We left last Friday after the final day of Vacation Bible School around 12:30 p.m.; it was a late start for the four hundred forty-six mile trip from our home to Walnut Grove, Minnesota, one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites.
The trip out was uneventful. Not serene, not terribly quiet, but relatively uneventful nonetheless. We stopped the van at this lock and dam on the Mississippi River and the kids were entertained for a few minutes by a rather large ship waiting its turn for the water level to be evened out.
And then, serenity. Dad and Diana loaded Madeleine and Hank into their car for the remainder of the trip while Joe and I easily chatted with Elisabeth. We arrived in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota-- the closest we could find a hotel with availability to Walnut Grove-- around 9 p.m. Friday night and while cars were unloaded, hotel rooms checked into, and plans made for the following day, the kids and I (and later the remaining adults) jumped into the indoor pool and hot tub to unwind.
When Madeleine was 2.5 years old she could easily swim with water wings and, if prompted by an adult standing in the pool below her with open arms, would jump into the awaiting arms. When Hank was 2.5 years old nothing could coax him into jumping into the pool, waiting arms or not. Now Elisabeth is 2.5 years old and that girl the the craziest of the three. Not only can she swim easily with water wings, she can twirl around in the water, point her toes out of the water, swim where ever she wants to go and she jumps. Goodness gracious does she jump. She cares not whether there is an adult anywhere near her and, in fact, an adult that's too close might to told to "just go 'way; I do it myfelf." She does leaping jumps, twirling jumps, and cannonballs. In fact she does any kind of jump Madeleine and Hank do and she does it with no hesitation.
Hmmmm. This was supposed to be a short post since it was a short day, vacation-wise.