Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thank Heavens She Wasn't a Serial Killer or a Mom With Horribly Obnoxious Kids, or I Finally Met Jen!

If one were to ask Cuckoo how he liked his special trip, one would probably hear all about the fun, wonderful things we did.

If one were to ask the family with whom we stayed how the trip went, one would hear an entirely different story.

For example, Cuckoo would say we had a great afternoon at the beach, jumping waves and playing in the sand and collecting shells.

Host Family might say it was a ridiculous day to go to the beach, seeing as how it was the coldest day of the year.

Another example...

Cuckoo would say he had so much fun, he wanted to stay at their house forever.

Host 10 year old might say, "I thought they were supposed to stay in a hotel for two nights, but then I had to sleep on the cold, hard floor for FOUR nights!"

And another example...

Cuckoo would say the fort we explored (next to the beach) was lots of fun, made only more fun by the super-strong winds that were blowing.  (He's skipping, because "I have to skip so I don't forget how to do it.")

Just to give you an idea of how strong the wind was, palm trees usually have palms on both sides of the trunk...

The following photo pretty much sums up what Host Family thought of our fort exploration.

Host Mom:  Her smile is trying to say, "We're having fun," but her eyes are giving away that she's really thinking, "What in the name of all that is holy are we doing here?!!?!?!"

Host Baby:  Her hat says, "I'm an Ingall." Her face says...who knows?  No one saw it the whole time we were at the fort.

Host 4 year old:  Her cowering says, "This isn't any fun, so I'll make sure we leave earlier than they'd like".  A short time later, she vomited all over the inside of the fort.  And many, many more times before the night was over.

And yet another example...

Cuckoo would say it was an uneventful but pretty one hour drive to the beach.

Host Mom would say it was a disaster that ruined her family's car trips forever.

I would have to give a rebuttal and say, "If you have a 16-year family tradition of lying to your kids about what an "Exit Only" sign means in order to delay stops for trips to the bathroom, you darn well better let the adults in the van with you know of such things."  Aaaaand that fiasco doesn't take away from the views we had driving to the beach.

Last example, I promise...

Cuckoo would say he had a blast trick-or-treating three different times in the first two days of the trip.

Host Mom might say, "What am I supposed to do with all of this candy?!?!?!!?"

She has three kids who collected the same amount of candy as Cuckoo...

In truth, I'm pretty sure Jen and her family had fun while we were there.  Or at least didn't mind us too much.  They were nothing but gracious and welcoming, which is a huge feat when you consider we had never met in person before.

Jen and I stayed up way too late each night talking and laughing and getting to know each other in real life.  Her kids were polite and funny and helpful and everything you want in your own children.  They even spoke to me, having real conversations and all!   And that baby...oh she is a sweet one.  She barely cried the whole time I was there.  The 4 year old (She'll turn 5 on our shared birthday later this month.) and Cuckoo got along beautifully, and the 3rd grader was a great leader of the fun for the two little kids.

We spent some time at one of the best playgrounds I've ever seen.

We saw alligators and TONS of gigantic birds at an alligator reserve.

I didn't take my real camera, so the photos of the animals are terrible.  Just know that 1 is a crane, I think, under the bridge.  2 is a baby alligator, and 3 is a group of kids happy to be standing on top of a crane.  (I think.)

Taken from the pier while looking for alligators.  Those trees are filled with birds.

From the very beginning it felt like we had known each other our whole lives.  We have similar ways of raising children, and we had no problem at all falling right in with the organizing and corralling of everyone.  It was remarkable really.

But, as I've heard it told, house guests are like fish.  After three days they start to go bad.  On Sunday Cuckoo and I ventured out on our own while our friends had a normal day at home.

When I heard about Legoland, I thought it was a gigantic museum-type thing with Lego structures and lots of places for kids to build things. When I looked it up, I was shocked to find out it is an amusement park for kids 12 and under.  Of course that was immediately added to Cuckoo's list of things to do.

While there was a gigantic area in which several replicas of US cities were made from Legos,

We spent a lot of time in this area, since each city had lots of buttons to push, making different parts of the structures move.

there were plenty of rides and fun things for kid to do.

At the end of his first of two roller coaster rides that day.

"Driver's School" turned into Nascar when Cuckoo took the wheel.  Every time the boy in the red car tried to pass him, Cuckoo swerved to prevent it from happening.

The morning of the day we were to leave, the Host 4-year old was still not feeling well, so Cuckoo and I said our goodbyes and went to Sea World before our flight.

There were sea animals, of course.

While Cuckoo thoroughly enjoyed the Shamu show, his favorite thing in the park was the gigantic play structure.  I told him that I couldn't go in it with him, seeing as how my knee isn't completely healed yet.  He had no trouble getting right on up there on his own.

That's him.  He's about 35 feet in the air.
As you can probably predict, he came to a section he could not traverse alone.  He asked some passing adults for help, then came down to tell me he needed me to go up there with him.  There were "squishy" rope places that he couldn't do alone.  I couldn't say no.

