We've decided to travel more, and on that note we took a quick weekend trip to Asheville. We put a LOT of planning into it, and finally came up with this winning formula:
Make packing list, pack, and leave early in the morning.
Drive an hour or two to someplace fun for kids.
Play there for a couple hours, eat snack and then lunch, then go to the restroom.
Drive the rest of the way to where we're actually heading as the kids take their naps.
Spend afternoon/evening having fun.
Sleep in cheap hotel.
Spend whole next day just having a blast.
Leave around 7pm or so, with kids dressed for bed.
Loooooong drive home.
Get in and transfer kids to bed, clean car as much as possible, then completely crash and wake up way too early when the kids are up.
So that worked for us, pretty well.
We're planning to try the beach next month. My "big plan" is to do one overnight trip a month and try to continue that throughout the year. Whether it's visiting family and friends, or just trying out a new place, we really need to get away more. And I want the kids to get used to it too.
So now I'm coming up with a list of places we want to travel. The beach is one, and we can visit my brother and nephews while we're there. And we'll likely spend a week in Maine again, though that's a whole different kind of trip.
Asheville wasn't so great for kids. Not horrible, but certainly not as good as Raleigh. Asheville, as far as we could tell, seems to be more of an adult place. Lots of adults having a blast in a cool town up high in the mountains. But not a whole lot for kids. Sure, there's a small museum that we really like (that has just the nicest staff!) and Carrier Park was nice, but we were actually able to get bored more than once on this short trip.
We're thinking the beach might offer a bit more. I mean, if you don't know what to do, just go play at the beach. Not that hard.
So I guess I need to go ahead and start researching areas. There are several cities within driving distance that I'd love to "discover":
Charlotte is 2 hours away (daytrip?)
Myrtle Beach is, I think, 4 hours.
DC is 4 hours.
I've never actually been to Tennessee or South Carolina.
And Greensboro, where we stopped on the way out, seems awesome. We might actually just do a regular day trip out there since it's only an hour and a half from here.
On top of this, I'm trying to do one daytrip a week with the kids, if only to get P used to not napping. I have several possibilities for these, including the Science Museum we went to last week, a couple farms, and a "beach" on Falls Lake.
Oh, and we want to try camping. Because we're nuts like that.
Okay, so this was basically a mind dump, haha! And a nice distraction from watering my plants. Seriously, I have to go do that now, my veggies need watering, but it's almost 100 degrees outside! Aaah!
As a side note, I've also decided to drop the kids off at a drop in daycare one morning a week and just have 2-3 hours to myself where I can actually drive around and do whatever I want to do. I did that this morning and spent like an hour and a half at a Goodwill looking at clothes and bought a few outfits. I think I'll try something a little nicer next time :) I also think I'll try going to a movie (by myself!) sometime soon. Ooo, and maybe getting a manicure. And meeting people for brunch. Or just sitting in a coffee shop with a nice book. Aaah, the possibilities are endless! As is, today is probably my easiest weekday in a loooooong time, with a couple hours to myself this morning, both of them down for a nap now, dropping them off while I do yoga in a couple hours, then I'm going out tonight with a friend for a nice dinner. It's like my own little personal vacation after a weekend family vacay :)
Okay, now onto my poor wilting plants!
Lily in a loafing barn
4 days ago