Monday, June 16, 2008
"We're go-ning on a trip!"
Friday morning we left for our trip "east." Nana and Papa bought Meilani her first Little Einsteins DVD for the long plane ride to Atlanta. She's been singing that little ditty about going on a trip ever since. Only she sings "We're go-ning on a trip!" at the top of her lungs. With the help of lots of sticker books, a new doll from Nama, a fresh pack of twistable crayons and a coloring book and a deck of cards, we all survived. Daddy even took a snooze on our second flight while Meilani decorated him with cats and dogs stickers.
We arrived in Atlanta in one piece and were greeted at the airport by Ericlee's cousins, Paul and Cheri. They surprised us and got a babysitter for their kids and took us out to a classic Southern restaurant, the OK Cafe. The cafe was a funky neighborhood place with colorful art on the walls and diner-style seating. Believe it or not, this was "healthy Southern food" made with hormone-free meats and fresh local ingredients. Ericlee checked out the Meatloaf with Creole sauce while Dorina and Meilani tried rotisserie lemon chicken with collard greens and cheesy cheesy macaroni and a cornbread muffin.
Daddy dived into this colossal Southern-style strawberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Dorina had her fave, key lime pie, to finish it. What a Southern welcome! We enjoyed our time catching up with Cheri and Paul. We haven't seen them in three years.
Meilani was thrilled to arrive at Cheri and Paul's house, especially after she saw their kids' playroom. The time change wasn't stopping her. She went straight for the trains and kitchen.
Saturday morning Meilani was greeted in the playroom by her now 6-year-old cousin, Emma Grace. They became fast friends because they have similar temperaments. They both are high energy, sporty chicks.
Cheri and Paul along with Emma Grace and Harrison took us for an excursion into the city. We stopped at IKEA for some goods to add to the new Gilmore apartment (in Virginia). We also had an involuntary tour of downtown Atlanta as we took a big traffic detour. In the evening, Dorina cooked a Father's Day meal of Chicken Marsala and Tortellini for the clan. After dinner, we squeezed in a refreshing swim (yes, we're back in humidity!) at the neighborhood pool. Good times.
On Sunday, we celebrated Father's Day at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church where Paul is the Global Ministries pastor. Emma Grace graciously hung out with her little cousin in the nursery while we worshipped in the contemporary service. We even assembled the kids for a quick photo shoot in their Sunday best.
Cheri and Dorina bonded over shopping and cooking. They took a trip to Trader's Joes (They have one in Atlanta, but not Roanoke!) and dipped chocolate strawberries for Father's Day. Paul and Ericlee watched Tiger Woods make his epic comeback in golf.
Sunday night we drove to Greenville, South Carolina, and stayed with Ericlee's Uncle and Aunt. Uncle Danny and Auntie Kathy are profs at Bob Jones University. They were quite enamored with Meilani. She loved Uncle Danny's quizzes on numbers, fruits and the alphabet.
Monday morning we packed up the little Honda (borrowed from Ericlee's other uncle and aunt) and headed out for our final destination of Roanoke, Virginia. We finally arrived Monday night, exhausted but ready for six weeks of adventure.