I think we can all acknowledge that what began as a rough start has morphed into a rough trip altogether. I keep asking Tom if he thinks we should just go home and he said "No, we're not gonna go home, I just wanna keep toying with the idea when things go bad."
We have had a lot of fun, and obviously some memorable hiccups (disasters) in our plan. We have had to change course so many times that we are a couple of days behind schedule. It may seem like no big deal to switch gears, but when each day you are in a different state... Being a few days behind means that we are hundreds of miles behind schedule. It also means that campsite reservations have to be canceled and new campsites found, and that all of the planning and research we have done ahead of time (and some fees paid) are all out the window.
We spent three nights in Virginia beach with Uncle Paul. We had a great time visiting with him, and the kids loved every second of playing "lobster meat," bird watching, crashing the neighbor's sleepover to jump on their trampoline helping make the pancake breakfast. And despite the flash floods... We got to see most of what we hoped to.
We got all of the laundry done, re-ziplocked all the clothes, re-packed the car and re-stocked groceries for the next week's meals. We drove a few hours through the Outer Banks, NC to do the driving trail through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It is said to be the one place in North America where you can predictably see a black bear. (This is why we opted for the driving trail instead of hiking right into a bear's mouth.)
We got there at 4:32pm (32 minutes after they close the gates.) One of the park service police officers saw us sitting outside the gate and came to see if we needed help. When we explained that we needed some tips on where to go from there since our plan fell through his only advice was to "take a Xanax and go to a hotel" because we are "crazy."
Quite the outdoorsmen.
When we arrived at our campsite, we were greeted by a very crowded, wet, swamp of a campsite, and the top third of a large man's butt crack.
We knew that if we stayed there we would be at risk of drowning in our sleep, and we would also be at risk of getting a peak at the other two thirds of the big, bad b-crack.
That's when we called for reinforcements. A few days ago we got an offer from some friends, Robb and Tab Hibbard, to come and stay with them in Virginia. We know them well enough to be excited to see them, but definitely not well enough to actually take them up on an offer that I am certain they made thinking "Let's just put it out there, I mean... There is no way they'll take us up on it! That would be so rude! We hardly know them!"
Well, surprise! We really are that rude. Or desperate as the case may be. So, we are doubling back about 5 hours to stay in a not-swamp with almost-friends who, I am certain, will keep their cracks concealed. God provides.
So, we are not calling it quits just yet. We will collect ourselves and forge ahead with a new plan. Or we will just join the Hibbard household permanently, depending on how it goes.
Big shout out to Uncle P and to Uncle Robb and Auntie Tab for their generous and hospitable willingness to house the pathetic. And an even bigger shout AT the man who's trousers were just low enough in back that it made you want to gouge out your eyes.