I love you so much I went to WalMart

This is my daughter’s ninth summer attending resident Girl Scout camp. She’s been handling preparing and packing for the last few years.

But this year, her drama almost made me lose my mind.

Because that’s what teen girls do, right?

Our recent road trip should have made this simple. She needed to take clothes out of one suitcase, launder them and repack in a bigger suitcase.

Except she just didn’t do it.

Until Thursday. I ordered her makeshift riding boots on Tuesday with two-day shipping, except the web site acted up and my husband had to do it over from a different computer and forgot the 2-day shipping.

Luckily, they arrived Friday evening.

Drop off at Camp Wood Haven is Sunday, 1-4. Saturday she makes a list of things she needs, including the shampoo she just lost after our road trip, a new water bottle despite the fact that we have a million, and a swimsuit because suddenly the two bikinis I bought her a few weeks ago aren’t good enough.

But we did it. And got her the cutest black one piece with scalloped edges.

Then this morning her shoelaces broke and while she had compiled a list of addresses to send mail, she didn’t have stamps.

So I went to Payless and got shoelaces AND spare shoes. Stopped at the grandparents because old people always have stamps.

Killing it.

And we decided to go to IHOP since it was a highlight of our road trip. The IHOP was packed so full it would have failed a fire inspection.

So we ended up at Arby’s. My sandwich didn’t agree with me but darn do I love their cookies.

We arrive at camp. It’s 100 degrees. Really, it is. They ask her to grab her swimsuit for her swim test. She forgot it.

“How?” I ask. “We bought it yesterday?!?!”

They ask her if she has a sports bra and gym shorts. Nope. She only wears jean shorts.

Now I should have made her wear left behind lost and found clothes. But she is my baby and she looked so sad.

So instead of accompanying her to her unit, I went to WalMart 30 minutes away.

I hate WalMart. But through the farms and Mennonite country, my husband and I went to WalMart.

I found this cute blue suit. Blue is her favorite color.

I was going to ask someone at the customer service desk to staple a note on it so the camp can deliver it.

It was too busy.

I saw these brown paper sacks at the cafe. I can write on those. Smile.

I got to the car and realized I forgot my iPhone X. I have NEVER done that before. Luckily the cashier noticed.

Phone retrieved and swimsuit delivered.

We won’t know until Friday if the child liked it.

Left for camp: about 11:45

Arrive at IHOP after grandparents: 12:50

Arrive at camp: about 2:20

Left camp: 2:50

Returned to camp from WalMart: 4:05

University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium

The girls asked to go to this small aquarium on the campus of the University of Georgia’s marine education center. It was small, but focused on the local habitat. It was beautifully maintained and featured a touch tank.

The grounds had several natural trails.

It was a lovely way to experience Georgia’s wetlands, but bring your big spray. The mosquitoes feasted on us.

img_6998

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Silly videos from the aquarium:

time lapse of sea turtles:https://youtu.be/wEOAza9gJTA

Striped Burrfish: https://youtu.be/WNeshXxtoFQ

sea horses: https://youtu.be/xlnhigLT0aE

Spiny Lobster: https://youtu.be/u-YtlJDupRY

Octopus: https://youtu.be/lut1QpLBm8U

Lion fish: https://youtu.be/zQ81lW0uPJM

Turtles swimming: https://youtu.be/q2KKFWRviYg

Petting the horseshoe crabs: https://youtu.be/BwF12AwPlA8

Horseshoe crabs: https://youtu.be/OsaaeohWKBE

~ all materials shot with an iPhone X

Leopold Ice Cream And Soda Fountain, Savannah, Georgia

I ate my way up and down the East Coast. I don’t have a bucket list of things to do, mine contains things to eat.

We were meandering through downtown Savannah and the morning was hot and I was hungry.

I’m always hungry.

In the vicinity of Savannah College of Art and Design, I noticed this ice cream shop and soda fountain.

Leopold’s.

It didn’t open until 11, and it was 10:45. People were lining up outside.

By the time we ate our ice cream, the line was out the door and every table was full.

All-you-can-eat Japanese and bubble tea

While in Savannah, we took the girls for Japanese since they both love sushi. It was an all-you-could-eat restaurant, which meant every time you finished something you could order another dish.

My daughter ordered so much sushi and appetizers that she forgot to order an entree. And she tried to teach her companion to use chopsticks. She wasn’t a good teacher.

They had a large variety of bubble tea. Gayle got strawberry. I got melon. It was our 16-year-old’s first bubble tea. She didn’t like or dislike it.

Personally I love tapioca in every form.

Day 7… and we’re not killing each other

Today is my daughter’s 14th birthday.

She wasn’t happy when I sailed across the room and leapt on her bed screaming in a falsetto, “it’s my baby’s birthday!”

