Cooper River, Car Rides, and Cinderella’s Castle

April 2014

April is here, which means people have emerged from their winter hibernation and outdoor activities are ramping up. Days are becoming warmer and everyone just seems happier as a whole. What a better time to participate in the annual Cooper River Bridge Run! We packed our bags, headed to Charleston with two new couples/recruits in tow, and the festivities began. Another fabulous weekend with an abundance in food, drinks, and fun. Apparently, two of our friends even claimed they “owned” one of the most popular bars in Charleston. We always say, if you act like you own the place, you can get away with pretty much anything. There are always some sort of shenanigans that ensue on that trip. Trent and I both made great time this year on the run (56:34 and 55:56, respectively) and have willingly signed up to join one of my friends and her husband next January for a half marathon in New Orleans. Let the training begin!

Trent joined about 500 of his workout buddies for the US Marine Corp Ultimate Challenge Mud Run one weekend. This was serious business…a 10k chock full of insane obstacles. His team did great, he got muddy, and told us some great stories about it. The next day, we hopped in the car to begin our spring break adventure. The goal was to ultimately get to Orlando with a one-night stay in Jacksonville to break up the long trip. The girls did such an excellent job of traveling in the car that we drove right through Jacksonville…it was a 10-hour, 15-minute drive (but, who’s counting?). Seriously, it was a very pleasant drive and we have some funny stories to tell. I’m sure they are some of those “you had to be there” stories, but they will always be funny to us. I was driving the car and all of a sudden this old lady was tailgating me (she could barely see above the dashboard), donning her Sunday dress. Out of nowhere, she passed us and we were eating her dust. Later, during the trip, our witty Brayden said, “That lady’s car is the bull and her church is the red flag!” So cute! We also stopped for a break at this sketchy gas station, where this gnarly looking dog (who was obviously nursing her puppies) came up with these poor, begging eyes wanting a handout. We told Brayden about that she was likely nursing and started joking about her humongous teets. It was hilarious. Brayden quickly drew pictures of both occurrences.

When we got to Orlando, we tackled Animal Kingdom first. The girls had a blast doing the Wilderness Explorer program, looking for the icons throughout the park. We didn’t wait in any lines as we used the relatively new Fast Pass+ app on our phone to strategically navigate ourselves around the park and jump on the rides with the least amount of wait times. You only get three Fass Passes a day, so it’s important to not use them on rides that have short wait times. We constantly would see people using their passes on rides that had a five-minute wait. Their loss, our gain. It was a very warm day, but that was fine by us. On day two, we conquered Magic Kingdom (we were told to avoid this park on Mondays as it’s the busiest day of the week, so we went on a Tuesday). Again, we didn’t wait in any lines (rode Space Mountain with no wait, for example). Another warm day, but this time we were greeted by some heavy downpours in the mid-morning. Thank goodness we brought our rain jackets. The kids had a blast, were brave and rode a ton of rides, and it was an amazing trip. During the last night of our stay in Orlando, sometime in the middle of the night we heard a loud thud. Hanleigh had fallen off the bed. She cried for a few minutes and then went back to sleep after Trent placed her in the bed. The next morning, I looked at her face and she had a huge, bloody dried up cut on her right eyebrow. As it turns out, she had hit the base of the nightstand when she fell. Déjà vu once more as this same exact thing happened last spring break when she got stuck between the mattress and the nightstand. We got her all cleaned up and were on our way.

Next, we ventured three hours northeast to Amelia Island and stayed at the Omni. The resort is absolutely beautiful and the food was amazing, but the weather in mid-April is a bit unpredictable, which meant unusually chilly temps and extreme winds. We were supposed to stay there Wednesday through Saturday, but due to the weather, decided to cut the trip short by a day. We did get a round of putt-putt golf in, so that was fun. We will definitely visit that place again, but later in the spring or early summer. After heading home on Friday, we surprised the girls with an overnight stay at the Great Wolf Lodge. We had such a blast there as well, but Trent and I are of the opinion that we’ve “been there, done that.” All in all, spring break was a great success. Next year, we decided, we would head a bit further south to guarantee warmer temperatures and will likely fly somewhere so we can get there quicker.

The girls continued their gymnastics classes, I enjoyed a night out with my neighbors, Brayden had a field trip, we picked strawberries, and attended a couple birthday parties, one of which was Cooper’s. He turned three and we had a small family get together at Kyle & Erin’s house. Brayden got her quarterly report card back and had all excellent scores, once again. She is such an excellent student! Funny story: one morning, Trent took the girls to school and when he got back, he realized there was something stuck to the Velcro on the outside of his shorts. When he pulled it off, he realized it was a pair of my underwear! He had been walking through Hanleigh’s school with underwear just hanging off his pants. Hilarious! We got some good laughs out of that!

Brayden-ism:

  • Once again, Brayden’s ability to read a bit too well cracks us up. During spring break, we were out to dinner at a pizza place and she was facing a television that was behind Trent and me. It was a surfer documentary and the guy being interviewed was talking about living with a bunch of surfer guys under one roof. The closed captioning was on and Brayden started laughing like crazy. When I asked her what was so funny, she said, “The guy on the TV just said ‘everyone smells like ass!’” I laughed so hard, my eyes watered.

Hanleigh-isms:

  • Hanleigh punched Trent in the nose accidentally while pointing at something one day.  When he told her that she did that she said, ”I was pretending you were a stranger.” When we saw her report from that day at school, we realized that she was learning about strangers.
  • One day, she decided to wear a pretty dress to school, so I said, “Are you going to show Brody your pretty dress?” She sighed and said, “Mom, we aren’t getting married!” Geez.

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