Friday, July 25, 2008

Vacation blog post part 2

My husband has pretty much taken over my laptop the last couple of days working on his paper for the conference in September since we all started to feeling better, so I still don't have any photos to put up here. I guess I will just have to fill those in a bit after we get home. Here's the text summary of what we've been up to. Tomorrow morning we start the long drive back home. We hope to get to Salina, KS for the evening and plan to get hotel rooms there since we don't have a useable tent (keep reading to find out why that is ;) ). We should arrive at home on Sunday evening, barring no disasters of any kind.

July 18 Friday
CHA day 1
Meeting Holly, Ali Edwards sighting at the CK booth, Stacey Julian at dinner in the evening who stopped to say hi as she was exiting the restaurant because Tammy was with us and will be teaching a class at The Big Picture site in the fall.
Prima having internet troubles so they couldn’t DL or print the the layouts the PH team had done for the booth. The ‘retail friendly hybrid’ concept reception was going well on the first day of the show.
I really liked the Jenni Bowlin vintage lines, Pink Paislee, and Prima stuff. Most of the papers seemed pretty similar from booth to booth actually. The same color schemes, the same styles, the same brushes and images used to design the papers.
It poured buckets for about 45 minutes around dinnertime and then lightly rained all night.
We went out for drinks with Holly and some of the crew from Pink Paislee. -her mom, Amy, Tammy (Tutterow) and her daughter Anna- We sat in the restaurant until about 10 just chatting about everything under the sun and laughing and having a good time.
We came back to the room and Robin scrapped 2 layouts while I DLed and sorted pictures and tried to scrap (unsuccessfully LOL).

July 19 Saturday
CHA day 2
Mark called this morning about 9:30 and said he was planning to pick me up at the front of the hotel about 5. He had the trailer packed and had parked it in the lot at the science museum. He said the tent was soaked, but that most of the things inside it were still dry. That’s pretty good considering how much water was dumped out by the storm. According to the weather report this morning on the local news, the storm system was very large, so I’m not sure we will be able to find a dry place to dry things out tonight down the road or not.
Lunch with Jen and Jeanine, Oriana, and Connie.
We walked the floor a bit more to find some of the booths we hadn’t seen yet, did several more make and takes- our favorite was a little flip notebook with chipboard covers at the Basic Grey booth.
Mark and the kids picked me up at about 5:30 and we headed out of Chicago. We stopped and ate dinner at a buffet after we got out to the Chicago ‘burbs and then drove to Springfield where we stayed at a Motel 6 as the tent was too wet.

July 20 Sunday
Before we left Springfield we drove to the center of town and toured the Lincoln Home National Park. We watched a short film on the Lincoln home and then took a guided tour of the house. It was very hot, so we didn't spend much time walking around the restored neighborhood. We bought a few souvenirs in the gift shop and then climbed back into the van to continue our drive to St. Louis.
When we got to St. Louis, the heat and humidity were even worse than mid-day at Springfield. It was 8PM and still 95 degrees. Even just sitting still you would sweat. We located Horseshoe Lake State Park and finally the campground which is located in the middle of the island in the middle of the lake. We sent the kids off to the playground while we put up the tent. The mosquitoes were everywhere as well. I broke out the deep woods Off bug spray to try and keep the bug bites to a minimum. We got the tent up just about dark and got everyone into bed. It was a very uncomfortable night as it didn't cool off much, so we all just lay there and sweated while we tried to sleep.

July 21 Monday
We were woken up about 5:30 Monday morning to the sound of Carissa trying to get out of the tent, and not succeeding before she proceeded to throw up last night's dinner all over the tent and everyone's shoes piled in front of the tent door. Mark and I wearily got up and spent about an hour attempting to clean things up while Carissa sat at the campsite picnic table and heaving more.
Since we had gotten up so early we decided to make a quick visit to the St. Louis zoo to see the penguin exhibit before we had to meet Dale at the science center. What a neat exhibit! I don't think I have ever been that close to penguins before. Usually they are separated from you by a wall of glass you can hardly see through because it is so wet and dirty from the splashing water. In this exhibit the whole building is air-conditioned and there are only low glass walls to contain the swimming pools for the penguins and puffins. At the King penguin exhibit one of the birds likes to play with the people watching him and swims around the pool deliberately splashing the spectators. The kids nicknamed him 'Mr. Splashy' and Brenna exclaimed when she was splashed that the water was cold.
We drove quickly to the Science Center to meet Dale, who was waiting for us when we got there. We spent some time watching the giant Rube Goldberg machine in the lobby and then headed downstairs to see the large Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops animatronics display that Sarah had been eying from the level above. The T.Rex moved it's head, tail and front legs while making growling noises. The Triceratops was injured by the T.Rex and you could watch its chest move up and down slowly while it lay on the ground. Once we got downstairs Sarah declared the dinosaurs 'scary' and didn't want to have much to do with them. I guess being close to them, seeing how big they really were, and being able to hear the noises they were making was a bit overwhelming. We spent the rest of the morning exploring a few more of the exhibits. The kids liked the health science exhibit the best and we had to pry them away from them to go eat some lunch. After lunch we got tickets to the special exhibit called "Monsters" which explored the world of movie monsters and animatronics. There were lots of scary monsters there, but Sarah didn't seem bothered by them since they were still and didn't make noise. At the end of the exhibit was a creativity area where the kids could draw, sculpt, and craft their own monster creations. Beth took a 'class' on how to draw a dinosaur and did a really great job with her picture of a stegosaurus. Carissa spent most of her time at the modeling table where they supplied some Crayola Model magic and craft supplies to make your own monster. Bryce joined some other boys at a video game station they had set up, and Brenna and Sarah found a table with papers and markers, and things they could glue on the paper. Everyone was quite content pursuing their own version of creativity. Before too long though it was time to say goodbye to Dale who wanted to get a head start on the evening rush hour traffic. We watched a couple more shows and did a couple more exhibit areas before we left the museum. Carissa's stomach was still very unsettled.
We had dinner at a McD's and used their internet connection for a couple of hours while the kids played. When we left it was close to bed time and so we drove around the area just a bit before heading back to the camp site to head to bed. It was still quite warm, but the humidity level was dropping, so it felt a little more tolerable.

