Sunday, April 17, 2011

Atlanta Mini Vacation - Part 1

(Are you tired of lengthy posts with hundreds of pictures? Of course you're not. Because if you were, you would have tuned out of my blog a looong time ago. Here we go on another long story with hundreds more pictures... ready, set, go!)

Last week Wednesday, Grady walked into the kitchen and said to me, "Wanna go to Atlanta this weekend? I think it would be best to leave tomorrow so that we can be back Saturday night in time for church on Sunday."

My heart skipped a couple of beats and before he was finished explaining the reasons why we should go, I was halfway up the stairs to start packing.

A mini vacation? Just our family? A few days away? Did I want to go? Um, let me think about that - YES! Did he really need to ask?

Before the frenzy of packing, reserving a hotel, and making plans was underway, we enjoyed some peanut butter pie for Grady's birthday. My man is finally as old as I am and my days of being his elder and calling the shots are gone. I always enjoy the three weeks between our birthdays when I can tell him my age and wisdom trump his innocence and youth.
We left Thursday morning for Atlanta and the boys were so excited.

"Are we moving into the hotel forever?" "Does Atlanta have buildings as tall as Charlotte?" "Does Dad know they way to get there? I can draw a map if he needs one." "Did you pack my toothbrush and vitamins?"

After a mere four hours we were there and ready to explore! Teeny-tiny problem... our rooms wouldn't be ready for another 45 minutes so we ventured down the road to a nearby park to play until then.

I kind of think that if you've seen one playground you've seen them all. Apparently that's not the case with kids. My boys were happy to play and probably thought that going to that rinky-dink playground was an intentional part of our weekend away. What they don't know won't hurt them, right?
Annalyse spent some time with Daddy while the boys ran and jumped and slid...
... and caught caterpillars. Yes, the yearly joy of caterpillars in the Spring always gets Grady Lee excited!
Once we checked into the hotel, we changed into our suits and headed to the pool. My big toe touched the water and I decided I was content to sit on the side and watch while everyone else swam.
Annalyse loves water and had fun kicking and splashing. She wasn't a fan of her float boat, but I think that's because she's such a skinny lightweight and kept sliding through the leg holes. Maybe one day she'll appreciate being skinny.
When her lips started turning blue, she was happy to be warm in a towel and play in her boat on the side. The boys were happy to wrestle and splash. And I was just happy that I wasn't needed in the frigid water.
We had dinner at Maggiano's and for being a restaurant without a playground and without tissue-wrapped fast food, my boys did great. Usually places "where the lady brings our food after a long time of waiting" are not good experiences. I think, though, that we've turned a corner and the boys are improving in patience and self-control.
Or, maybe they were just immersed in playing games on my phone or on the Leapster. Or maybe it was because Grady told them there was a surprise after dinner if they behaved.
The food came. The boys ate all of it. There were no meltdowns. The waitress included free ice cream. I'd call that success.
Walking back to the car, Grady Lee asked "what the surprise is since me and Micah obeyed?" Grady told them we were going mini-golfing and Micah whooped and hollered that "we get to play the golfing game! You know how much I wuv to play the golfing game!"

After a nonstop day of fun, Micah tuckered out on the 15 minute drive to play golf. This was good news for all of us because it meant no constant (and by constant I mean every time we get in the car!) requests for "the song about Daniel and the lions den" or "the song about bulldozers and firetrucks."
Grady started the game off with some tips on stance and swing. The boys dutifully listened and then blew instruction to the wind and opted to drag their clubs behind the ball all the way to the hole. I guess that's one way to ensure a hole in one.
And, just as proof, Annalyse and I came along too. She never made a peep the entire time - just stayed busy chewing on a toy and taking everything in.
On our way to the hotel after golfing, Grady Lee piped up from the back of the van, "I sure do like Atlanta. Atlanta has fun golf and swimming pools!"

So, with three happy, but very tired, kids, day one of our mini vacation came to a close. Nothing super special about swimming pools and mini-golf, but it was out of the ordinary and it was away from home. It doesn't take much to create fun memories!

Day two and three: the aquarium and zoo! Stay tuned...


  1. Yay for you guys getting away! And it sounds like the perfect start to a great little mini-vacay! Adorable pics & the ones of mini-golf are my favorite!

  2. Fun times! And Annalyse wearing a headband while swimming in the pool??? You've got a girlie girl! :) Can't wait to hear about days 2 and 3!