MOKSIL

April 9, 2018

welp!  jovie successfully got out the door this morning for school.  and bonus! no tears!!  funny how sleeeepppyy she was, as she woke up at 6:30 or earlier every day of spring broke!  tho’ to be fair, we were in central time zone, so that made sense at the beginning.

so from the title, you might wonder if i’m speaking jibberish now.  but alas, no, i am speaking the states.  (:

our main focus of the trip was St. Louis.  my friend heather told me about it a year or 2 ago and said how kid-friendly it was.  and in our quest to do all 50, we had to add in kansas.  so we flew into KC & out of STL.  but then!  THEN!!! i looked (closer) at the map and saw that we could sneak yet another state in.  i didn’t realize St. Louis was the border of illinois!

we all had such a great time, and it seemed to just get better and better.  we were sad to leave, but ready to leave the cold.  so of course when we landed in ATL, it was overcast & mild.  it was the coldest day of the week, according to my weather apps.

so, in researching what to do in kansas city, most of what pops up is the missouri side!  but of course, we wanted to give kansas a color-in on the map.  so we found Great Wolf Lodge.  last year jovie showed interest in a water park, but we chose “the palace” instead.  funny how she always reads my mind b/c shortly after i booked the trip & she had no idea, she said she had hoped maybe for spring break we can go back to indiana to do the water park.

here was our week:

Sun- Kansas City, KS

we left easter afternoon and landed close to dinner time in the snow.  nothing really special day 1.  jovie enjoyed exploring some of the hotel and having her “own” room.  went to bed at a normal time, gearing up for the next day!

Mon- Great Wolf Lodge, KS

so, truly, this coulda gone either way.  after a yummy breakfast (bob evans!) we headed for the water park.  and so did the very many people that were also there.  we scoured the place & there were no seats.  anywhere.  jovie & i jumped into the lazy river.  and so did the very many people that were also there.  we finally got one float.  jovie didn’t like sitting inside with her legs draped, and every other way we were crashing and bumping into everyone.  she even said “i’m too tall for in here”.  it wasn’t the greatest welcome.  meanwhile, The Mr. was (patiently) standing nearby while we watched jovie wander a little and try to figure out what she could/would do next.  the inside of my head was justifying the expense of this place as “well, we needed to sleep SOMEWHERE” and was prepared to venture off into other things KC had to offer.  but then i spotted some chairs.  2 together.  front & center.  and then jovie got her wits about her and explored and played and slid and splashed everywhere.  7 hours later, she was a prune & we needed to eat supper so we left!  we got so very lucky!  The Mr. & i even ventured into the hot tub for awhile while she played around.  so it was a successful day.

jovie must’ve done that splash bucket 34 times; and that was where our seat was!

Tue- Lake of the Ozarks, MO

wow.  what a pleasant drive!  lots of winding roads.  farmland.  hills.  it was a great and quick couple hours to get to the ozarks.  we got there early, and they were able to check us in.  they had a beautiful (and necessary!) fireplace in the lobby.  perfect for a coffee & a book, which we did later.  the throw blankets in our (shared) room were cozy!  in fact, after a most delicious dinner, i went on the balcony with said blanket and was quite protected in the 31 degrees.  if it weren’t for the 19mph winds blowing my hair everywhere i woulda enjoyed a bit more.  our view was overcast, but the resort was lovely & peaceful.  unfortunately we weren’t able to stay there 2 nights because they had a conference going on.

Wed- Lake of the Ozarks, MO; Ha Ha Tonka State Park

we got to see pretty sun-shining on the lake the next day before we left.  we actually stayed in our room until checkout time because we had hoped for a hike in a nearby state park, but as it was in the low 30s we waited til the last possible moments for it to warm up to the low 40s.  once we did the very easy, picturesque, sunshiny hikes, we warmed up to a nice time before our drive to St. Louis.  more lovely drives through farmlands. …. i wished i could’ve gotten some pictures of some of the drives.

after the ozarks, we drove the few hours to get up to St. Louis.  we really just checked into our hotel & walked to dinner.  then we spied the arch from afar that evening.

