It's taking me twice as long to write all this stuff as it did to actually take the vacation. Oh well, isn't that just the normal physics of time and space in the universe? It also take four times longer to plan a vacation than it takes to go on one. Just like it takes three times longer to prepare a meal than it takes to eat it. This is why I always hated having to take physics in school. If you are going to drop a water balloon out of an airplane at whatever feet up traveling at x speed and falling at some kind of velocity, you should at least get to enjoy the splat for an equal amount of time as it took you to set up such an improbable scenario. Stupid physics.
Anywho, our last day in Indy was mostly a mellow affair.
Maggie "taught" Grandma the Great how to play dominoes.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Grandma has actually played dominoes before, but don't tell Mags.
Maggie Jane, Domino Queen
That thing Maggie has in her hand is the knife to her wooden cookie baking play set, otherwise these are a couple of darling photos. No Grandmas were injured in the taking of these photos!
Last Day of Swimming - Mags and Katie were pros at this point, floating around without us holding them.
Another Fowler family swim pic - with the girls free range floating!
So Pleased With Herself
Maggie actually tried to swim around but Kate preferred to just float wherever the current took her.
The real drama of the day took place at dinner time. We spent the week trying to be laid back about the girls' schedule and routines, but this is very hard for us because we are not laid back about much of anything when it comes to the girls. We're sorry, but that's just who we are. We'd had a low key day and there were plans afoot to have dinner out at a cafeteria style restaurant in a nearby town. That sounded doable, especially since dinner out the night before had gone very well, so we tried to set aside our controlling instincts and roll with it. The girls' usual dinner time passed by and we let it go knowing that they had been a little behind their normal schedule all day and had both had long, late naps. We gave them a few snacks. Then it took a bit longer of a car ride than we expected to get to the restaurant. The girls were getting antsy, but I figured since it was a cafeteria, we'd be sitting down with plates of food in no time. We tried to be relaxed. Then we got there and the line was out the door because by then it was right in the middle of dinner rush and this place was apparently super popular. Oh, boy. We should have said no right then. But the line seemed to be moving quickly and we were with a big group and we don't see my family very often and and and... I should have said no. We should have grabbed the girls some McD's and headed home. I should have said no, but I didn't. Then I realized that I had a couple of toys for the girls, but not the collection of things I normally would take with us to dinner out because I had assumed we'd waltz in and sit down to food immediately or at least be waiting at a table, not standing in a line, so we all tried our best to entertain the girls with car keys and cell phones and songs. I should have said we'd see them later back at the house and got the heck out of there. Ugh. Finally we sat down to our delicious dinner, but by then both kids were in a state. Maggie insisted on eating her chocolate cake first before her chicken and Kate had already been snacking on half my dinner before we even got to the table. We wolfed our food down and my dad and I chased Kate around the dining room so that at least she wouldn't start screaming again. Then I heard Maggie's shrieks from across the room. I missed the whole incident, but I was told that everyone started passing around their dessert to have a bite of everything and Aunt Sandy had playfully begged Maggie for a bite of her enormous slice of cake. Maggie finally begrudgingly relented. But then, when Uncle Everett took an innocent bite of her cake, she threw a huge tantrum yelling about how "that man with Aunt Sandy" (!!) had stolen a bite of her cake! Mike and I had to gather up our embarrassing progeny, borrow the keys to the house, and get the heck out of there. I should've said no right from the start. In hindsight, I can see that clearly. Well, now we have another kooky family story to tell when Maggie gets to be a teenager (she was still talking about that cake for days afterwards). And I learned my lesson about pushing the envelope too far.
Day Seven: Indianapolis to Buffalo, 509 miles, 8 hours and 42 minutes (10 with stops)
Snoozing in the car using Bearby as a pillow
I can't even remember what happened on the drive at this point (Sorry!), except that there was a lot of a video about animal cartoons that my mom and dad gave the girls, a lot of corn fields, and a lot of Ohio. We ate at Steak 'n Shake - it's a really good thing we don't have any of those in MA because I would be forced to eat there all the time. It was surprisingly good for fast food. We just managed to avoid storms all along the way. And then we stayed overnight in a hotel in Buffalo, NY. Buffalo never fails to depress. There must be a nice part of it - maybe closer to the lakefront? - but we've never seen it.
Day Eight: Buffalo to Boston, 463 miles, 8 hours (actually 8 hours with stops - yeah for the NY & MA turnpikes!)
I-90 through NY state is a turnpike all the way across from Buffalo to Albany. Turnpikes are boring as all get out, but the one in NY is very convenient. They have nice rest stops which are quite close together and there are great signs along the route telling you when the next stop will be and what they have there. Easy peasy. We made great time and zipped into MA earlier than we expected.
The most memorable part of our last day on the road came as we drove through the hills of the Berkshires. We had been harassing Maggie all day about her potty status and she'd grown snarky with us, howling in protest every time we inquired about whether or not she needed to stop for a bathroom break. The second we were farthest from a rest stop, on a stretch of mountainside highway with no shoulders and close guard rails, Maggie started freaking out about having to use the potty. You're not surprised are you? I spotted a turn out that the highway department uses for utility trucks and Mike flew off the highway and skidded to a stop in the gravel. Mags popped her first squat - and peed on my shoes for the second time on this trip. You're not surprised are you? She herself was perfectly clean and dry and spent the rest of the drive informing us that she "pee pee'd on the roadside!" She was quite proud of herself, I think.
We hit some traffic outside of Worcester, which seems to be where we always hit some traffic, so we weren't too shocked. Soon, we were passing through increasingly familiar parts of our beloved Boston, crossing over the great Charles River, and then pulling up next to our big turquoise house. As I usually do when we pull into our driveway, I called out to Maggie, "Who lives here?" and she cheered back, "It's Maggie and Kate's house!"