July 22 Tuesday
I woke up about midnight when a fairly strong breeze started blowing. The temperature had continued to drop, and while laying there I noticed that occasional flashes of light were dancing across the sky. It looked like lightning to me, but I didn't hear any thunder. I woke up Mark and he went to the van to check the weather forecast on the weather radio. He came back saying that there were severe thunderstorm warnings for the county we were camped in as well as many surrounding us and that they were saying there was the possibility of penny-sized hail as well as wind gusts up to 60 mph. We decided to pack up the tent and get a head start on the drive to Owasso. It took us about an hour to get the kids up and into the car and then get everything thrown into the trailer. We drove for a couple of hours before stopping at a rest area in Missouri to grab a couple more hours of sleep. After waking up again, we found an IHOP and stopped for a nice big breakfast. Carissa's stomach seemed to be settled down and she was able to join us in eating this time, though we did keep a bag handy with us in the car during the rest of the drive just in case.
We pulled up to MommyPat and Walt's house in Owasso about 12:30. We had lunch and then spent the afternoon resting/napping. It was so nice to be in an air-conditioned house for a change. We spent the evening just sitting around enjoying each other's company.
Bryce showed that he had caught Carissa's stomach bug right before bed time when he threw up everything he had eaten for dinner.

July 23 Wednesday
We spent the day relaxing at home again. Bryce was sick all day- you can tell he doesn't feel well when he spends the whole day laying on the couch and sleeping half the time. Beth and I spent most of the day laying in bed with bad stomach cramps, and Carissa complained that she didn't feel real well either though I think it was more sympathy pains than anything for her at this point. We got out the tent and ground tarp to dry out in the afternoon. We had intended to set up the tent so that it would dry faster, but we discovered that we had inadvertently left one of the long pole sets behind at the campground during our mad dash to get out of there before the storm hit. So, the tent is pretty much useless now as we can't put it up any more with one of the major supports completely missing. I guess I will email the campground when we get home and see if someone might have found it and turned it in. A quick search online makes it seem like the tent model isn't manufactured anymore, so I don't think there are many options for getting a replacement pole set, at least not at a reasonable cost.

July 24 Thursday
We were starting to feel a little better today, so we ventured out to the birthplace and memorial museum for Will Rogers "Oklahoma's favorite son." Sarah liked the animals in the barn at the birthplace stop, especially the chickens which we had to keep telling her not to chase. The kids seemed to do pretty well in the museum and found things to look at that interested them. I think it helped that there weren't that many people there and so no one was terribly concerned about them running around and making a little noise. MommyPat gave them each $5 to spend in the gift shop and they had fun spending a bit of money. Bryce, Brenna and Sarah all chose these giant cute worm things, Beth got a necklace and Carissa got a bag of marbles. We spent the rest of the day at home. The kids played games with each other and with MommyPat and Walt, watching VeggieTales videos and the Disney channel. Mark took over my laptop and spent most of the evening working on his paper.

July 25 Friday
The girls and MommyPat took a short jaunt around the neighborhood with MommyPat giving us a tour of the retirement center they live in and then went to Walmart to pick up a few food items, a watch battery for Walt and a new pair of sandals for Brenna. They like it here and I have been impressed with what I've seen of the place. They are happy here and enjoying it. Walt got out his cornet while we were gone and gave Bryce a few lessons, I understand. We are headed to my cousins house for dinner in a few minutes where we are having a 'reunion' dinner with several family members that live in the Tulsa area. I will get to meet my cousin's daughters, who I've not met before. Brooklyn is just a couple of weeks older than Brenna so I think that she will have lots of fun playing with someone who is just her age for a change.



Blogger Kim said...

Sounds liek you've been doing tons of cool stuff! So sorry to hear about the stomach bug though! Hope you are all over it now!

9:55 AM  
Blogger clc said...

Such a shame that you had to deal with a stomach bug and tent issues! Can't wait to see your vacation photos! Hope everyone is feeling better and getting some much needed rest at home now.

7:33 PM  

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