(The following are FB posts for Eli’s page. Time has been an issue, so I apologize, but it seemed the best way to catch the blog up to the fb posts. I am so tired that I will add pictures later.)
March 7: With Eli's discussion of options at St. Jude getting changed from next week to the next, I suddenly thought, "well, we won't be going to St. Jude this week".... "HEY, WE WON'T BE GOING TO ST JUDE THIS WEEK!" Eli will never feel as good as he does right now, he will never be as well as he is right now, so we are packing up and headed to Florida - destination unknown except that Legoland will be on the itinerary for the week, probably Thursday. I'm hoping for a quiet beach at our doorstep with warm clear water for the kids, Vic is hoping for a cheap place to stay that doesn't cost a lot of gas to get to what we want to do, so we are not on the same page as usual for what to me is pretty important. We don't know when we are leaving, in a couple of hours I hope, and we don't know the exact direction yet, except in general south. Have no idea what impact our sudden coupe flight will have to any responsibilities next week, but we'll just have to deal with it b/c the weather channel says it is going to be high 70's to 80's in south Florida, and the day it rains, it won't be frozen rain. Also, don't know what we will put in suitcases, since most things are in storage, so I told Abbey to just pack like she has P.E. every day... P.E. every day!
March 7: Big Sam is loaded and as of right now, we are headed to Jensen Beach Florida unless someone here sends me a warning ... so don't be shy, we will be in new territory. I tried to check crime rates and stuff in the area, seemed to be decent. I'm a little worried with it being so close to Fort Lauderdale and Spring Breakers. I am not an east Florida gal. I lived in Tampa for 3 years during my college years, so I am more comfortable on the Gulf side with the soft sugary sand. I've been to the east side briefly, at Cocoa Beach one time, so, I know the east coast is quite different. I like familiarity, especially dealing with something that doesn't happen often, and with the added perspective. Some things played into the pick: uno is price, second is dates/availability last minute. We are not staying 7 days, so some places require 7 days, then we want warm water, would like to pay for one room, not two, so we wanted a suite, would be nice to have a kitchenette, but at least need a refrigerator. So all of that, mostly availability and price and wanting to be down in warm water let us to this place. So let me know right away if someone knows that alligators drag away small humans or if there is any kind of gang activity that targets Toyota sequoias. I haven't booked yet, but am in about 5 minutes. We'll keep you updated!
March 7: Ok, that didn't take long. We backed down the driveway and forgot zofran, drove back up the drive and Big Sam is leaking. I'm sure from whatever the problem he was having a couple of weeks ago that we were hoping was a quick fix. No, no, the universe will have none of that! Not wanting to chance anything, we picked up a rental and are transferring everything over. Going to drop Big Sam at the Toyota place so he will be ready when we get back. We tried to get a minivan, but the universe felt bad for me and all they had was this massive Ford Expidition. Didnt wsnt to be renting a car for tjis, but, Eli is very excited with it being a Ford, so he hopes we can sell Vic on another big suv one day. Next stop, Toyota in hsv, then ... eell, we'll see.
March 7: We made it as far as Moultrie Georgia last night and are back on the road. I forgot to tell you another time-sucker yesterday: so, as Im pulling clothes out of all the drawers and off the shelves, trying to scrape up aporopriate clothing for warm weather, including swimsuits, of which thete are only two that fit and i found, our realtor and friend, Caneta Hall called. I knew when I saw her name what it was. Yep, a couple that had previously looked at the house wanted to see it on Monday. We are not under contract, but she has stay in contact with them, and sent them pictures of the house in the snow, stuff like that. So, during the craziness of packing, finding clothes, making that mess suddenly we had to clean it up. We just took some boxes and through anything loose in them and she's going to clean it while we're gone to get ready for Monday. Then after that, is when we found the leak and had to change our route to get a rental car and take our car too the service department. So all of that was good stuff, it is very important for us to sell the house so it was a good thing. And Big Sam just needs a minor fix, so it will be nice to have finally found the instigator part on him. But all of that of course hurt our time. And since we were now on the other side of Huntsville, we decided to go to Atlanta from the north instead of through Birmingham. When I set the course, I noticed that we could go through Rome Georgia. So we were excited to stop and see the Berry eagle nest. It was almost dark, so pictures were hard. And we only stayed enough to see it and kept going. But we were excited to see that setup. So we are going to take our time today, and go down through Saint Augustine, and Daytona. We thought the boys might like to see Daytona. We plan to stop and buy some flip flops, as I could not find any summer shoes. Most everything is packed in storage if we even had anything. And of course, I packed underwear for everyone but me. I think Caneta called during the packing of the undies. I got distracted. I will at least use that as an excuse, but most of you know that we have gone on trips before and I completely forgot to bring myself any pants. I've got a Target gift card left over from Christmas that we will use when we want to stretch our legs. Thank you all for everything you've done to help us get on this trip, once again. Please add a little boy named Zak to your prayer list. He has also relapsed. I will keep you updated as best I can along the way. Pictured is Eli reading about the Eagles. The nest is the tall tree right in the middle of the picture. All the kids are most interested in where the cameras were.