Thursday- St. Louis, MO

jovie woke up fairly early with a slight fever.  complaining of her belly & not being able to talk well.  so we had a very lazy late start in the morning.  The Mr. & i were obviously wondering if this would be a re-do of the grand canyon, but we were also hopeful.  we were silently willing her to feel normal because THIS would be the only day it would near 60 degrees!  it worked.  i got her to take a shower & she said she felt better so we went to the arch.  some people call that the Gateway Arch.  i think it needs to be re-named the Wait-way Arch.  because we did a lot of that!  jovie was feelin pretty anxious about it, too.  we only asked her 216 times if she wanted to go up.  (she did).  it tests your anxieties and patience, that’s for sure.  luckily it was a gorgeous day, so it was (mildly) worth it for the views.  it’s amazing we can do it at all, and i really don’t know the right answer.  but by the time we were leaving the views and going down i think we were all just wanting to shout COME ON ALREADY.  it did not help that jovie was feeling complainy,sick,rundown too.  so we didn’t get to explore all that we could have, but we made it back to the hotel for some chill time.

the only other thing we had planned to do that day was go to the big, beautiful library we passed on our evening stroll that first night.  however, The Mr. being a genius & all found some indian mounds to explore in illinois that was a 15 minute drive away.  we wanted to take advantage of the one “spring-ish” day and save the library for the next day when it would be cold again.  once jovie was up for it, that’s what we did, and it was so neat!

jovie & i enjoyed the mounds near us in Macon this past summer.  it was neat to see a whole different view.

(that’s me, touching the very top of the arch)

getting to illinois:

(i kinda like the side view of the arch!)

Cohokia & Monks Mounds:

maybe THIS is the windy city in illinois?

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Friday- St. Louis, MO

well, as expected, it was a chilly day so we knew we’d wanna stay inside.  luckily jovie seemed a bit better after having a dose of tylenol before bed.  the only plan we had was to NOW go to that library….   but before that, we went to a place called City Museum.

this place defies all explanation (& logic!)  i could show you a thousand-word-picture that could NOT do it justice.  i can write a million words on the topic and you still wouldn’t have a clue what amazingness it was.

when researching our trip, i saw this place, and the thing they tout a lot is an outside thing, so i immediately dismissed it.  but luckily The Mr. also happened on it in his own google search and saw that it was INSIDE.  and boy was it ever!

all i can really say is- if you have a kid, or know a kid, or used to be a kid, you gotta go to this place!  if your mobility is ok with stairs, go.  if you want to test yourself on slides, go.  if you wanna see what some crazy imagination looks like in real life, go.  i truly think it’s worth the trip just for this, b/c St. L has lots to offer!  we didn’t get to take advantage of their supposedly stellar zoo & botanical garden.  it would be awesome to go back!

basically this is a place to explore to the fullest.

  • nooks & crannies galore.
  • cave rooms.
  • airplane.
  • 2 story colorful slide? ✅!
  • 5 story twirly slide? ✅!
  • 10 story twirly slide? (not to be outdone)- ✅!
  • regular slides galore? ✅!
  • holes you would be afraid to go into? ✅!
  • paths you have no idea where they end up? ✅!
  • paths you think surely you shouldn’t crawl THERE, but yes! go ahead and crawl there!  ✅

The Mr. said it defied even HIS imagination as a kid.

so, here’s a couple of pictures that really and truly can’t even show you the scope.  but let’s just say our less-than-daring kid had a GREAT time and we spent 5 hours there, only leaving so we’d have time for a coffee & GET TO THE LIBRARY ALREADY!!

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look close enough and you can see people in almost every wired structure.  at one point there’s even a place to slide on your back to maneuver.  (no, not for jovie.  but i did see ben on the airplane wing at one point!)

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example of: probably aren’t supposed to go here, but sure go ahead.  there’s a kid is going from one wire tunnel thing to the whale fin up at the roof. 

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here’s my favorite example of looking below my own feet while standing in line for the 2 story slide and seeing people crawling out of a hole below even that!

asked 100 times, and jovie couldn’t pick a favorite of this trip.  but each new place, she seemed more and more excited.

all in all, i’d say our spring break #5 was a great success!

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spring broke

April 7, 2018

jovie’s gearing up for getting back to school after having a week off.  most people would call this school holiday “Spring Break” but in our case, Spring was indeed broken.

i feel bad for all the many other areas that are getting their 3rd or 4th snow in a month!

nevertheless, when we booked a trip to missouri & kansas, we didn’t expect the chilliness that we got.

prior to that, it was Easter.  so we’ve had a very whirlwind period of time!  all of it was awesome.

first, gramma & grampa came on the friday before easter.  & because we booked our trip with us leaving easter afternoon, we knew we would have easter dinner early.  but that week i decided (& The Mr. happily agreed) to have our “easter” dinner on that friday night so that we could have appetizers for the Final 4 game.  The Mr. is always happy when i make the best wings out there!!  [guess who had 3 of the final 4 teams in his bracket??  that would be Mr. I Don’t Care To Do Brackets But Sure Okay]

so we had a great visit, marred only by my frustration at constantly watching the weather.  luckily, WE had gorgeous weather.  the forecast for some of the time was that we were going to get 1-3 inches of snow when we landed in Kansas City!

so that didn’t entirely happen; they had gotten snow earlier that day & it was just on the roads (and sanded) by the time we got on the roads.  which was weird enough to those of us who have only ever lived in the south.  we were gone for 6 days.  Thursday was the only day it got above the 40s.  So…..  broken indeed!

luckily, tomorrow should be a pleasant mid-60s & sunny for us to enjoy the final day of spring break.  i will share details of that in another post;  didn’t want this one to go overboard!

here!  look at some easter pics to tide you over!

