We're not in Kansas, anymore, Nicholas Quinn
or Virginia for that matter. Nope, we are in good ole Memphis (can you say going to overindulge on BBQ this week?) for a week or so.
Nope, no emergency caused us to roust ourselves (well, myself) at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning (not that I could have slept anyway since the construction workers next door were already at work...), pack the car (the Civic), realize that not everything would fit, unpack the car, move the Odyssey, pack the Odyssey, and wake the remaining child, load him into the car with the waiting Sissas and head to BWI. We followed this up with two plane rides and an extra special treat of Jamba Juice in the Charlotte airport. Who knew that was there?!
Why did we do this? Well, to surprise Grandpa Kirk at his 70th birthday party (which was also a surprise).
I can't say it wasn't a long day. After two car rides, two planes and three airports, I was exhausted, but we still had a party to get to! We had a few minutes downtime at the hotel to get refreshed and ready and by 6:20 p.m. the entire Dinoia contingent was hiding in a bedroom in the home of the party's host, waiting for Grandpa Kirk to appear.
It's safe to say we surprised him. We casually entered the room after the big surprise and he was still in shock from that. After staring at us for a few minutes, it hit him who we were and I think he was quite taken aback. We had discussed the girls possibly flying down and attending the party, but decided it was too expensive. We also threw in a crazy story about Pete's R&R being frozen and he believed it hook, line, and sinker (whew!). Given that he thought there was no chance the girls would show up, he never even considered the possibility that the whole family might suddenly appear.
We did, though, and celebrated like crazy for a few hours. I was grateful this was a very family-friendly party (many kids our kids' age) and they had fun running around for hours. In fact, Nicholas was so exhausted, he easily slept 12 hours in a row which gave me time to get a good night's sleep AND have a whole hour to myself Sunday morning (normally unheard of).
We have since been enjoying family time and a chance to relax. We are here until Friday and trying to take in as much Southern hospitality and cooking as time allows. If you are wondering, the weather is nearly the same as Northern Virginia (and actually feels LESS humid), so no adjustment in that respect. It's a bit of a whirlwind trip considering we made reservations only a week ago, but fell together nicely. We are, of course, a bit sad that Peter couldn't join us, but given that he will be home for his first R&R in 5 short weeks, I'm not complaining!