Let the celebration continue! One night we did sparklers (once we found out fireworks are illegal to do on the beach). My kids are fearful of sparklers anyway, but these had short fuses so to speak, they burned hot and fast. It was a challenge to get them all lit and get out of the way fast enough for a picture!
Here we are, my mom, brothers and I (really bad pool- hair day for me. I look a little like a wet rat. haha).
Saying good night and goodbye to Grandma. They had to leave really early the next morning.
But, a few days before they left, we did manage to get family pictures done! I know, a miraculous event with 9 children. We employed the aid of the TV and cartoons for the indoor shots. They might not all be smiling but they were at least looking in the general direction.
The whole family, all together at last. Can't wait for the next reunion!
We went out on the deck for some more action and individual family portraits. It was hotter than hot out there, but I'm so excited to have a current family picture! We haven't had one done in way too long!
Our last two nights were spent playing this game: Ticket to Ride. I really want to buy this game, it was a lot of fun, but made even more fun staying up late and chatting with family!
Sadly, it was time to come home. The kids had so much fun they even wanted a picture of our rental car before we left.
Our flight out of Myrtle Beach got delayed, so we had some time on our hands. We didn't know then jet how much time we'd have! Good thing I was prepared with lots of "mystery activities" for the plane! The kids were just digging into their first one.
We got to Charlotte just fine, late, but fine and then things went downhill. Our flight to SlC got delayed later and later at least 6 times, until it was finally cancelled! It was a circus trying to find a new way home, our options weren't great either: stay a few more days at our expense or have another layover in Phoenix and then home, or other flights with even more layovers. We chose to go through Phoenix. Our flight from Charlotte to Phoenix got delayed as well. We boarded that plane at 1:30am. I'm kicking myself now that I never took a picture of the kids sleeping on the floor there, but I guess we were all exhausted by that point. The flight was only a few hours so we tried as hard as we could to get some sleep. Once we got to Arizona (at 3 am) I thought we were going to have to find a bench for us all to sleep on for a few hours. We had a mixup with Nicole's ticket however, and that took a while to straighten out, but they did give us a hotel room for the night as a consolation prize. I thought Hallelujah!
Well, we had to wait quite a while for the shuttle from the hotel to come pick us up. Here are the kids waiting with us in the middle of the night, so so so tired, but still cordial (or just dazed)! They just wanted to sleep.
We got to our "hotel" around 4:15. We checked in and went to find our room, nearly impossible since the door didn't have a number! It look liked it had been ripped off the wall years ago, not a good sign of what wonderful treasures we'd find inside the room. Jeremy and I are clean freaks, but this place was a disaster!! Yuck. The only reason I could lay my head down and actually sleep in that room was because I was so unbelievably tired at that point. By the time we got settled we had only one hour to actually sleep before needing to catch another shuttle and hop on another plane. It had been 120 degrees that day in Arizona and our room felt like it was about 100! It wasn't a restful sleep, but it was better than nothing.
Our next flight left on time and got us there safe. We were all so excited to get home and have a nap! But we soon discovered that our luggage was missing, and our car seats. After waiting in line with the rest of passengers (we saw the same faces everywhere since we were all stuck in Charlotte), they said they didn't know where it was. The airport also doesn't have any car seats to borrow so we had to make a pit stop at walmart to buy some new ones! (We are still waiting for a reimbursement).
Once we made it home safely we all crashed and had a nap. It was so good to be home again! Natalie was still asleep when I woke up and I found her like this in our front entry with all her animals she had been missing. The cat had been cuddling with her too at one point.
Ah Home Sweet Home!