Sunday, July 01, 2007
Once in Daytona everything was beautiful. No one was sick, the weather was great, our room was extraordinary! The kids loved the ocean...we bought them boogie boards and they had a blast surfing the waves. Doug loved it too! There was a sand bar about 50 yards off of shore that was the perfect place to ride the waves. The girls went shopping for a few hours the second day we were there. I saw a Salty Dog Surf Shop that I had to visit and we also had to stop at the super sale in Nine West. Emily and Alaina had a great time trying on high heels and I had a great time buying more shoes...just what I need.
After being in Daytona for three nights we loaded all the kids back in the vehicles and drove 10 hours to the Smokey Mountains. Wesley had a rough day again in the car...I started keeping countless bags around just in case...ended up changing his clothes, my clothes...thank goodness we had brought some beach towels for him to sit on. Our caravan was very gracious with the delays and in the end we pulled into the resort around 10:00pm I think.
The next day we went whitewater rafting. Thanks to everyone for talking me into going...it was one of the most adventurous things I've ever done! And talk about fun! The first thing we did after they called our name was to grab a helmet, life vest and paddle. After we put on the vest the guides come around and tighten it for you...so tight in fact that I was quite sure I'd never breathe correctly again. Then we load onto a school bus that has our rafts on the top and ride up the mountain. Emily was so nervous during the bus ride that she was almost grey by the time we were at the top. She wasn't at all sure she wanted to really go through with it...and I wasn't sure I was gonna convince her. But she's tough and worked through her fear and got right into the boat when it was her time. We went through class 2, 3 and 4 rapids...what a rush! At one point in the trip Christian showed remarkable bravery and saved Doug's life after Doug got bounced out of the raft. Doug got the opportunity to swim the rapids...even if that really wasn't what he had in mind. One minute he was sitting across from me, the next he was gone!
We toured Gatlinburg...had one of those old fashioned pictures taken of our family, ate great biscuits and gravy, swam in the resort pool, went out for dinner with 10 children under 12 and then finished off the trip with some great go-cart racing! And then it was time to load up the van go home.
All in all it was an excellent time. All of the families got along, the kids played together great, we conquered the ocean and the mighty rapids of the Smokies. This will be one of the vacations that the kids will remember for a life time.