At 6:30 a.m.

Today we hope to make it to around Richmond, Va., since we are due home tomorrow and I have to be back at work at 7 a.m. Monday.

I wonder if they missed me.

Our exciting plans for today include the bird sanctuary that was closed on Monday and an afternoon visit to the paranormal museum.

And finally… the Quality Inn right off I-95 in Fayetteville, N.C., may have been my favorite hotel balancing price and function. With taxes the room was about $70. The breakfast wasn’t exciting but in included a variety of hot items in addition to the continental selections. And personally, I loved that they offered peanut butter with their bread products.

The room was clean but sparse. Refrigerator a tad busted up but while trying to freeze water bottles into ice cubes for the cooler we almost had one freeze. The water pressure in the toilet was poor. But the pool open 10 a.m. to dusk and it was clean and a nice size for a small hotel. Coffee was decent. And they had a former room on the first floor converted into a fitness center. And a public laundry room.

Day… I don’t even know… Savannah to Charleston

I think it’s Thursday. I’m not sure. I’m drinking another bad cup of coffee, but decaf, as it is almost 9:30 p.m. Today was a fun day, we didn’t get that much exercise but the heat is still near 100 degrees. And I have yet to get a sunburn.

It took me about twenty minutes to figure out how to use the single serve Keurig. Hey, it’s been a long day… Because of all the crazy food we ate today, the teens opted for snacks instead of a meal so we stopped at Target (beer and wine. Sigh. Can you imagine beer and wine at Target in Pennsylvania. Gayle wouldn’t split a six pack.) The teens decided on cereal and milk. One got Cocoa pebbles, the other got Honeycomb. That got me craving Life so I got Market Pantry Cinnamon Oat Bites.

In my confusion, I forgot to get myself dinner. (We have a microwave we could have gotten frozen dinners.) But the milk is in the kids’ room. Yes, the kids have their own room. That’s a story for later in this post. So, right now I’m eating a half a box of cereal dry with an alligator slim jim.

But let me start with the beginning of the day…

If I can remember.

After our excursion to Waffle House, we headed to the University of Georgia’s aquarium. I will post more about that later, because even though it was small, it was very well put together and I got lots of photos and video.

Then we went to the Tybee Island lighthouse and climbed 178 stairs. The grounds of the lighthouse were amazing. It had three tenders at one point. And there were some fortifications to explore, but I will break those into another post too.

I want this to be about the journey.

After lunch at Chicken Lickin’, we took the scenic route up to Charleston and stopped at the Carolina Cider Company. Soda, pastry, CIDER in apple, peach, cherry and blueberry. Various fruit butters, I bought sweet potato butter and a bottle of pecan syrup. And the alligator stick. And a butterscotch root beer.

I booked the room via Hotel Tonight again. The deals near Charleston were no where near as cheap as all of our other destinations. So I splurged and picked the “solid” hotel instead of the “basic” one. So we are in a Wyndham Garden hotel tonight. Except I couldn’t request 2 beds, so we ended up with two rooms with king beds. But so far, we have been way under budget with hotel rooms so… you win some, you lose some.

At first I planned on dividing us by family. My daughter didn’t like that idea. So we let the kids have the second room.

We went to Azalea Park and learned driving through town that Summerville is the home of the first tea plantation and where Southern style sweet tea was born.

And the evening was spent at the hotel swimming and eating breakfast cereal.

Boogie Woogie Bugle Girl

Since we were staying so close to Petersburg Battlefield, we thought we’d run over and experience some Civil War history before we left town.

If I remember tonight, I will upload a photo gallery. Very. Cool. Place.

The visitors center wasn’t open. We arrived too early in the morning. But the National Park is gorgeous. Sadly, we found a gazillion mosquitoes. So by 9 am I was already providing a hardy breakfast for my insect companions.

The Battlefield has been meticulously groomed to not only preserve the history, but uses tall grass to indicate where various forces stood during battles.

Video of tall grass

The teens fell in love with the cannons. And we had fun wandering around. Then we saw the ranger raise the flag so we went into the visitors center and watched the movie.

OH MY.

The American Civil War is such a sad period in American history. The aggression among own our people. The race issue. The slavery issue. Our own people tearing our nation apart, destroying ourselves and our resources.

The battles in Petersburg were pivotal to the end of the Civil War, and some of the strategy involved were amazing. During the Battle of the Crater, the Northern Forces dug a tunnel under the Southern camp and filled it with something like 8000 pounds of gunpowder.

The resulting explosion was the 19th century version of a nuclear mushroom cloud.

And the men ran into the deep fiery crater to fight. Might be worth googling. Amazing story.

And then my daughter found a bugle in the gift shop.

She’s wanted a bugle for years.

A real brass Calvary bugle.

So she used her birthday money to buy it.