March 8: So, I'm traditionally the driver. Vic prefers to ride and not deal with traffic, and mostly nap. And I enjoy "playing" with other motorists (although, they may not be aware that they just lost), and seeing how much time I can shave off of Google maps ETA. I catch a text, or short PM every now and then as they pop up, but, like today, I posted our update and didn't go back to it until it was too late.... we knew we wouldnt get to Jensen Beach until it was too late to get on the beach, so we decided to pick a place along the way at which to stretch our legs. We headed for St. Augustine, basically, the oldest city of our country. Vic and I had both been there - he as a kid, me as a college kid. But we thought it worth it again for our kids. Looking farther down the map was Daytona. Some of you might remember that Eli was gifted some tickets and passes to talledega one time. He loved it. And he and caleb both have some racetrack building video games. So, it seemed like a shame for Eli to miss the opportunity to visit this legendary racetrack. So, we put it on our itinerary instead, bc a website Vic was checking said they did tours (it said NOTHING about anything else). So, we chose race cars over archiecture. It wasn't until we were caught up in a sea of chrome and pipe that we realized we were part of Biker Week and, despite my talent at shaving 20 minutes off our time to be on time for the last tour, there was no way we could get close even if we wanted to take a tour. Someone told me 120,000 bikers, but I told vic that had to be a severe underestimate, so I looked it up and there are over 500,000 bikers that flood Daytona for 10 days. That seems more reasonable, but I would dare even some higher than that. So, we opted to visit a lighthouse and we drove on the beach, which was a treat, except we wanted Big Sam in the picture, not this stranger. Hg and I both wanted to stop at the coco beach ron jon shop, that was a big deal for her, so we wanted to make that happen. By the time we did that, and i forgot church clothes, so we like to do our own worship service sometimes anyway, and with Vic driving us in, we arrived at our hotel at 1230. It's just a hotel room, a view of the parking lot, but we are here and it was 72 degrees at midnight. Didn't want to pay $30 for flip flops for the younger kids, so hoping to go to target tomorrow so the kids won't look too alabama heading to the beach in the morning. Pray for good weather. It's a long way to come for rain.
March 8: I am tired! Bought so much at Target this morning in Jensen Beach, FL, that my credit card was denied. So, I had to call the credit card company. I’m sure they were thinking, “hey, someone rented a car with your credit card and now they are in south Florida spending money. Since y’all don’t go anywhere ever and all we ever see on your credit card is gas and groceries in Athens, AL, we think someone has stolen your card.” Um… nope, it’s us, please say it’s ok. We slept late, and didn’t get to the beach until after lunch. It is gorgeous here. I think we have THE only kids on the island, and maybe even in Jensen Beach. It’s like we went from Biker Week to “Old and Tan Week” I LOVE it! It’ so quiet, and it is not over crowded. there are expensive cars everywhere. I am not liking the “cocoa” sand. I am still a sugar sand of the gulf gal, but the water is beautiful. It is about 72 degrees in the water, but after you get in, it’s fine. Not every many people in the water, which makes me very nervous. I always wonder what they know that we don't, but I didn’t see a flag anywhere. And, someone was fishing for a while from the beach not too far from us, so I made the kids move pretty far from him. “Yes, please throw bait to attract small sharks to the shore where we are swimming.” The kids and Vic did see several Man Of War, so I wondered if that could be it. So, we did get burned some - cheeks and the backs all the girls’ legs. Agenda tomorrow is beach!