1. Cuckoo is a "slow chewer". We know this because every single day, as the kids begged and pleaded with him to "just finish eating so we can leave already", Cuckoo would get frustrated and holler, "I'm a slow chewer!"
2. But apparently a fast blower. Every time a hot meal was placed in front of him, there would be a flurry of activity as he used the entire top half of his body in an attempt to bring the temperature of his food down.
3. My kids can be bought with an indoor pool and a couch. When we were looking for hotels, we chose to stay in the ones which were mid-priced. With my need to rent 2 rooms each night, we wanted to avoid the pricier hotels. However, we didn't want to go too cheap and risk finding a gigantic knife stuck in a wall and filth all over the bathroom. On our 4th night, we tried a Comfort Inn, which happens to be suites instead of single rooms. The kids were completely impressed. When they found out it had an indoor pool, they lost their minds. (No other hotel had one.) Swimming after breakfast was in order. As was getting another Comfort Inn for the next night.
|Apparently, he was trying to swim underwater, because when he surfaced he asked, "Could you see me?"
4. Hotel bathroom lights are brutally honest. Always bring tweezers to take care of those now-noticeable facial hairs.
5. State park trash cans are both animal- and child-proof.
|It took an uncomfortable amount of time for the boys to figure this out.
6. It takes complete concentration for boys to simply walk along a path. Staircase banisters cry out to them, "Slide down me!" Rock walls beg of them, "Climb up here and walk on me!" Barrier poles taunt them, "I bet you can't jump over me!" A mother of boys must constantly be on the lookout for danger.
|Notice Star jumping off of the cement wall. Phoenix is about to run up it. Giant just landed.
8. Cups "make" cool sounds.
|Don't ask me how Phoenix discovered this phenomenon, but he convinced everyone to put their ears to their cups and listen.
|Poor Cuckoo, with his plastic, lidded cup, didn't know what was so interesting.
|Of the hundred Dollar Generals we saw, I don't know why I chose to take a photo during the only 30 minute block of time the entire vacation that we had rain.
11. Children are easily amused by things we as kids considered normal.
Bet you can't guess what has them all so enthralled. It is the one and only thing they actually fought over this entire trip.
12. Museums can be found in the oddest of places.
|When Nascar driver Mark Martin decided to go into the car sales business and built a Ford dealership, he included a largish museum all about himself. I have to admit, seeing the cars and trophies were pretty nifty. The gift shop, not so much.
15. Cherry bumps and the premature jumping off of the teeter-totter by one's teeter-tottering partner still cause pain and injury.
|Soon after this, both Star and Giant were down with teeter totter injuries.
16. Phoenix cannot be trusted with reconnaissance. We decided to hike up a hill in Hot Springs to the look-out tower. My mom chose to drive up instead, so abandoned us at the bottom. After she left us, we came to a sign for the trail
and some construction on the trail. I sent Phoenix up ahead to scope it out for us. He came back to report that the construction seemed to end just ahead, so we carried on.
It never ended.
17. Park rangers/workers should really assume that hikers in their park have no common sense. When we got to the top of the trail, we found this:
The top of the trail was blocked off. We can only guess they didn't do the same to the bottom, because from the bottom, the construction was clearly visible.
18. Small towns are very proud of the famous people who were born in them. We know this, because they all have signs telling passerby which famous person was born there. The most shocking to us was this one:
|We even did a u-turn to go back and take a photo of the sign. Giant took the photo from across 3 lanes. Going 45 miles/hour. In the far side of the van. Give him a break.
19. And lastly, the strict TV and video game limits I have always had for the children are paying off. Regardless of where we were, without my help, the kids came up with games to entertain themselves. Even in a plain, boring shelter at the top of a hill, waiting for my mom to drive the van up, the kids saw a chance to play a new version of hide-n-seek.
|While the seekers counted,, the hiders found spots on the outside, looking through a hole in the wall. Cuckoo is "hiding".
|The seekers were on the inside, trying to find everyone's faces. Cuckoo, as a seeker, just found someone.
|Phoenix was his usual silly self, calling "Try to find me!"
We will now return to our rarely scheduled posting.
Just in time, too. The new pigs are coming soon!
Every week, Julie hosts a "What I Learned This Week" link up. I'm joining in!
Have a lovely day!