After our trip to Atlanta and the horrible night’s stay at the hotel. We chose to head north Monday rather than stay one more day. That caused us some serious issues monetarily but we didn’t know about that until Wednesday morning. Turns out the hotel ‘holds’ both nights money until when you check in. We had to wait days until the money was released making the ending of our vacation tight because I hadn’t planned to pay for an extra couple hundred dollars! We did get the money back in the end.
On the road reading our newest homeschooling book, Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day: Exploring Creation with Zoology 1
Monday night we traveled north towards Tennessee. Chattanooga, TN met us at the border. We got there as the sun had set and the city was laid out all alight. What a beautiful sight!
We passed an exit with lots of hotels thinking ‘oh we should try this one…’ but we were not able to maneuver through traffic fast enough. That’s okay right? We were on the edge of a large city and on the main highway through town. How wrong we were!
Exit after exit passed with no hotels. By this point we had been in the van for several hours and the kids were done for the day. Finally in South Pittsburgh (very funny considering we live south of Pittsburgh) we found a Holiday in Express that had a room we could fit in. It was a very nice, clean, loved the people working there.
The only big disappointment we had with the hotels we liked so far was no pool. The kids were really starting to get antsy about pool time. We promised them we would find a hotel with an open pool for the next day.
Tuesday we traveled through TN. Just south of Nashville there was a really nice gun store we stopped at. I haven’t had a gun in my hands since the stroke. I have asked hubby for a hand gun but I needed to feel them in my weak hand to know what would work for me. We stopped and I got to try some handguns.
***PS for those that don’t know I was a national level competition handgun shooter. I once tried for the Atlanta Olympics but fell just shy of making the team Any way I trained for years. Up to 8 hours a day for several years. I even went to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO for training and competitions.**
The not feeling good nap :(
The salesman did not know that. I picked up my favored .45 my hand was too weak to hold it securely or steady. The hand started shaking almost instantly. The salesman must have thought that was a sign of being scared. He suggested I get some firing range time in before I gave up on a .45. I was nice to him and told him I had lots of range experience. After trying some other handguns I am happy with my decision on my dream gun. Dear salesman women can be well versed in weapons just like men can be totally inept. Each person is totally different!
After that little stop GR and R started talking about how they didn’t feel too good. By the time we got to Nashville we chose to not go on any sight seeing trips because
Finally pool time!
the kids had upset tummies. We traveled on through TN and into southern Illinois. We found a wonderful hotel next to a brand new sports stadium, so it was new too AND had an open pool! But since it was in early spring and midweek we got a great rate!
That evening the ickies moved in. Gr threw up. R got a nasty headache. The next day we stayed in the same hotel because no one felt good enough to travel and see the sights in St Louis.
The St Louis Arch
Thursday morning we drove up to St Louis and saw the St Louis arch, in the pouring rain. We sang MISSISSIPPI the whole way across the Mississippi river. Talked alot about the pioneers and move westward without fast speedy vans. It was lots of fun.
The family helped me set up my table and my wonderful assistant Bella helped me for the first night of the convention. I met lots of wonderful families and was so blessed and honored to have gone!
That night back in the hotel. The pool was open. The kids swam once again with daddy. But now Gr was really sick, R and M had a fever, G was now sick. The next morning GR threw up coming back from breakfast and never quite perked back up. Chris had to drop me off at the convention and go right back to the hotel and let the kids lay down.
That day, Friday, was wonderful. The workshops went well. I was VERY busy all day long.
That evening ALL the kids were sick. Bella got sick multiple times. R, GR, M,and G all got sick. I had to call the manager so many times we got to know each other. Fresh sheets and towels all night long until 4 am in the morning. Complicating this was that in order to have our whole family stay the hotel had to break us up into two rooms. So I was on my own with sick kids and Chris was on his own with sick kids. Funny moment of the night came when we met at the door way each of us awaiting the manager and more linens.
The next day I had a workshop and I was the final speaker for the day. Chris and I thought about what to do. Should I stay in the hotel and get sleep so I didn’t get sick. The more we talked the more certain each of us were that I HAD TO TALK. Chris told me, “There is someone going to listen to your talk today that desperately needs you. God will protect you.”
My final talk at the St Louis Home Educators EXPO
I went and did my workshops, talked with many families, ended the day on a high note of finishing the EXPO with my talk. Chris and the kids showed up feeling and looking much better at the end of the day. I was not exhausted and sick like I normally am if I don’t get a full night’s sleep. I was protected from the physical fallout of the night without sleep and I didn’t get sick like the kids did!
My final talk with a parent in St Louis was a parent in tears telling me that I changed how they see their child and they were so thankful. That is WHY I love speaking at homeschooling conventions and helping out families. The Lord has blessed our family with a unique tough life but he has also blessed us with a wonderful unique experience to work with families in need. Thank you Lord!