Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Go West, Day 2: Meet Me in St. Louis

Today we said goodbye to my aunt and uncle, but not without a few photo ops. I started by snapping some shots of my kids playing, and Roo became enthralled with the flash. Every time I took his picture he’d say, “More ‘cheese’!” and give me a big cheesy smile. So I kept taking his picture. I bet I have a hundred of him.
Monkey & my aunt before Roo took control of the spotlight.

Then down to business—time for some family photos. Unfortunately I had set my ISO waaaaaaaay too high (trying to get some better indoor shots) and forgot to knock it back down when we went outside. I didn’t realize how blown-out these were until I went to put them in this post. Phooey.
Roo and my uncle in the least-bright-white photo I have from outside...!
And finally, we were on our way.
Just kidding. Roo didn't really drive until much later in the trip. ;-)

And we’re improving! We were on the road by 10:30 this time! Wahoo! ;-) The trip from my aunt and uncle’s to St. Louis was roughly double the trip we had made the day before, about 6 ½ hours. This would be a test to see how everyone did on a “real” trip in the RV. And I’m happy to say that it went very well. The kids watched movies, played with Play-Doh, read, and played with the various toys that they brought along. As Mr. Fantastic put it, “This is exactly how I envisioned this trip. It could have gone so badly, if the kids had complained and whined or if Roo had been a bad traveler, but it is working out great! They are playing and enjoying… it’s better than I imagined.” And as cheesy as that sounds, it is the absolute truth.

One thing we enjoy as a family is reading together. Generally this means that *I* read out loud and everyone else listens. Sometimes Daddy does the reading, but usually I get the job. (Which is fine by me, because I really enjoy it.) Most notably, we’ve read the whole “Little House” series together (AND we’re seeing several of the Little House sites on this trip!!!! J) and a few “Hardy Boys” books. But this summer, we are embarking on an adventure in one of my favorite magical lands: Narnia. We started with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which was the first one written, although I know not the first one “chronologically” (in Narnia time). Mr. Fantastic (who has never read the series) and the kids were all completely enthralled! They LOVED it! I am so excited to share this with them! So needless to say, we passed some time with Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, and (of course) Aslan as well.

On a side note, we are interspersing the Chronicles of Narnia with two other books I found on some of our destinations. They are part of a series written by a woman named Carole Marsh. She writes mysteries for kids about famous places, so that they can learn about the places while they get caught up in the story. They are so great! I mean, the stories are simple and all, but what a fantastic way to learn—for them and me!

And that’s about it for today, friends. By the time we arrived and set up, it was getting late. I heated up some leftovers (and let me add, some FABULOUS leftovers from the dinner my aunt and uncle had provided the night before) while the rest of the family went on a little trek around the campground. We ate, then played for a little while on the playground, and then it was bedtime for all of us! The first night in the camper… let’s see how this goes!

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