We had a few basic criteria when choosing where to take our family vacation this year. First, it had to be somewhere you could drive, for obvious economic reasons. Second, it had to be somewhere only a few hours away, for not-killing-my-husband-or-crabby-toddler reasons. Third, it had to be a long weekend since I'm trying to save up as much vacation as I can for an extended maternity leave. We settled on Mammoth Cave.
We packed up the car early on Friday morning to make our journey. Were all very excited.
However, Sophie's excitement waned a bit as she started to succumb to the gently rocking motion of the car.
After three and a half hours on the road, we make it to our hotel and grab some lunch. Then, off to the pool, where I forgot to bring my camera. After about an hour in the freezing water, we decided it was time for a nap and some dinner. Here's Sophie and Daddy heading out.
I think she's getting huge, but when I see her standing next to Daddy, she seems so itty-bitty. The sleeping arrangements got a bit tricky. We didn't specify anything special for our room and got two double beds. Never having slept on a double bed, I really had no concept of how small that really was. Sleeping on a California King made these tiny beds seem like midieval torture. We quickly decided that Mommy and Daddy would each get their own bed and that Sophie would take turns snuggling with us. Daddy graciously offerred to take the first night.
They really are so sweet together. Most of the time, if Sophie has to choose, she picks Daddy first. Unless she's hurt or scared, like at nearly midnight when she rolled off of the bed and onto the floor. She was nearly inconsolable. I finally got her calmed down and sleeping in my arms on my bed, until I realized that the bed wasn't even big enough for the three of us - Sophie, Mommy and Cashew aka my big ole belly. I made a little nest on the floor out of my comforter and transitioned Stinkerbell. She didn't seem to mind a bit. We even had to wake her up after both showering because she was in such a deep sleep. This is where she slept for the remainder of the trip.
She didn't let the night's happening scare her from the beds, though. She was up and wrestling with Daddy after breakfast again. It became clear to us pretty early on that Sophie was really enjoying all of this unadulterated family time with Mommy and Daddy. Since we both work full time, it's not very often that she gets 5 whole days with us all day. She started to get jealous whenever one of us left the room...even if it meant shutting the door to the bathroom to get a little privacy. How dare we seclude ourselves from her. She let her feelings be known as she'd bang on the door until you finally came out.
We met up with my friend Mandy and her family the next morning to head off to the Cave. They had signed us all up for a tour that afternoon, so we tried out some of the activities in nearby Cave City in the meantime. First up Huckleberry Hound Miniature Golf and Go Carts. Here's our budding Tiger woods in action - and cheating.
Yes folks, apparently if you pick up the ball and just stick your club in the hole, it counts. Overall, though, I think she did great for her first time. It had been quite rainy the past few days and the greens were extra squishy. Our new walker had a bit of a hard time staying vertical, and ended up with soaking wet pants. I felt horrible for her. It's bad enough to have wet pants, but to have the wind hit you and go into a cold cave with them just seemed like torture.
So we headed to Cracker Barrel to get some lunch and hopefully find a bathroom with an air dryer. Though we were out of luck with the latter, we were inside in the warmth long enough for her pants to dry. We realized while inside that we had forgotten Hada, her travel buddy seen above napping with Sophie. She's become quite dependent on Hada for car napping, so we stopped by the Cracker Barrel General Store on the way out and picked up Snuffles, a fuzzy elephant shaped pillow. She was quite a fan and slept all the way to the cave.
In fact she was kind of angry with us for waking her up when we got to the cave. Sophie next got to enjoy another first...her first bus ride.
My camera wasn't really cooperating too well inside the cave, but I did get this fam shot.
And we took the bus back through the park to our car.
Sunday was our last day there, and, incidentally, Mother's Day. I got to spend the first hour + of Mother's Day doing one of my favorite things. Snuggling with Sophie in bed watching a movie. She was being so sweet...almost as if she knew it was Mother's Day. At one point in time she lifted up my shirt to expose my belly and gave my belly button - aka the baby - a kiss.
After a yummy breakfast at Shoney's, we traveled back to Cave City for a trip to Gun Town Mountain. For those that have never been, GTM is a wild west town, complete with stores you can enter, a salloon that has shows and sells real refreshments, a petting zoo and a shootout and stunt show right in the middle of Main Street. To get there we had to ride a ski lift, which was horrifying for my acrophobic self, but we really had a good time. After the Can Can show, Mandy's stepson Mason got to take a garter off of a saloon girl. He was super excited.
Daddy checking out the coffins at the Undertaker's....