July 3, 2015: Driving to Waverly for the Fourth

I have today as a holiday at work and we got super lucky that there was no major issue today, which is really something considering we have barely had a quiet day without a disaster in close to a month, so the fact that today was scheduled to be a holiday and we actually were able to take it as one was right on the verge of being a miracle.

As it is a day off we do not need to jump out of bed and get moving super early today, which was great.  We got to sleep in and rest and relax.  But as soon as we were reasonably up we were getting onto the road to head down to Sayre, Pennsylvania for the holiday.  I am driving Liesl in the Chevy Spark while everyone else comes down in the GMC Acadia.  It was late morning when we got onto the road.  Dominica’s parents were out first in their Subaru at least fifteen minutes before the rest of us.  Francesca, Dominica and the rest of the kids were ahead of Liesl and me by a couple minutes but by the time that we got to Utica we saw them in the McDonald’s drive-thru as we went directly to the highway so we were already a few minutes ahead of them at that point.

Before I got off the Thruway in Syracuse to get onto Interstate 481 south I had already passed Dominica’s parents.  Liesl and I made good time all the way down to Sayre.  It was an easy drive.  This is, I am pretty sure, the first time that Liesl and I have traveled alone so far.  This was quite a long trip for just the two of us.

Everyone else went directly to Dominica’s aunt’s house in Waverly but Liesl and I went directly to the Hampton Inn, which is right down the street from Dominica’s aunt’s house, and checked in and made sure that everything was set with the rooms.  Our family has one room and Francesca’s has another just down the hall on the second floor.  Liesl climbed right up on the king bed when we got there with her iPad and chilled for a bit.  I had skipped taking a shower this morning figuring that I would take one here so I took the opportunity to take a nice, long, relaxing shower.  Boy have I missed high end American showers – that is one thing that we do so much better in the US than in Europe.

By the time that I was out of the shower Liesl was fast asleep, rolled up and completed encased in the top blanket.  She was so adorable all hidden away.  It took a bit of work to wake her up and convince her to go down to the car so that we could go join everyone up the street in Waverly.

As soon as I arrived at the house, everyone was getting into cars to take the kids into Elmira to some municipal park there that has a huge slide that the kids really love.  So I drove Liesl there and we all had a great time.  Had to be there for an hour or more.  This was the fastest slide in a playground that I have ever seen.  To make it even faster they were using wax paper to speed people up.  The slide was so fast that most of the kids, including Madeline and Emily, would shoot right off of the bottom of it.  I had to catch a lot of kids coming down before they ate grass (or mud) at the bottom.  Liesl loved the slide and did it a lot, maybe more than anyone, but she did not do it super fast and never needed to be caught at the bottom.  Luciana kept thinking that she wanted to do it and would climb up to the top but would only come down the slide if one of her bigger cousins, mostly Alex, would hold her on their laps when they did it.

We got back from the playground and it was time for everyone to change and get over to the country club or golf course right around the corner as we were doing a big family dinner there.

While we were at dinner, Liesl bit into a roll and lost yet another tooth!  This time it was her fifth one out in about five weeks.  Her front teeth are already all gone.  She is losing teeth farther back.  She has like no teeth left with which to eat anything.  But she has caught up to Garrett now!

It was getting dark when we got back the house.  We visited for a while but were kicked out early as the older generation wanted to get to bed.  So Diane went and picked up some beer that we brought back to the Hampton and she, Dominica, Francesca and I drink in our hotel room until late at night.  Diane had quite a time show us her collection of Helium Booth video that now Dominica and Francesca are addicted to making as well.

All of the kids ended up staying up quite late as well.  They are going to be really tired tomorrow.