Sunday, February 20, 2011

Family Road Trip

My dad took the girls and me to the airport. For the first time, I took three little girls alone on the plane. We flew non-stop to Miami. Yuni was there at the airport to meet us. We stayed in the home of one of Yuni’s customers. It was all fixed up, but they were still in their alternate housing, so we had a whole house to ourselves. Even though we were in Miami six months after the hurricane, the streets were still piled high with debris. Some of the houses in the cul-de-sac were inhabited, some were partly repaired, and others were still completely ruined.

We spent a day or two in Miami meeting the people whose houses Yuni had helped repair and visiting the places he had scoped out during his time there. He had been working six days every week and had not really done any sightseeing, so he only knew how to take us to the beach. He had a van and we headed north on our first family road trip.

We visited friends in Orlando and took the kids to Disney World. Then we visited Lynne in Atlanta where we saw Stone Mountain and the Coca Cola bottling plant. We went to up to DC where we visited our friends from church, Cousin Brian’s family, and the pandas at the National Zoo. The twins turned five while we were in DC, and Cousin Brian took us all to Chuck E. Cheese’s for a party. It created a dangerous precedent.

From DC we went north to Philadelphia where we met my mother’s cousins. They had a parrot named DB (Dumb Bird) that had the run of the house. The kids were entranced. We also visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, but I think the parrot was more interesting to the children. From Philly we headed up to Connecticut to visit my brother Tom. He took us to Mystic Seaport. It is a living history museum with people in period costume working and doing the normal activities of people in a seaport around the time of the American Revolution. The girls thoroughly enjoyed it.

On the way back, we went to a number of other living history museums. There was one in Virginia with a number of different colonial farmhouses, each in the style of immigrants from different countries. We also went to Williamsburg. We stayed with friends of friends from church. They homeschooled their children, and their son played the piano and harpsichord. The night we arrived he was giving a harpsichord concert in one of the halls in Williamsburg. We all attended. It was fascinating. We spent another two days there, and every evening, I had long conversations with the mother about homeschooling. It seemed that it could be a feasible option, especially if there were resources in the community that gave the kids opportunities for enrichment. The second day we were touring Williamsburg, the daughter of our hosts was in a sewing circle in one of the mansions. The girls were so excited to be in on the secret.

When we got back down to Miami, we did more sightseeing based on my guide books. We went to Sea World and the Everglades. The highlight of the Everglades was an airboat ride where the guide fed marshmallows to the alligators. I expect that the alligators in the Everglades all have rotted teeth.

We were on the road a little more than a week. The girls and I went back to Seattle first, while Yuni finished up a job or two before coming back himself. Upon his return he began to set up his own business. Business was quite slow. The first month he had one half-day job and earned less than $100. Of course, we had spent what he thought was surplus on our great trip. I continued with my translation and took on more students. By the next month, more work came in and things got better and better, but we had a tense time of it for about six weeks.


Travis Erwin said...

Money is never wasted on book or traveling. That is my motto.

Teresa said...

Hi Travis,

Thanks for stopping by. I don't think the money was wasted, but we sure were tight for a couple of months. We made good memories, though.

BTW, Congratulations on your story that will be coming out soon!!

Cloudia said...

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



Cloudia said...


we know you are busy-

but post a picture or something.

we MISS you!

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral