(My apologies in advance for the smudgy pictures. Note to self: clean the lens BEFORE vacation, rather than realizing afterwards that EVERY STINKIN’ PICTURE has a smudge in the center! Lesson learned.)
Keith has a lot of family living near the border of Kentucky & West Virginia. Even though he & I have been married for almost 8 years, I hadn’t yet met any of these relatives. Keith hadn’t seen them in close to 20 years, if I did the math correctly.
Every year, we exchange Christmas cards with these faceless names with no personalities…or so it seemed to me. There’s not been a good opportunity to get down there until now.
This year, the family decided to do a reunion. After a lot of phone calls and planning, a place and a date were chosen. We’ve been looking forward to this reunion for months!
Finally, the day arrived to pile into the car and make the 7 + hour drive with three small children. That’s the part we definitely were NOT excited about! Jensyn is a very relaxed, easy-going baby, but she does not like long car rides. Anything longer than 45 minutes usually results in screaming.
Surprisingly, she was an EXCELLENT traveler! We are amazed at how well she did. With the help of lots of Fruity Cheerios, we were able to make the long trip with only ONE STOP for lunch/gas/restrooms!
Here’s our first view of the mountains…
Here are my boys “whee-ing” as we go down the mountain hills.
My children are still young enough to be quite gullible. I convinced them that this yellow Bug was Luigi. They were so excited to watch Luigi on the road ahead of us! This kept them entertained for about 45 minutes. “Where did Luigi go?” “Is Luigi still up ahead?” “Why is Luigi here? Shouldn’t he be in Radiator Springs?”
See? We made it from flat, boring NW Indiana all the way to the mountains…and Jensyn is still happy! We did let her watch a praise songs DVD (she loves music!) for the last 45 minutes or so, but otherwise she was a happy girl the whole day!
I picked up a Mater’s Tall Tales DVD at Target a few days before we left on vacation. Although it’s not a full-length movie, my boys ADORED it! We limit their TV time, but I admit that they watched it twice during our long day in the car. It’s a small price to pay in order to retain our sanity on such a long trip!
Which meant that whenever they were getting bored, Mama had to unbuckle her seatbelt, crawl through the mess, retrieve a few toys, and Daddy would purposely swerve gently back and forth to make Mama go crazy!
Here’s the outdoor temperature as we drove into Pikeville…our destination for the weekend. H-O-T! Our entire vacation was triple-digit temperatures!
Jensyn knew how to cool off, though…get your swimsuit on, then turn the hotel room temperature down to 64 degrees. (Brrr!) We really did enjoy the pool, but we kept a close eye on the thermostat in the room since the Little Miss loved messing with the controls!
We stayed in a lovely Hampton Inn that Keith’s mom found in Pikeville. It was about 30 minutes from the reunion, but it was the perfect hotel for all the out-of-town relatives. Our room was HUGE! The pool was wonderful. There was a nice, free breakfast in the morning.