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the final egg…

and……  from this:

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to this:

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traveling

February 24, 2018

we are currently enjoying the last saturday of our “winter” break.  sadly, february didn’t get the memo that it’s not yet spring.  i was looking forward to just a few more cool days.

The Mr. recently spent another fortnight down under.  jovie (& i) handled it well and we seemed to keep busy.  luckily, it was still fairly cold/cool during that time.  one weekend we just enjoyed some lazy free time.  the day The Mr. came home, though, we spent it in columbia.

i didn’t like the timing, but it worked out perfectly.  let’s face it, there’s not much quality time to spend with him on the day(s) he comes home from a 20+ hour day spanning a zillion timezones & feeling all outta whack.  my niece carolyn is getting married & we had a brunch shower for her in columbia.  so i used the opportunity to see if becky could bring ansley up and the girls could play while i was brunching with my family.  it was awesome how it worked out!  we hadn’t seen them in over a year and a half when they evacu-vacated from hurricane matthew.  it was so great to see them.  the girls got along well & jovie was thrilled with staying in a hotel.  “i’ve been wanting to do this ALL. YEAR!”   we hated to leave, but were excited to do so because The Mr. was waiting for us!

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no, this was not planned.

then she finished up a week of school and we just got back from Savannah.  being down under for so long, we couldn’t utilize the feb break and go out west like i had wanted to re-do nevada.  but The Mr. didn’t really wanna laze around here all week, and re-do xmas break (tho that was great).

we all agree it was a fantastic trip.  we rented a house and found out a few days before going that it flooded.  so the rental company gave us more options and wow.  we absolutely LOVED the new option!  it helped us have a very low-key but spectacular vacation from sun-thurs.  we basically planned for one thing each day and had this gorgeous and convenient house to come back to and regroup/relax.  we didn’t wanna leave.  it’s quite unfortunate that we are not very likely to re-do savannah (there’s so many other states to see!!!) but if we ever do, i know where to stay!!

Sun- we had to kill time til’ check-in at 4pm.  We did that easily by rolling into town in time for lunch & hiking the lovely Skidaway Island State Park.  then we ordered in dinner & ben took jovie to the nearby Forsyth Park to play while i waited for it.  we spent a lot of time in that park.  it was lovely.

Mon- we spent presidents’ day at Tybee Island.  i kept expecting (& then insisting) we were not going to be swimming.  tho it was quite a warm day/week (in the 78-80 range!!).  the water was cold and quite frankly, i didn’t wanna deal with bathing suits & wet sand.  we spent a good 5 hours on Tybee- most of it relaxing and taking walks along the beach.  we ended at the lighthouse & got to see the historical property.

Tue- we spent the morning at Oatland Island Wildlife Center.  this was a gorgeous walk in the woods to trek & see many different animals.  the foxes weren’t available, and the deer weren’t coming around.  tho the fact that we see many deer up close & personal in our own yards, that was not a big problem.  we enjoyed wolves & the cougar.  owls, eagles & alligators.  the afternoon we spent just hanging around downtown savannah after cooling off & hanging out at the house.

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hey, jov- she’s thirsty!

Wed- everyone opted to not do a trolley tour afterall.  we just wanted to explore savannah ourselves.  we did, however, take the riverboat tour.  it was fairly interesting to hear about the 4th busiest port in america, but mostly it was a pleasant cruise down the harbor.  The Mr. even won a prize for knowing that “Terminus” is the original name for Atlanta.  so next time you’re on jeopardy, you can use that nugget of info!

Thurs- we packed up & left.  many miles were walked.  treats enjoyed.  the park was explored in & played in daily.  savannah is a quaint city.  food was good.  we all had such a great time.  we’ve enjoyed the “bonus” days off at home.  methinks jovie will not be excited to wake up & head to school on monday!

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winter!

