The downside of Florida are the missing seasons. You pretty much have summer 1/2 the year and spring the other half. Not too shabby until you try and teach your kid there really are 4 seasons. They pretty much think you are a liar…..unless you show them in person. This is exactly what we did the beginning of February.
This mom and the littles packed to the gills, took off on a rather fun road trip. Our 4th grade class (all 120+ of us) went to Williamsburg, Va., for a week to cap off our study of the Colonies and the American Revolution. Now this was Blondie's trip but I couldn't very well leave the others behind now could I? The Doc was actually traveling on his own in the midwest speaking at a conference. I was on my own….which didn't scare me one bit.
The most asked question from all that knew about the trip was, "Why February?" To tell you the truth, I asked the same question…..and was told, cost. If you go to a huge tourist destination in the dead of winter you are guaranteed lower crowds (as in none), easier access to attractions, and cheapcheapcheap accommodations and tickets……and the risk of frostbite. Now, our school has done this trip for several years now…..at the same time of year and has hit 'cooler' temps, a little rain but no snow to speak of. All these kids wanted this year was snow. To heck with the Colonists, Indians and living museums…..snow was the thang in their hearts. They were rewarded!
The second day into my drive we hit a little crisis. Haven't' had one in a while so not sure why it surprised me. Blondie woke up in the hotel with a migraine. She gets these from time to time but this was a first while traveling. I had to get to Williamsburg before dark so there was no choice to put hurting, pathetic, nauseated girl in the car and try and coax her along. The other two girls had to do their school for the week since they were missing class……in the car. Real fun to try and shout directions for long division over your shoulder at 70mph., while daughter in front seat is throwing up into garbage bag. What could be more fun?? Oh…..add snow. This was the point it started snowing….lightly at first, then the farther north we went the heavier it began to fall. It was beautiful. It really was. This was the beginning of no math getting done…..the girls were too enamored. Make that 2 of them….the 3rd was still throwing up. I actually grabbed the hotel laundry bag, dumped out all the dirty clothes and threw bag under Blondie's face to catch the next round……at 70mph. Super Mom. Heh.
Five hours later, Blondie was herself again.(I'm sparing you the gazillion, million "MOOOMMMMMMM's, and "Is the answer to number 5, 32 remainder 7?? Huh, Mom, is it?? Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, is it??" All while continuing vomit in the front seat and I was getting phone calls from the Doc who was talking us through said migraine on interstate.) It was complete and utter drama…but we arrived safe and ever so slightly frazzled…... just as the snow stopped for the next 2 days. Migraines y'all, are no joke. Neither is long division.
Williamsburg is amazing. It has got to be one of my favorite places ever….to be walking on the same ground as the first Indians and settlers is nothing short of incredible. They have done such an extraordinary job of making each venue kid friendly with hosts in character that makes history come alive. If you ever have the chance to get there….go! Can't say enough. However…..we were there during one of the coldest winters on record. Yay. (Insert rattling, chattering teeth here).
It's really hard to listen and understand your tour guide when it's a whopping 28 degrees out…..and your whole day is outside. We gave it the old college try though….and my girls were troopers. After 2 days of this the news broke that Winter Storm Pax was blanketing Charlotte (where daughter Julie lives and our next stop) and we were set to get snow ourselves. That beautiful snow came down just for these Florida kids. It covered the field by the hotel and we let our newbie, green Florida kids play outside in it until after 10pm…..cause that's what you do when your kids have prayed so hard.
At the end of the week I took off for Charlotte…..followed by snow covering the interstate the entire trip. Giant hunks of ice and snow crashed my windshield as trucks coming from up north passed me and dropped huge buckets of the stuff from their roofs. Dangerous driving that I wasn't used to. Charlotte was covered with a foot of snow. A. foot. They aren't used to this….and the roads weren't plowed well. I wasn't used to this. Thank the Lord for my hardy Surburban. Getting through was a little cray-cray (heh) but we did it….(then turned around and drove back to the Sunshine State bringing Julie and baby Wubba with us.) The girls made homemade sleds and were out on the hill before breakfast…in their pi's. They made snowmen, had snowball fights and got along like the angels they made. They got their snow.
|Ready, set, cold.|
|Rumor has it that Pocahontas did cartwheels in this same spot in 1510.|
|The people and friends of our school are what make it so incredible. Nature Girl and her BF…..goose hunting (yes, I said that) at Jamestown. They are two peas in a pod.|
|This canoe was full of ice….it's 25 degrees outside so Nature Girl goes it bare handed…..of course.|
|Learning to set the table to dine. Harder than it looks!!|
|Sigh. The beauty….even in winter.|
|You can even get yo hair did……at the wigmaker. Schmancy.|
|Williamsburg we love you even though thou art frigid.|
|Shopping at the Milliners.|
|The tunnel into historic Williamsburg with Mei Mei and her blankie. Her best friend all week.|
|Catching the first few flakes.|
|Does she look cold? Yea, it was so worth it!|
|One of my fav moments from the trip. These Florida kids…..love them.|
|Bare hands, freezing temps and late nights CAN NOT stop us! CAN NOT!!|
|Learning to dance in the Governor's Palace.|
|Dressing Blondie in period clothing. Not easy. Thank the Lord for elastic, velcro and cotton! Oh, and living in the land of flip flops ain't so bad either. It seriously must have taken these people 4 hours to get dressed everyday. Seriously.|
|Blondie and friends…..as a Colonial Girl of the day.|
|Oh my word! Watch out for the Asian carrying the musket WAAAYYYYY to big for her. She'll whack you in your parts if you know what I mean!|
|This kid was CARRIED and babied all week. Oy vey. She ate up all the attention.|