Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Plans.....No Problem

We are back from vacation! We took our family vacation last week in St. Augustine, Florida. I guess one word to sum it up for me is....weird. Not weird in a bad way...just...different. And the reason it was weird is that I think this is the first vacation I've ever taken in my life where I was just flying by the seat of my pants. In other words, there was no planning involved. Like....none at all. Usually, I plan our vacation for months in advance, making lists, schedules, looking info up on the internet, searching message boards for tips for theme parks, etc. This time, none of that happened. We only decided to go and booked our room a couple of weeks in advance. At 6:00 PM, the night before we were scheduled to leave, I thought, "Hmmm...might be a good idea to do laundry so I will actually have clean clothes to pack." See a pattern here? I was up until 1:30 AM packing. Got up at 3:30 to leave.

Usually for vacations, this is how prepared I am:
* I make lists - Lists for "Things to Buy" before we go, "What to Do" before we go, "What to Pack" with a subtitle of "Don't Forget This". This year, no lists to be found.
* I pack snacks and drinks for the road (all PLANNED in advance). This year, nada.
* I usually have our vacation planned out to the hour of what we will do each day. This year, we decided to wing it.
* Usually before vacation, I have bought a book like "The Unofficial Guide to Disney" and visited Disney message boards and planned out our route in a theme park to avoid crowds and such. A few years ago, I did this, and we went with my 75-year-old grandmother in tow. I am surprised I didn't cause her to keel over with my mad dash around the park. I kept yelling at everyone, "We have GOT to get on the train by 10:14 AM to get to so-and-so ride on time to see Mickey with no lines! Get a move on!" This year, as you will see, no planning involved.
* I usually have my Christmas list with me so I can shop for Christmas/birthday presents. This year, I left it at home

So, you see, things were different. And it was kind of....nice. No pressure. Now, I won't say that I didn't have moments of panic when I realized that we didn't have a "PLAN". But, amazingly, it all worked out.

We got there on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, while getting dressed, I bent down, and immediately felt my back go out. I started bawling. I could not believe this had happened. So for a couple of days, Preach had to take the kids to the beach by himself. But he was absolutely wonderful about it. I did make myself go and do some things. But mostly, I just laid around, reading. Pretty nice. The bad thing was the stupid bed. It was a poser - pretending to be a Sleep Number bed. A fake Sleep Number bed. Does it get any better than that? It basically felt like a blow-up mattress. So that didn't help my back any.

We went to the Alligator Farm, which was our whole family's favorite thing we did. It was so cool. If you ever get a chance to go there - GO!! The kids got to get their picture taken holding a baby white albino aligator. For lots of moolah, you could get your picture in the alligator pit with a huge alligator. We passed on that. But we learned a lot there.

On Thursday, we went to Universal's Islands of Adventure. I knew it would be brutal on my back. But Prince is a dinosaur fanatic, and has been waiting anxiously to turn 8 years old so he could ride the Jurassic Park ride. Well, he rode it. Poor thing, I'm afraid he was disillusioned. At the end of the ride, in the dark, there is a huge T-rex that looks like it's going to get you, and then you fall over an 85-foot waterfall. Preach rode it first with just the kids to see what it was like. I was waiting for them to get off. They were pretty wet, and Preach was laughing. He said after they had went over the drop, he tried to talk to the kids, and they were both frozen in shock, staring straight ahead and couldn't talk. I noticed Prince holding his hand over his heart. I thought he was going to tell me his heart was beating fast. Oh no. He tells me that he almost fainted. Preach convinced me to ride it, saying it wouldn't hurt my back. Let me tell you, if you are a tiny bit clausterphobic, don't ride it. I almost had a panic attack in the boat, the way the seats were made and the bar coming down. Then the ride itself was scary. And then we hit the falls. I seriously thought I was going to die. And you should have seen the pictures Universal took of us going down the falls. In the first one, Prince and Princess both looked terrified. In the second one, I had my eyes closed and my mouth open. Princess looked normal, but poor Prince, looked like he was crying. He was so disappointed in that ride.

Now, in previous years, we would have gotten up at 5:00 AM to get ready for Universal. We would have gotten there 50 minutes before it opened to get our tickets (because the guide book SAID so!). And of course, I would have had a plan to have us running to-and-fro to get to the best rides before the crowds. But guess what time we got there?? 12:00! Yep! We didn't even really know we were going to go until that morning.

I'm telling you, it was a very laid-back trip. And you know what? I liked it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Review of the movie: Fireproof

Preach and I went to see the movie Fireproof this weekend.


I really don't know the right words to express how wonderful this movie is. It's a Christian movie, made by the church that made "Facing the Giants". This movie stars Kirk Cameron, who is great in it. I loved "Facing the Giants", but I will have to say, that this one is 10 times better! Even Preach agrees.

This movie is about marriage. Maybe you shouldn't tell your DH that when you tell him you want him to go see it. LOL! But you can truthfully tell him that there is lots of humor in it! I mean, laugh-out-loud-funny-humor! It has lots of really funny parts in it. Preach says, "This movie just proves that a movie can be made that is funny without dirty language and s**ually explicit material". Too true.

Even if you say that you have a wonderful marriage, you should go see this movie. I promise, you will leave the movie with a newfound respect for your spouse and what they go through and feel. Yes, there is a Christian message in the movie. And when Caleb (Kirk Cameron)'s father illustrates the parallel of our love for our spouse and God's love for It moved me to tears. If you see it, you will know which scene I am talking about. This movie shows both sides of marriage. You will see yourself in some parts of it. You will see how you can treat your spouse better. You will see how easy it is to fall into Satan's traps.

Go see it. You won't regret it.