|From left to right: Me, Abigail(11 weeks), my hubby, Stewart, Owen(4), my mom, Lora, and Liam(1 1/2)|
At the beginning of this month, I went on a 1,000 mile drive (one direction) with my husband our three children up to Wisconsin to visit with my mother. From our home in Arkansas, it was a long trip, but satisfying and to my surprise my children did not drive me completely out of my mind! :P In fact they were all extremely well behaved for such young children(my oldest being four) on such a long car ride.
My hubby and I took turns driving our over-packed mini van, stopping every three hours, night and day, to feed our 11 week old daughter and give our sons a little break. We didn't get to see a whole lot of tourist places along the way since we stuck to the interstate as much as possible, but my oldest had a blast at the few interesting visitors centers that we stopped at along the way.
I hadn't had a chance to see my mother for three and a half years and she'd only met my first child before this, so this was a very special visit for us. My mother was in her glory, doting on my boys and cuddling my 11 week old daughter.
During our visit we went with my mother and my family to the beaches I grew up swimming at. My sons have never seen a beach, much less a lake as large as Superior, so you can imagine their amazement. Afterward we stopped at one of my favorite restaurants, Breakwater, where my mother and I introduced the boys to a special drink we came up with when I was a kid(raspberry tea with a scoop of ice cream. Yum!). My younger son ate with a spoon by himself for the first time and blew our minds by trying to talk to the man sitting in the booth behind him. Seeing as he is the shyest of my children and the man was a complete stranger that had paid us no attention at all, I could hardly believe it!
In addition, we went up to the tribal office to see about having my children enrolled into the tribe (I'm a card carrying member of the Bad River Band of Chippewa) and learned that things were not as simple in that regard as I remembered, which meant I'll need to make another trip next year. Not that I mind ;) While I was there, I reunited with an aunt on my father's side of the family and got contact information for some of my other family members that I've not been in contact with for years.
The day before we went home, I also got to meet an uncle of mine that I'd never met before, who showed my oldest how to use a film camera. I see a little photographer developing :D
All in all, it was a great visit and I hated to go back home. It was a shame that I only had three days to spend up there and didn't get to visit nearly as many people as I'd have liked. Even so, I loved being able to share pieces of my childhood with my children. And its good to be home.