We had a really great trip, the girls were tough but relatively good for being in totally unfamiliar territory, we were housed and fed well and enjoyed the time with family we almost never get to see. We left home last Saturday morning happy with the state of the house – aforementioned clean sheets, empty sink and breakfast for when we returned ready to go - and looking forward to the trip. Our drive to the airport was without event as was our walk through security, nice visit with the TSA, that, and we sat quietly awaiting our time to board. The girls had books to read, new crayons and coloring books, beloved stuffed animals, and Mp3 players packed with their favorite songs. Our changeover in Charlotte went off without a hitch – love those moving sidewalks - and we were in Pensacola faster than you can say antidisestablishmentarianism. Considering this was the first time in an airplane for both girls I was pleasntly surprised that they handled it so well, having my in-laws along certainly helped! Saeb sat with Patrick’s Mom, I sat with Aurelia and Pat and his Dad chatted the day away across the aisle on both flights.
We arrived to a quick drive over to Mobile and a lazy afternoon to recover from the travel. Sunday was the big surprise birthday party for Pat’s Grandmother – 90 SHOULD be celebrated. She took the continual shock of new and completely unexpected party guests very well, I think it took about an hour before we stopped surprising her with po-up relatives. I was truly happy to help out Patrick’s Aunt with the cake prepearations, it came out beautifully. I got to reconnect with some of Pat’s cousins that I hadn’t seen in 13 years and to see my girls meet their Great-Grandma.
On Monday we all, almost everyone that was at the party Sunday, hung out at Pat’s Aunts house and got to look through the family photo albums – amazing stuff in there (more on Flicker) there’s a diary/Jounal from the birthday girl’s grandfather, J. A. Dillinger. (Turns out Patrick is not related to the infamous Dillingers, s’alright) He talks about traveling to Nashville during the civil war, kept track of all his business dealings, debts owed and paid, some of it was in purple pencil – crazy. I snapped pics of some of my favorite photos. My favorite pic of Pat’s Mom – I wish you could see the freckles, Pat’s Mom’s Mom in her teen years, and his Mom’s Dad. he looks like Brad Pitt! (Brad’s new movie – totally going to see this one)
In the later afternoon we drove the girls out to Dauphin Island to hang out at Fort Gaines, they loved it. Over two acres of open yard, tunnels, stairs, a rabbits warren of rooms and hallways – a latrine!, cannons and a giant anchor? even 90 degree heat couldn’t keep them still.
Tuesday we went out to see the USS Alabama. When we were driving into town on Saturday afternoon we had driven past the sign for Battleship Park – where the ship is docked – and Aurelia very excitedly asked if that meant there was a REAL battleship nearby. You can see the thing from I-10 so I pointed it out to her and both the girls said they really wanted to go. Saebra loved the inside of the ship – rabbit warrens again but didn’t like that we had to keep telling her to stay in sight. Aurelia loved being up on deck and checking out the guns and “deck stuff” but by then Saebra was done so she and I headed back to the gift shop and snackbar to wait out her Dad and sis in airconditioned Bliss. We met another knitter there, Elanor, she was making socks for her DIL while the rest of her family, “clamored around in the boat”. Unfortunatly, Under Siege was filmed on board and Patrick says that we have to see it now, it just makes me laugh. Later that evening we were treated to a ride on the Dog river and one of its tributaries, Rabbit Creek, by Pat’s cousin Jill and her husband Trey. We went looking for rumoured Manatees but never saw any. The girls had a great time (Re FREAKED! when she first stepped on the boat and it took getting off and having Jill and myself talk to her a bit about what fun she night miss if she didn’t give it a try) they both got to steer the boat for a bit and we tooled around in the bay at sunset before docking and heading in for the night.
Wednesday the girls stayed with Grandma and her sister – they went to the Explorium and then swimming while Pat and I took off with his youngest brother and fiancee to have a look around downtown. We hit the Mardi Gras museum, someday you can ask me about the Kool-aid references, we found a cute little park, had some good sushi, excellent ice cream and chocolate and decided that we should find a movie theater for the evening. We ended up doing a double feature, The Happening – seriously!?! I paid for this? and the new Indiana Jones flick, eh – it was fun and we had a nice dinner inbetween.
Thursday I headed out in the morning with Jill and her two munchikins – peanut and truck – to Hobby Lobby for some seriously discounted yarn – 99 cents!, we had lunch, said our goodbyes and headed back to the airport. My Swiss Army knife was confiscated – it was in the checked bag on the way down but ended up in my purse for the trip back – argh!!!!! Our plane boarded 20 minutes late because of a maintenance issue with the wheel – yup, makes ya feel good and confident – and then we sat on the tarmac for 35 minutes while the Charlotte airport decided whether or not to let us fly in. Our flight took and extra 20 minutes because the pilot, graciously, flew around a bunch of thunderstorms (Did you know that they are shaped like anvils? – that’s my picture in the last post, three thunderheads that the pilot was steering around) and by the time we landed our connecting flight had departed, of course we didn’t know that till we raced over to our gate. The airline had booked us on the next flight, leaving in 2 hours so we grabbed a bite to eat and by the time we go tto our gate, the wind was blowing and the rain was falling sideways, then our gate changed, then the flight was delayed, then it was delayed again. Then our gate changed again and our flight was further delayed. Then our flight was delayed again to midnight. Then I saw my Stepmother’s brother and I went over to say hi – he was flying home to New Orleans from a funeral and was just as stuck as we were. Eventually we boarded, waited 30 more minutes while every other plane that had been grounded took off and made it home at 3:30, thats am.
Friday, we did nothing. I didn’t even unpack till yesterday. It was great to know that I had no laundry to do (did that Thursday before we left), no dishes or clothes waiting for me. Breakfast was bacon and fench toast with the cinnamon bread I made before we left and Pat grabbed us an early KFC style dinner from the grocery store, easy peasy.
Yesterday was the Delaney family picnic with all of Pat’s Dad’s brothers and sistersand offspring. It was an almost 2 hour drive, it was hot and due to some communication issues, we didn’t know that it wasn’t a potluck like years before but a pay by the plate thing. We let the kids play in the pool and Pat’s Mom offered to pay for our meals but she had just paid for our trip to Alabama – that’s right! Pat’s parents footed the bill for our trip. There’s no way we could have afforded that his year, So I wasn’t going to drain her bank account any further. We said hello’s to a few cousins, got new contact info from them and headed off to my Mom and Sis’ place for an impromptu meal. I fell asleep on my sister kitchen couch, yes she has a loveseat in her kitchen, and woke up long enough to eat dinner and fall back asleep. I hadnt realized how worn out I was by the trip home.
Today we did a bit of house work, dishes, garden, new kitchen light bulbs and Patrick is very excited about his acquisition of an “Action Hoe” mm hmm. We’ve just about got the girls back to a regular sleep schedule, they’re only 1/2 hour or so off still. Pat is asleep now because he goes back to work tomorrwo and wants to be well rested before he sees aht kind of damage a week of his abscence has wrought.
Oh, yeah, yarn! Ha! I made two sun hats for the girls – no pics yet, started socks for my sister, started a bamboo scarf – not sure what I’ll do with it, made a sun hat for Jill’s daughter, and played around with a couple crochet stitch patterns that I have a better idea how I’ll use now. My next Crochet 1 class begins on Wednesday – so soon, I need to go pack up my class things again. I’ll have more crafty pics soon. I promised Pat I wouldn’t say this again but I can type it, I’m glad to be home.