Monday, July 30, 2012

North Litchfield Beach - pit stops!

As we said goodbye to the beach and ventured back through the back roads of SC, we came across a pit stop where the "El Cheapo" gas station advertised "butt meat" and "liver puddin." We felt that this was too good to pass by so we stopped for boil peanuts and to tank L up. The boiled peanuts were slightly below average, but the diversity was high as the clerk was from India. For lunch we stopped just past Columbia where we frequented the chipotle (for K's dietary restrictions) before we hit up CFA.

Our chipotle bathroom experience was memorable as I ventured in solo with Luke and Ava Marie.  As we were in the men's, the men went first followed by Ava Marie.  The scene that unfolded was memorable.  Luke having done his business now proceeded to the sink to wash his hands while Ava Marie climbed up onto the commode and clung precariously to the seat which was not designed for an almost three year old.  Watching her dexterity on the lid, I failed to notice that Luke had applied liquid soap all the way to his elbows as if scrubbing in for a surgery.  I immediately stepped in and began to ration the liberal amount of hand soap that Luke was applying, out of the corner of my eye I watched Ava Marie shift to the side of the seat where she could better stabilize (smart!) in order to concentrate at the task at hand.  Having positioned herself, she began vigorously applying herself.  At that moment Luke, feeling satisfied that he had sufficiently washed his hands and elbows discovered the jet powered drier.  The moment his little fist punched the drier into action, I knew that we were all in trouble!  The sound reverberated with a deafening roar off the concrete floor.  Her concentration completely derailed, I watched as Ava Marie's hands instinctively shot from their Vulcan grasp to cover her ears.  She rocked precariously and decided it would be best to keep one hand engaging the seat and the other covering an ear.  As she doubled over to escape the sound, she let out a screech joining the jet powered drier.  To resolve the problem, I immediately began barking orders into the tumult!  "Ava Marie, it's ok!  Luke, don't touch the drier!"

Once relative calm had been reestablished and Ava Marie had been coaxed to proceed, we began to wait.  As Luke's bathroom break was complete, he decided it would be a good time to exit.  I  explained in earnest to Luke that we had a no kid left behind policy and that he had better not open the door.  We would hang out till his little sister was finished.  I saw in his minds eye that his hands could use a little more drying, I emphatically told him no.  I began to wander how much of the proceeding tumult could be heard by the very patient man outside, who I imagined was contemplating how using the ladies would impact his manhood.  For good measure, and the sake of my fellow man waiting outside the door contemplating gender suicide, I beseeched Ava Marie to hurry.  Formative instances like these are probably why most don't like to be rushed in lieu.  As we waited, I found myself asking Ava Marie for the third time "are you done yet?"  Finally she nodded and we headed toward the sink, while I kept my eye on Luke who was hovering by the door and who I feared would attempt a quick escape.

Thinking again of the unfortunate man who was waiting for us to vacate, I quickly dashed some water over Ava Marie's hands omitting the application of soap.  Maybe it was being second to use the commode, maybe the ear shattering dryer, maybe her daddy asking her 5 times if she was finished, but at the omission of hand soap Ava Marie came undone!  We made a quick, but not to quiet exit.  Luke pulling me toward the exit and Ava Marie pulling me back toward the bathroom.  I managed a dignified nod to the obviously relieved gentleman as we exited to continue our 900 mile journey home.

North Litchfield Beach - third times a charm!

I was dreading the 17 hour ride with three kids under five from Benton IL through ATL through Columbia to Litchfield Beach.  Surprisingly the two night transit went quickly with the help of sunflower seeds and two portable DVD players - I think I got stickers and a picture book when I was young. We've come a long way!

 Our third "beach" vacation in 4 years, we appear to be keeping pace with our kid production. We established an am beach rhythm with the kids. The kids got more adventurous each day and were the adult's entertainment. Luke was inseparable from his "cutlass" pirate sword from uncle J and aunt S. Ava Marie has started to respond to adults by saying "uh-huh, uh-huh!" She was not quite as bold as her big brother in the waves but was not shy at working grandmother's puzzle. L hated the beach crying (more of a high pitch squeal!) and pulling his feet up everytime he would touch the sand or water, but as consolation - like his granddad - he discovered watermelons and loves them.

During our family picture foray we encountered a white crab - not sure if Ava Marie or the crab will ever be the same.  Both freaked out! The crab tried to escape while Ava Marie shrieked at the top of her lungs (even though daddy was holding her 4 feet off the ground). Fortunately no one had to go to the ER . . . swimmer's ear (1st year), stingray (2nd year) . . . K and I enjoyed two late night walks on the beach and went shopping while grandparents watched the kids . . . should probably watch your wives and husbands too!