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Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day Getaway!

Well, it's finally here. A three day weekend. A small miracle for an hourly employee. Labor Day couldn't have come too soon. Three days of R and R.

Not.

Rest and relaxation? For who? Not us! We have visiting to do!

Saturday afternoon we got on the road, heading for Eric's grandma's house in West Virginia. It seems as though we've made it somewhat of a tradition to go there for the three day Labor Day weekend to spend time with Eric's grandma and enjoy the annual Sternwheel Regatta Festival held at the state capital on the river walk.

Unfortunately for us, we didn't happen to be in very forward motion come Saturday morning and didn't leave the house especially early. By the time we had driven our three hours to get there, it was already close to dinner time and we had wasted almost a whole day. Lucky for us, in true Southern hospitality, grandma had dinner on the table waiting for us.

Sunday brought us gorgeous, hot weather for a planned cook out with much of the family coming by for a big dinner. We spent the day visiting and overeating while Elaina played with her 2nd cousin and Lincoln was passed around for his share of hugs. After dinner, I took Elaina for a walk down the lane to see the resident horses and cows belonging to the neighbor. It seems as though every horse is her friend and asked to take one home. Good luck sweet- talking your Daddy into that one!

Once all of the family began to head their separate ways, we started to get ourselves ready to go the Regatta downtown. Although we are accustom to taking both of our kids pretty much everywhere we go, Eric's grandma and aunt kindly offered to keep Lincoln at home and take exceptional care of him. Since it was getting later in the evening and we were going to attempt to stay late enough for the fireworks at 10, we happily accepted their offer and headed out as a family of three. The evening's events included a performance by the Gin Blossoms, plenty of fair food and kiddie rides galore. Not to mention crowds that could suffocate an elephant and wall to wall teenagers with their pregnant bellies and two kids in tow. (Sorry, this isn't just a West Virginia thing, I saw the very same instances at our local fair without even looking very hard.) We had made the decision to leave the stroller in the car since we had packed the double stroller and therefore, we took turns carrying Elaina much of the time we were there. Being perched up on her daddy's shoulders or on her mommy's hip, she hardly minded as long as one of us remembered to share our ice cream with her and not miss any rides along the way. Judging from the crowds, I was actually happy and grateful that we did decide to leave Lincoln in a nice, clean, quiet home and that we didn't even attempt a double stroller through the chaos of the crowds.

We ended up with plenty of time to take in the sights, sample the junk food and let Elaina fish in the makeshift fish pond, pull a duck from the duck pond and ride several rides on her own. And for all of that, she even won herself 2 valuable prizes to take home. A 5 inch stuffed turtle and a glitter baton that has already lost it's streamers. The real excitement came as the first firecracker lit up the clear night sky. Directly over the Kanawha River they entertained the crowd with the most spectacular fireworks display I have ever seen. We were so excited to see Elaina's reaction to the sparkling night sky and the pounding and crackling of colors that cascaded endlessly over the river. And after about 5 minutes of Eric and myself "Oohing" and "Aahing" over the intense light show, Elaina cuddled up onto my shoulder and said, "Mommy, I tired. I take a nap." Oh my sweet child. Whatever in the world am I going to do with you?

*Note to self for Regatta 2008: DO NOT park in the parking deck unless you have a spare 35 minutes that you would like to spend sweating in the car, listening to other cars honking their horns non-stop in an echoing dungeon of doom.

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