We started the day with a 25 mile road trip to the Gulfarium for a dolphin and sea lion show. As we were driving it was clear the weather was far worse than we anticipated. The lightening (especially over the water) was intense, the sky was black, the visibility zero and as we were debating the safest next step the hail began. (All 8 of us in a ditch in case of a tornado? I was really not enjoying the thought of that!) We found a nearby Ramada with a big covered entrance and pulled our very large van in for safety. After a few minutes, the worst of the storm had passed.
We went on to the Gulfarium, only to be warned by the attendant that although it was largely covered, it leaked and the chilly rain was blowing in sideways. So, we punted...allowing our children to spend 30 minutes in the gift shop instead. They each selected a small treat that still wound up costing less than admission.
From there we went to a pottery painting studio...truly, we were bulls in a china shop. Somehow, we managed to avoid chipping, breaking or destroying anything. More importantly, we had made it to the lunch hour. There were several restaurants within walking distance, but it was still pouring. We decided to go for it and ran a couple of blocks through the rain to a nearby pizzeria. I only wish I had a video of me chasing 5 rambunctious, squealing children through the rain while Melinda ran behind us with Baby B in a stroller. What a trooper!
After lunch we returned to the house for popcorn and a movie. When it ended it was still only 2pm. So, Melinda decided to orchestrate a scavenger hunt. Although we wrote 14 clues, this only lasted about 10 minutes...they were fun minutes, but there was still a lot of afternoon. The last trick we had up our sleeves was neon bracelets. Then we gave in and sent them out to play in the rain. I am fairly certain it will be my children's favorite memory from the trip so far!
After hot showers and dry clothes we ventured out for a hairy dinner in a restaurant. There was a lot of pent up energy at our table! The final 30 minutes were spent allowing them to just run and dance on the lawn. We laughed until our sides hurt--and the children appeared sufficiently exhausted.
The Daddies are on their way (and hopefully bringing better weather), so Melinda and I are looking forward to a little Mommy time at the outlet mall tomorrow!