Last post I mentioned that we were anxious to get home from Atlanta because we had awesome visitors heading our way. And what a visit it was! My brother had mentioned a couple of months earlier that he and his family were thinking of making a trip down to see us, but, (sorry Marcus) I didn't get too excited, because with my brother, you never know WHAT may actually happen. Lots can change, and so, I was SOOOO excited when I talked to him closer to the date and it sounded like the visit was still going to happen. Then, he tells me he invited my Mom to drive down with them. Well, again, a lot had to happen for that to be possible, including my Mom switching nights off from work with other people to be able to come...it didn't look good...until...SHE WAS COMING TOO! A year ago she hadn't been South EVER, and then BAM, in the span of a year, TWO trips...UNBELIEVABLE!!! But TRUE!!!
So, we were really anxious to get home and make everything as welcoming as possible. They were originally planning to leave PA for NC to be in NC around 1 or 2 AM, but they got a late start and didn't make it til 4 AM! Apparently, my Mom (who REALLY doesn't like long car rides) did just fine, and though the adults were all exhausted, the kids were giddy with excitement! The big people turned in, and the kids laughed and talked amongst themselves.
In the morning Hubby cooked a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, and potatoes. The kids thought it was like eating in a restaurant there was so much food being slung. We relaxed around the house for a bit before heading to Reed Gold Mine.
Seriously, this place is awesomely fun...and admission is free! There's a movie to watch (it's a little corny but entertaining), a museum, and a mine to walk through...all for free! Ethan and Shannon did an awesome job reading the gold mine history from the map during the self-guided tour. It was so exciting to listen to them read as well as they do!
Then for $2/pan, you can actually pan for gold! Now, kids 8 and under require parental help....and it should be noted that gold is found every 5-6 pans...and it is so fun when gold is found and it's yelled for all who are panning to hear!
And, Shannon found gold! Then the piece was placed in a vial for her to keep...very cool!!
After panning for gold, we picked up a few souvenirs. They have really cute pan magnets with little pieces of real gold in them, and Mom got each of the kids a geode. After lunch at Chick-Fil-A, the kids were so excited to go home and whack the geodes to smithereens!
Then, they changed into their bathing suits while the men went grocery shopping and I got working on dinner. They loved slipping on the slippy slide and running around the yard!
That night we had yummy mixed drinks (Southern Belles and a drink my brother and I came up with...Rainbow Connections). We had snacks and started watching a movie before we all realized we were way too tired to stay up.
The next morning we had waffles with whipped topping and fresh strawberries (yes, we did quite a lot of eating). Later we went to the pool where we swam and ate.
That evening, after a dinner of grilled shrimp, corn on the cob and salad, we enjoyed Little Man putting on a puppet show. He'd been waiting for months to have a real audience. And his uncle helped him out, which made the show even more special for him.
Later we had some homemade strawberry ice cream. And we watched a movie. And just had a good time!
Little Man didn't want to sleep in his bed with his cousins so close by...so they all slept on the air mattress in his room.
Before they headed home, we had two more meals, some more laughs and a ride on the golf cart (complete with my brother ramming the deck with the cart when it slid on wet grass). Never a dull moment!
We were so sad to see them go, but ecstatic that they came! We had a fun-filled, whirlwind weekend! Thanks for coming everyone!!!!