Late last we we started trying to get our little traveler excited about our road trip to Kentucky Lake (I don't know why they put the "lake" at the end). We'd say "are you excited about going to Kentucky?" and he'd look at us as if to ask "what's a Kentucky?" So we all piled into my mother-in-law's Monte Carlo (which I admit I didn't think would hold us at first, but it was very roomy) and made the three and a half hour drive to a cabin by the lake.
The drive was fun. It was the most time we've had to sit, make faces and talk to the little man in a long time. Normally, play time consists of lots of crawling and climbing and not much close-up interaction. It was a nice change. Then he had his two-hour nap. I sat and read a book. Nice quiet ride.
So we arrived at the cabin and met my wife's aunt, uncle, and grandparents. . . and their 3 dogs. The female Australian Shepherd ran right up to him and licked his face. He wasn't sure how to react and looked at us as if to ask "is that a Kentucky?"
The little guy had a great time. He got to know my wife's side of the family more and spent some time being around dogs, which he loved. We took him out on a boat, went swimming in the pool, and were able to try out his new, all-terrain stroller (good on grass not so much on gravel).
Saturday night we went to the local "Shop-o-rama: Home to 50,001 different items," and it was there I realized I was in a red state. What led me to this conclusion? The display of confederate flag merchandise was a tip off, the display next to it of Jesus themed t-shirts was the second, and the clincher was that next to that was a rack of baby camouflage onesies. . . complete with lace around the neck! And this wasn't the cute cammo you see at Old Navy, this was serious hunting cammo!
Sunday morning we were woken by the sound of 50 mph gusts of wind left over from Ike. The tree outside our bedroom was creaking, threatening to collapse like some of the other trees nearby had done before it. Trees and branches were falling all around. We all watched the news reporting how the bulk of the storm had moved straight through St. Louis (were all of us except my wife's uncle live). Thankfully, no trees fell on our cabin, but just as I finished making omelets for everyone, except myself, the power went out. I ate the bacon, hash browns and cheese danish that had already been cooked. We packed up the cars waited a little longer for more of the storm to pass and set off for home.
On the way down a state highway we were stopped by a felled tree covering the road. The first few people stopped were out of their car assessing the situation. My mother-in-law asked "well now what?" I said "now you stop the car and we get out to help move the tree." My father-in-law, my wife's uncle (who was driving behind us) and I got out, along with several other people stopped by the tree, and we all helped push and pull the tree to the side of the road. Then we all went on our way. The rest of the drive was mostly uneventful: a couple over turned trucks, some small pieces of debris, the baby spitting peas all over his car seat.
Then we arrived home to a mess.