I could say that since the kids went on summer vacation, I've been too busy entertaining them to write...and that would be partially true. Or I could say that since summer started, I've been too busy working on my tan...and that would be partially true. Or I could say that since July I've been busy travelling...and that would also be partially true.
June and July this summer were a whirlwind of adventure. I can honestly say, I don't think I've ever packed as much travel excitement into one summer before....at least since I've had kids. In June, my son's All Star baseball team competed in the State tournament in Pensacola, Florida. The past 2 years, States has been held here in Pinellas Park so the farthest I had to travel was approximately 7 streets up. From my house to Davis field....phew, wiped me out! Pensacola was about an 8 hour car ride and lucky for me my husband decided he was going to send me alone with our kids and he was going to conveniently fly into Pensacola the next day...Say what? Who approved that travel memo? I usually drive about 3 of the 36 or so hours when we venture to Canada....so this was a major concern for me. Fortunately we made it...all squished together in our little black Honda Civic because once again, Shaw made the decision this would be the more reliable vehicle of the 3 that we own. Again I ask, who approved this travel memo? Our 5 days there was a lot of fun. We came in 2nd in the State and the boys played their little hearts out.
Time to head home. Hmmm....now since Shaw didn't drive up with us, there was room in the Civic for the 4 of us. Not so much now. After some switcharooing... Dallas ended up in the McClanahan van. So far so good. Fast forward 5 hours or so and its torrential pouring rain, complements of Tropical Storm Debby, and we are stuck in a complete standstill on I-75 due to a tractor trailer of diapers flipping onto its side and our trusty, reliable Civic decides to crap out on us. So we cut across 4 lanes of traffic and start driving in the breakdown lane at 20 miles/hour...the fastest the car would go. To make matters suck even more, the motorists we were passing I'm sure assumed we were the a*holes who thought we were better than everyone else and tried to cut off the breakdown lane we were driving in. Shaw, in his very mature calm manner, started screaming (through closed windows) and gesturing to these cars that we were broken down and had to get off the highway. This wasn't embarrassing at all!!! So, to make a long story short, we got off at the next exit, and Brooklyn, Madden and I jumped into the McClanahan van and left Shaw and the sorry ass car in Lake City. He did get it to start driving normally again, after letting it cool off (some sensor issue) and we finally made it to PPark after about 13 hours of driving, vowing to never drive that long in a vehicle again with the kids. My how quickly we forget!!
Got picked up, drove to the St. Pete/Clearwater airport to pick up my rental van, went home and literly flipped my suitcase over...dumping all contents on my bed...and then repacked, with all the baseball clothes I had set aside before my Canadian adventure. Packed a suitcase for Brooklyn. Packed a suitcase for Madden and off I went again. 4 hours later, after landing in Florida, I was on the road again. Picked up my passengers...Kati and Payton (Madden and Brooklyn too) and we started to drive. Punched in Germantown, Tenn on the GPS and prayed for the best. I was so exhausted, that I was a bit delirious. Needless to say Kati drove until 10pm. Continued on the next day and made it to Tennessee. Here we were for baseball AGAIN. World Series, baby!! So the next week was a little bit of baseball with a lot of fun thrown in!! Taking over the microphone and singing Proud Mary with the band while cruising up the Mississippi River in a steamboat. Dancing on the bar at Coyote Ugly. Riding the mechanical bull. Looking for Elvis at Graceland. Watching the waddling ducks at the Peabody Hotel....all great times with baseball moms!!
There was some baseball played in between all that fun and our team did place 9th out of 50 teams. Such a disappointment for the boys who all wanted to play some more and make it farther, but they played amazing and we were so proud of them for their dedication and sportsmanship.
Packed up and ready to hit the road back to Florida. Fun and vacation is all over....BUT WAIT...is it really?? In the lobby saying goodbye to friends who were planning on staying another night and then driving to Chicago the next day, and I casually say that I wish me and the kids could go to Chicago instead of going home. Hubby looks at me and says....Go. Just like that. I'm thinking I didn't hear right, after all, the van is all packed and we are heading home in 2 minutes. But nope, he says it again. "That's not a bad idea....you should go to Chicago." And just like that, we are unpacking his suitcase from the van and repacking with Kati, Jack and Paytons suitcases. So Shaw and Dave hit the road to Florida and me, Kati and 5 kids, hit the road North, to Chicago. I think by this point, we have officially lost our mind. The temps in Tennessee rose above 100F, and I think maybe we fried some brain cells. But there we were....driving through Arkansas, Missouri, and into Illinois. We land the next day at Kati's aunt Sally's house and unleash the wildness of having 7 people converge onto a home that already has 3 occupants. The next 5 nights and days were jam packed with fun and excitement culminating in Bettyfest, the annual birthday party of said Betty, who happened to be 91 years young this August. We were welcomed into this crazy, and I use that term loosely, family like we were one of their own and my kids and I will never forget the hospitality and friendliness that was shown to us.
But I hear Washington, D.C is beautiful in the Fall, and it would be so educational for the kids........... hmmm!!!!