That wasn't an accident.
The entire purpose was to have fun, and when trying to please 8 people, that takes some planning.
We may not have known where we were going, but we most certainly had a plan of how the fun was going to happen.
The rules of this trip:
1. Even if the chosen activity isn't one of your choosing, you will not pout. You will look for a way to have fun in a situation you don't think will be fun.
2. When we stop for a photo, you do not have to be in the photo if you don't want to be. (One way to get kids to want to be in the photos is to let them come up with funny poses to do.)
3. We will not take any boring tours or learn any history for learning history's sake. (That was the kids' rule. They vetoed tours of historical houses before we even found a historical house to tour.)
4. We will not mourn our inability to do an activity. (For example, we were going to go horseback riding, but the stables were closed for the week.)
Now, to explain, part of our family tradition is to stop and take impromptu photos of places we won't go in. This tradition started before we ever had kids when Bryan and I took these "no planning" vacations. We once drove 40 minutes to go to the house of Davey Crockett or some such pioneer. Unfortunately, it was late and the admission a bit pricey, so we chose not to go in. Instead, Bryan sat on the rock circling the house, I took a photo, and off we drove to find a hotel.
I look forward to the day when the kids are all grown and they go through the photo albums. I will be watching them from afar. I envision them having great debates about which activities we actually did and which ones we simply posed in front of.
The impromptu photos and funny quotes of the week:
|Notice the boys on either side pretending to be the cement lions.
|As we were driving out of town, we noticed this caboose in the middle of the intersection. It practically begged us to pull over and take a photo.
As we were driving on yet another back road, out in the middle of nowhere, one of the kids asked if we were lost. Another child answered, "How can we be lost? We don't know where we're going!"
|The kids are pretending to escape before being eaten by the pterodactyl. This would be an example of a photo being taken without actually going into the place.
|We must have 20 "Help me! I'm falling off a cliff!" photos from around the country.
|The kids are up on that grassy hill I showed you in the last post. My mom is asking, "Where did the kids go?"
The one problem we had was getting to the Hillbilly Garden. While in our hotel, my mom put the address for it in her GPS. Unfortunately, it took us to someone's farm out in the middle of nowhere. I called the Hillbilly Gardens to see where we went wrong. As she got to the end of the directions, she said something that reinforced our idea that this was a must-see attraction. She said, "When you begin to see things nailed to trees, you have found us."
|In a bathhouse "locker room" in Hot Springs.
As we walked through the bathhouse, we saw all sorts of old tubs and showers. At one point, Turken pointed to this sign
and asked, "Is that a real bathroom? Because I really need to go."
|We saw "Goobertown" on the map and decided to head that way. Apparently, Phoenix is trying to look like a goober.
|Didn't go in.
|Reason #294 for driving back roads. You won't see a sign like this on the freeway!
The day we went to "The Big Dam Bridge", the kids (OK, Mom and I, too) fully took advantage of their day of pretending to swear. "Is there a dam store around here?" "How long is this dam bridge?" That sort of thing. Cuckoo has no idea what "bad words" are or that the big kids were doing anything amusing. He just knew that going to a bridge didn't sound like much fun. His question, "Why do we have to go to the dam bridge?" sent everyone into hysterical laughter.
One night we went to Dairy Queen for some blizzards. A couple kids were trading bites to sample different flavors. This conversation was a part of it.
Cuckoo (who had mint Oreo): Nana, do you want to trade bites?
My mom: No, I don't like mint. You can just have a bite of mine, though.
(a minute later)
Cuckoo: Here Nana. How about you just take an Oreo?
Mom: Oh, thank you!
(after popping it in her mouth, chewing, and swallowing)
Mom: That didn't taste anything like mint.
Cuckoo: Oh, I know. I sucked the mint off for you!
|Reenacting his mad sucking the mint off skills
Have a lovely day!