . climb out his intestines. Lovely, no? Maybe if Ed would eat more fruit you could slide out. And there are even speakers back there blasting all kinds of digestive, gas passing noises. Yummy. Actually, there is a slide, too; but it is more on the side so that it really doesn’t look anything like people sliding out of his behind. No, no. It just looks like people climbing out of his behind like tape worms or something. Anyway, the kids loved it.
After getting to know Ed inside and out, we went to other parts of the museum, many of which were aimed at educating kids about their bodies and the importance of taking care of them. For instance, there was a room where you could pretend to be a dentist:
Aaaaaaa! Sorry, that freaky patient just scares me every time. I showed Blue Barb the picture and she actually dropped her knife as she ran to hide. Here I thought maybe I’d found her a boyfriend or something . . .
There was some kind of Day Camp For Hellions going on at the museum at the same time, but I won’t bore you with the details. I must say, however, I find it really disturbing that when I’m telling my own kids it’s time to move on to the next area, some random Hellion began whining at me, “But I just got here! I just got to this part! I just got here!” I could have taken that little girl out back and done any number of random, horrific things to her because she was totally conditioned to just do whatever the closest adult was saying to do. And where were the Hellion Camp counselors? I have no idea. I saw a fragillion kids running around in Hellion Day Camp shirts, but no adults. And people wonder why I don’t send my kids off to summer camps.
Moving along . . .
The EdVenture place really was a lot of fun and a very well-deserved outing for my car ride champion children. We left around lunch time, got some lunch, and then drove on down to Tybee Island (which really isn’t technically an island, as far as I could tell).
Here is the view from our condo balcony:
I didn’t think to take any pictures of the inside of our condo, but it was really nice. No stale smoke stench, no dried urine, no questionable wall splatters, nothing. Well, except for the sliding glass door to our balcony (we were on the third floor) which wouldn’t lock. That had me in a bit of a tizzy, what with little people running around who might take it upon themselves to go out onto the balcony in the middle of the night or something. But a call down to the main office resulted in a friendly maintenance guy gracing us with his presence within minutes. As he fixed the door, he told us about that Hannah Montana girl being on the island, and my girls’ eyes got all big and sparkly.
As I mentioned yesterday, however, we never actually saw her while we were there. Well, we saw her show on tv, but we never saw her in person. At least one of my daughters, I am sure, thinks I am the most unfair mother in the world because I would not take the time to hunt down Miley Cyrus. (I don’t even know if I’m spelling that right, nor do I care enough to look it up).
The thing is? None of my girls are actually big fans or anything. They just wanted to be able to say they met her. I really had no desire to hunt the girl down and accost her with my children and camera just so I could say, “Oh my word! I am so glad we found you!!!!!! My kids aren’t actually fans or anything, and I just saw your show for the first time and found it every bit as irritating as iCarly, but they really wanted to meet you anyway! Could we get a picture???”
No, rather than hunt down Achey Breaky Heart spawn, we spent our time on the beach, in the ocean. I was really glad we were able to do that, because the weather forecast was horrible, horrible, horrible. Luckily it only rained for about 30 minutes the day after we got there, and none of the thunderstorms that were predicted actually hit while we were in town.
We saw many, many dolphins both while we were on the beach and from the balcony window, but I didn’t get any pictures of them. That is disappointing, but not nearly as embarrassing as one’s six-year-old daughter spotting a dolphin while playing in the surf and yelling, “Shark! Shark!!!!! Shark!!!!!!!!!”
Luckily I was up in the condo with a napping Quinn at the time, so McH got to be the parent on duty for that episode.
My three youngest children were the only people on the entire beach wearing life jackets, which I’m sure makes them official members of the Atlantic Ocean Club for Nerds, but they didn’t realize this and I didn’t care. Actually, I was very glad we took along the life jackets because: (a) it reinforces the rule at home that they are never to get in the water without their life jackets and (b) Midge is a little too daring for her own good at times.
The oldest two kept getting right into the waves so they would get knocked down, because they thought it was great fun. Midge had to join in the great fun and, early on before she figured out kinda how the ocean works, she got knocked down and completely covered by a wave while I ran towards the girls yelling at the oldest two, “Grab your sister! Grab your sister!!!!! GRAB YOUR SISTER!!!!!!!!” They just looked at me like I had two heads, completely oblivious to the fact that their sister was somewhere between them but completely submerged. Thank goodness the life jacket didn’t look at my like I had four heads and just did it’s job of popping her back up above the water.
Midge’s assessment of that whole situation was, “That water is salty!”
Aside from getting knocked down by the waves, the main goal of the trip was to construct a sand castle that would withstand the tide. *Snort*
I am really, really old, apparently. So old that I am considered to be a tad dotty by my children. When I told them it didn’t matter how deep the moats, how high the walls, their sandcastles would not be there in the morning, they looked at me with pity and muttered something about, “We’ll see.”
So, of course, the next morning, we went out to see and? Well, you know. I was right. They couldn’t believe it.
We really didn’t see much of Tybee Island since we spent most of the time on the beach. We did go into the downtown area once for overpriced ice cream, and we made a trip or two to the IGA so that we could use our kitchen rather than eat out. It seems like a really nice little town. Though who am I to call it a little town when I live out in a town the size of a dust speck?
When the time came to leave, we did it with the hopes of stopping at Biltmore Estate on the way home. I really should have planned that better because, when we pulled up to the Biltmore gate house at 4 p.m. that afternoon? We found out the place closes at 4 p.m. Our options at that point were to get a room somewhere and go back in the morning, or keep on driving. I had no idea what else there was to do in the Biltmore/Asheville area, and I didn’t want to commit my family to a hotel room from 4 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., so we just kept driving.
Since our dogs had been left in doggy prison for the week, we decided to push on through and keep driving until we got home. McH really, really wanted to spring Rude the Dog as early as possible. In fact? When we got in around 2 a.m.? He set his alarm for 7 a.m. so that he could get the dogs the minute the boarding place opened at 7:30 a.m. So he was gone and back with the dogs before I ever woke up yesterday.
And that is our vacation in a nutshell. Oh yeah. We originally chose that location because we could both take the kids to the beach and visit one of McH’s sisters, who we haven’t seen in years. We didn’t get to visit her, however, because her house sold and she had to be out the week before we went down. We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see her and her little boy, but we are way happy for her that her house sold and she can now be with her husband again instead of being stuck trying to sell the house while he works at his new job in a different state. Talk about suckitude.
If you ever find yourself with a hankering to go to Tybee Island I would suggest staying at Beachside Colony (Colonies? I don’t remember). Nice condos, and that stretch of beach isn’t too crowded (which I prefer). Do make sure you go downtown to the pier area. The beach is much more crowded there, less of a family atmosphere and more of a young, surfing area if that’s what you like, and just walking out on the pier is fun. This is also the area for touristy shops and restaurants. And, if you go two houses down and knock on the door? You might meet that Hannah Montana chick.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is happy to be home in his pond water.
I LOVE the top (as long as I really suck it in while I’m wearing it), and the skirt is okay. Probably not the best choice to wear in the ocean, but workable nonetheless.