Friday, March 14, 2014

Our Epic Florida Trip: Day 2- It Started Good

The second day of our trip started well.  The kids woke up at a reasonable hour and even stayed quiet long enough to not wake the baby (sometimes this doesn't even happen at home) and before we even got much further our friend, Beth, arrived!  Beth was a student involved in our ministry who graduated last year and got a job in the area and has been volunteering with Cru this year.  She lives just a couple of down from us and we love her.  I am pretty fond of her normally, but when she arrives at my hotel room where I have been staying alone with my three small children I love her even more.  We were doing okay really, but an extra set of hands felt wonderful.  The first thing she did was hold the baby so I could eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut (or two)!:)
And after doughnuts we loaded up the stroller and headed out for a walk around the resort, some Starbucks along the way (on the property), and a visit to the resort playground (where Eli, clearly still just so excited to be outside playing, was too excited to stop and used the bathroom and left a bit of a drippy mess over part of the playground).  Poor thing, but he got over it soon enough (and yes, I told the hotel so they could have housekeeping come clean it up since I did even have wipes on me at the time).
And then we headed back to the room to shower Eli and put Liam down for a nap.  And then, as if she hadn't already won me over by letting me eat my doughnut in peace, Beth took the kids out to feed bread to the ducks so that Liam could sleep peacefully and I could take a shower.  Have I mentioned that I love her?
Liam took a good nap, we packed up, checked out, and promptly headed to the resort pool!  By that time the sun was out and it was warm and wonderful.  And even better was that the pool was warm and had a wonderful little shallow splash area for the kids to play in!  And Liam had his first time in a pool and LOVED it!  Poor little man was showing signs of having a cold (which I had started feeling the night before) but even with a little runny nose he was loving life in the water, sitting in the shallow end with me, splashing, and laughing at his brother and sister running through the fountains!  Looks like we are 3 for 3 in the kids loving water department!
I passed Liam off to Beth for a bit so that I could grab a few pictures...
And so Day 2 started pretty good really.  And then we left to get Joe from the airport and it started going downhill a bit...his flight was just a little bit late, it took forever to get his luggage, and thus we got a bit of a late start heading to the beach.  It ended up taking us about 7 hours to drive from Orlando to Panama City Beach, but it felt like so much longer than that.  After just a couple of hours in the car Liam started to go downhill quickly and our normally very content and relaxed baby became a quite unhappy traveler.  It was not good (and was sadly a sign of things to come).
Looking back perhaps we were setting ourselves up for failure (or at least some doubt) when we arrived at the beach at 11p.m. on the first night of spring break with our 3 small children.  Let's just say that the place was a bit crazy.  But we checked in and moved our sleeping children into what I can now say was one of the worst hotel rooms I have ever been in.  This came as a surprise to us since I have been at this conference (and thus this very same resort) 4 times before and had wonderful experiences with the hotel.  Nope, not this time.  As soon as we opened the door to the condo we could tell that it was saturated with cigarette smoke (even though it's a non-smoking facility).  If that weren't enough (and really it was) our room happened to be right next to the main street where college students were cruising, yelling, honking horns, and blaring music until about 3 a.m. (all right outside our window).  And then Joe found a cockroach in the bathroom and ants in the kitchen and I laid in bed and just wanted to cry.
And as I contemplated my misery (and questioned my sanity in bringing my children here) God began to speak with me a little...gently reminding me of the reason that we came and whispering the truth that this week isn't about my comfort.  And so, as I prayed, I asked the Lord to give me strength for the week and a good attitude for the next day and I determined that I would have a good attitude...because our students were watching and our children were watching...and things might not get easier...

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