Sunday, September 29, 2013

Columbus Oktoberfest 2013

Columbus has their annual Oktoberfest on the last weekend in September.  Funny, huh?  Kevin was telling me yesterday that it was in September last year.  I swore that it was the first weekend in October, then I looked back at my blog and noticed he was right (it's rare, but it does happen!)

We didn't get the huge beers like last year, but we did each enjoy a Pauliner (him) and a Hofbräu (me).  We enjoyed our beers after taking the girls to the Kinderplatz area

The bouncy houses were a little too overwhelming for me to let them play in.  They are definitely physically big enough, but probably would have been on the younger side of the kids in there.  I just didn't want them to get trampled!

We did let them out of the stroller though to run around!

Kendall checking out the Ohio county map

Kylie.  I don't know what's happening here :)

Kylie with food on her face, and lens flare on her head!
Kendall and a pinecone 
 Kevin had to get a picture of himself next to the Pensylvanian sign :)

Hey girls, smile at Mommy!

Come on, say cheese!


Ok, now you smile...silly girls...

After riding around for  a bit we all got some dinner.  A Bahama Mama, German potato salad and sauerkraut for Kevin from Schmidt's.  Some chicken fingers, sauerkraut and pierogies for the girls (Kendall ate some chicken and her pierogi, Kylie ate some chicken).  And a huge German meal of a grilled chicken sandwich for myself.  LOL.

We literally sat at the table next to the German band and the girls LOVED the music.  We had to have a little dance session afterwards. (Sorry for the blurry pics, low shutter speed)

After dinner, we walked around and looked at the crafts and other fun things.  We saw a show going on at this little stage.  It was a little odd, but the girls enjoyed it.  When we asked them what their favorite part of Oktoberfest was, they said the music and dinner. :)

See ya again next year, Oktoberfest!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Drive and Day One in Myrtle Beach (Cherry Grove Beach) South Carolina

We did the brave thing and decided to tackle a long drive down to Myrtle Beach in one day.  We tossed around leaving at 3AM (and hoping the girls would sleep in the car), leaving at noon, and trying to get down there that night (or early the next day).  Then we decided we were going to leave at 10AM, then moved to 9AM, then moved to 8AM.  Then we decided to just wake up at normal work time and leave between 7 and 7:30.  Somehow, we were able to get out the door on time (thanks to having everything pretty much packed the day before).  With a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts, we were on our way at right around 7:30.  And then...we realized we got on the highway right at rush hour.  Whomp whomp...

The first part of the drive went relatively smoothly.  Kylie kept requesting new activities, so I was constantly unbuckling my seat belt and turning around to assist her.  

Entering West Virginia!
Lucky (for me), Kendall was thoroughly entertained by the various DVD's playing on the Dual DVD player, and didn’t require much changing out of toys.   I just gave her the occasional markers or crayons, or snack from our arsenal, and she was good to go.

Kevin and I always crack up at this place.  Tudors Biscuit World!
Kevin bought little plastic drawers to help organize their car toys, and we attached cookie sheets to their car seats (via industrial strength Velcro).  These, in addition to the DVD player, could not have worked out more perfectly!

Kylie got a little whiny when we were going through the worst part of the Appalachians in West Virginia.  
I wasn't sure if she was feeling motion sick, or was just tired.  Then I looked back at her and saw this:

As a preventative measure, I bought the girls Children's size Sea Bands.  They ended up being not getting sick, so I don't know if the Sea Bands helped or not, but with my puke-phobia, I would much rather be safe than sorry!  (Especially since Kevin and I are both prone to car-sickness). Luckily, the girls didn't mind wearing them at all!

Kendall doing fine!

We made it to Tamarack (our favorite stop in Beckley, WV) at about 11:30.  We all went in and used the bathrooms and got lunch.  Actually, Kevin got the girls and his lunch while I corralled them into high chairs.  (Let’s just say they weren't being the most patient waiting in line).  When Kevin got to the table he had about 1 billion pounds of food, so I just munched on one of the girls' PB&Js and called it a day. 

We spent about 45 minutes to an hour at Tamarack and got back on the road.  Kendall ended up falling asleep within minutes of being back in the car, but since Kylie took her 20 minute cat nap right before lunch, there was NO WAY she was napping again.  To our surprise, she mostly stayed quiet while Kendall napped.  She just looked out the window and colored for a little while.  She also was definitely amused going through the tunnels in West Virginia and Virginia.  Those were a big hit!

The rest of the drive was fairly uneventful.  We stopped two more times.  Once just for Kevin and I to use the bathroom, and once for the girls to get out and stretch their legs.  The second stop was about 2 hours from our destination  in Randolph County, NC, and was probably the cleanest and most well-maintained rest stop I've ever seen.  The girls were in desperate need of a diaper change and clothing change (their shirts were soaked from dumping milk and juice on themselves.  Ugh, toddlers!)

Holding hands to be safe!
We went through a BK drive-through when we were about 45 minutes out.  It was already after 6PM, and we didn’t want to worry about dinner after we got there.  (Especially with Kylie's rockin' 20 minute nap that day).  We are definitely not huge fast food people (I can't even remember the last time I had Burger maybe?)  The girls got chicken fingers and apple slices, Kevin a chicken sandwich, and me a veggie burger.  Who knew BK had veggie burgers?!?

Right around 7:15PM we pulled into our beach house.  Let's just say, we were all excited to see the beach!

Blurry cell pic, but you get the idea :)
After unpacking, a quick bath, and getting some time to run around and see Grandma, Grandpa, and their Aunt, Uncle, and cousins, it was time for the little ladies to go to bed.  We used pack-n-plays this trip and they worked perfectly.  We bought some foam padding and it seemed to make them a lot more comfortable.  I was debating just getting bed rails and letting them sleep in the beds, but I am so happy we went the pack-n-play route.

After catching up with everyone, Kevin and I turned in around 11.  We were exhausted.  It had been a long, but decent day.  Again, the girls WAY exceeded my expectations.  They are such good little travelers.  We are definitely lucky!

We woke up on day one (around 7:00AM) and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise, coffee and breakfast.

After breakfast Kevin and I headed over to Food Lion while everyone else tended to the girls.  We had plans to make dinner that evening, so we needed to get everything for that in addition to food for the week.   

When we got back, it was beach time!  Let me just say, those girls LOVED LOVED LOVED the beach.  I mean they loved it.  Each time we went down it was low tide, so that was really nice for them.  It gave them tons of room to run, which was wonderful.  We spent several tireless hours on the beach that first morning.  It was a blast.

They loved splashing in these little pools of water.  Much less intimidating :)

After nap we just hung out with family at the house.  Kevin's parents were there, along with his sister, brother-in-law, and nephews, and his brother and his girlfriend.  The girls really loved hanging out with everyone.  I think they liked all of the attention.

We all enjoyed Kevin's famous Tequila-Lime Chicken fajitas, Spanish rice (dynamite recipe from my friend Kim  located here), guacamole and margaritas (for the adults only, of course!).  It was a great night, and I could tell how happy it made my in-laws to have all of their children and grandchildren together at long last!

After dinner entertainers :)