January 25, 2018

so i know i’m not alone in talking about winter.  it has been a bitter one for everyone it seems. but i’m loving it!  although today will be the typical GA winter, with 35 in the AM & then 53 in the PM….

last week it was steady and super cold.

and we missed The Mr. who was facing his own frigidness in Montreal of all places.  he landed in true -5d weather.  by midweek we were colder than he was with windchills reaching 0.

the snow was so pretty!  but that was mainly it.  once jovie did get to go out and play, she said she couldn’t pack it. so it was basically good for snow angels which basically was good for about 20 minutes.  before i let her go out and play (when it was 13d as opposed to 7d), we tried to take a walk to the stop sign which is point 2 miles away.  we didn’t make it all the way before she wanted to turn around b/c her face was hurting.

we were out of school for THREE days.  AGAIN.  couple that with being out for what turned out to be a cloudy day the week before, we have missed 7 days & i guess it was great while it lasted, but it will totally suck to make some of them up.  but we enjoyed lotsa hot cocoa, movie time, game time, snuggles in our big bed.

this week marks our first full week of school in 2018.  (we went for one day last week!).  back to the swing of things!!

 


the most wonderful time of the year

January 3, 2018

well, jovie went back to school today, after having had 3 mondays off!

it was a super break, we all agree.  i know i have said in years past how lazy we had been, and this year it seemed to get even more lazy, cozy, snuggly.  it’s a normal cold time of year (thankfully not like last year!  we played cornhole, and come to find out- it was record breaking for being warm).  BITTER cold (for us, anyway).  so i’m not joking when i say i have left the neighborhood all of 5 times in the last 3 weeks.

The Mr. has enjoyed a leisurely vacation as well.

my christmas presents have been a hit with the whole family.  The Mr. outdid himself this year.  because he wanted one, he got me a little computer that has all the retro video games on it, so we have enjoyed that a lot on these cold days.  add to that, he got me the dice game QWIXX and we all are loving that easy quick game!  plus, Santa gave jovie Pass the Pigs.  games galore!!

we had a really nice visit from gramma & grampa.  we hung out, baked, cooked, ate, watched football, pretended, read, played on devices & had christmas.

jovie was happy with her gifts.  a woodzee camper from santa, a pillow from her cousins in arizona & a $100 bill from santa to buy an american girl doll were some of the hits.  not to mention a full-sized bookshelf from us & plenty of books from everyone to go along with it.

it’s definitely hard to get back in the swing of things, but we’re managing!

hope you have a fabulous 2018!!


lookin’ back

December 13, 2017

ah yes- it’s been awhile since i have posted any retrospectives….  over thanksgiving, we got a good shot of one.  then it snowed (**!**) and i was able to do my standard snow shot.  plus christmas decorating….

do enjoy:

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Thanksgiving 2017

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11/26/09

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Nov 9th 2008

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Dec 26 2010

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Dec 9th 2017

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2010

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2017

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2009

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2017

all i want for christmas is for time to stop!


a great november

November 29, 2017

as it is still november, i am pleased to be posting things in the present tense!

i was going to just make this a thanksgiving post, then i saw a few other pictures that deserved some (mild) attention.

i do hope my few readers had a nice holiday.  (half of you spent it with us!)

we had a very nice thanksgiving with gramma & grampa.  and this year was noteworthy in that it was the first time in 21 thanksgivings shared with The Mr. that we did not travel.  and not only did we not travel, i believe the first time i left the house since the monday before thanksgiving was to have lunch at the indian restaurant on friday! (because some traditions do not need breaking!)  then we didn’t leave again until a small local hike on sunday.

The Mr. had been in Australia prior to the week’s vacation, so the g’s were gracious enough to come here to celebrate so he didn’t turn around a couple days later and sit in traffic.  unfortunately, that meant they faced traffic, but they got here in plenty of time to enjoy chicken paprikas!

jovie handled the australia trip pretty well, and having had a busy week ourselves while he was gone, we spent the day sunday waiting for him to come home cleaning jovie’s room for several hours.  HOURS.  i worked the whole long day and felt no remorse when dinner consisted of a grilled cheese sandwich and tots!  (The Mr. had had some fancy food in first class, so don’t feel terrible for him, either)

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recycling and trash from the hours of cleaning

i had hinted and begged at The Mr. for us to have a firepit during the week.  We were too cozy, lazy & full to even do that.  We did manage a few games of cornhole in the week, though.  and we lit an inside fire instead.

i was overly pleased at the absolute perfect autumn weather we got.  & we were delighted to cook 2 lavish meals in our updated kitchen.  time was spent catching up, playing with jovie, snuggling with cats, cooking, cleaning, eating, & watching some absolutely terrific football games.  (tho’ sadly the lions lost, those friday games were nailbiters!  and of course- saturday games were equally awesome!  —i hope clemson plays equally clean and smart this coming saturday as well!)

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what the what?  i missed “bring your duck to clemson day, apparently”

a fun november makes me look forward to an equally great december!…