I should have.

From Sea World we headed straight for the airport, where he once again had the people around us giggling.  The boy gets really excited, and he talks loudly when he's excited.  His questions, including"Are we in the air yet?" when we hadn't even left the terminal, and his panicked requests for gum because, "My ears aren't working!" carried to the passengers all around us.

By the number of stories Cuckoo has shared with his siblings and dad, I'm going to have to say it was a successful first "special trip".  I have to agree, and I can't wait to see Jen and her family again.

Now, which blog friend will I get to meet next...

Have a lovely day!


  1. Oh the fun and laughter and funny times!!! So thankful that you are not like fish you did not stink by the 3rd day! Cockoo was charming and those eyes!!! so thankful that you are also not a serial killer! Can't wait to see you in the spring!
    darn thing not letting me post as

    1. It was so, so much fun. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. See you in the spring!

  2. Looks and sounds like you had a blast, I'm glad Cuckoo's special trip went well and you got to meet up with a blog friend. Love Cuckoo's airport comments, they would have had me giggling too.

    Check out my blog for pics of my new little friend, and do let me know what you think :)

    1. We certainly did!

      I saw it earlier! Such a cute little puppy! He (or is it a she?) will certainly bring some excitement to the camping trips!

    2. It's a she. For some reason - and I don't know why - I'm not keen on boy dogs. I don't mind looking after someone else's but I wouldn't have a boy dog of my own. Peculiar I know :)

  3. Meeting blog friends is really a fun thing. I've met many. I'm glad you two had a great time.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. It is fun, and only bloggers really understand it. Lucky you, getting to meet so many!

  4. 1. I'm totally jealous.
    2. Do you think the Host Mom slipped that 4 year old a little Syrup of Ipecac?
    3. Sounds like a fabulous time.
    4. My house! Mine! Mine!

    1. 1. Sorry.
      2. Nope. I just saw on Facebook that two more of her kids have begun throwing up. I'm getting really nervous for Cuckoo and me now.
      3. It was!
      4. We've already met, so you don't count! I do look forward to seeing you again, hopefully sooner rather than later, and this time getting to meet your family.

    2. Then PICK ME...PICK ME!!!!! The west coast is the spring...or summer...usually. :P

      What a super fun time you had! Now that you're out of kids...I'm available. ;)

    3. The only time I've seen the west coast was on a super-quick trip to Seattle. I most certainly want to go back, but it's a loooog way. I'll get there someday!

  5. Come to my house and can stuff for me! Bring Cuckoo and he and Kidzilla can terrorize the world to their hearts' content. Er, I mean play. Play and have a good time.
    Sounds like a great trip. And no matter what the truth, if that's the way Cuckoo remembers it, leave it.

    1. Ha! Only if you make chicken stock for me! :) No doubt the kids would have a ball.

      Despite the cold and wind and lack of alligators, we had a fabulous time. Actually, it was the disappointing things that led to us laughing the hardest.

  6. sounds like you both had a great time - I told you LI should be your next destination - I have tiny house but tons a places for everyone to feel comfortable - I expect the whole clan - it will be fun - the best would be if you pull into my driveway with your van my kids would be huh and if you should want to add stick figure family to the back of the van Amelia's jaw will drop to the floor - she loves spotting them and is thrilled when there are more than four family stickers ....LOL

    1. Ha! That is adorable that Amelia gets excited about the stickers. I have always thought we should get one with our family, but also with the dogs, chicken and pig stickers. They'd have to be reusable, though, seeing as how we'd be subtracting and adding them as animals die or get butchered and we get new ones. :)

      I've never been to Long Island, but it certainly seems doable someday!

  7. I am so happy you guys had so much fun. I'm a little bummed we didn't get to meet but I am no match for Legoland and Sea World! You guys packed so much into a few days!! Wow! Next time you come back (and I hope you do because I would still love to meet you!) please leave your cold weather at home...okay??

    1. I'm bummed, too. The only trouble with these special trips is that I don't get to pick to do anything, like meet up with lots of friends. I would most certainly chosen you over Sea World!

      I had no intention of bringing the cold weather. It must have snuck into our luggage. :)

      We will be back in Orlando, no doubt. Hopefully we can meet up then.

  8. sounds (and looks) like a very fine road trip! (still think mother/child vacay is one of the most excellent parent-downspring activity)
    hey are those Lego go carts?!

    1. It was loads of fun. We laughed harder than I have in a long time.

      Everything in Legoland was either made of Legos or made to look like they were made out of Legos. The cars were not actual Legos.

  9. Oh I'm so envious that you got to meet Jen and her time I am going to hide in your suitcase!

  10. I seem to have missed the round-up of your trip. That's kinda sucky of me! I'm glad I caught it now, and pleased you both had such a gorgeous time on your special trip :D


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