Day 3 was our shortest drive. Only 180 miles. Easy peasy. I was hoping to do a drive by of the Biltmore on the way, but apparently that wouldn't really work with the direction we were going in. (My husband is not a fan of detours). Oh well, maybe our next trip whenever that may be. That's one thing about traveling you're never going to be able to see everything you want, so always good to leave something for the next time. Our next stop was outside Columbia, SC to stay with a golf buddy of my husband's and his family. This was the stop I was most nervous about as I had never met these people. All my husband really told me was that the husband was a cool guy, he and his wife were both doctors, and they have two kids, a 10 year old girl and a 7 year old boy. Oh and they have a nice house with a pool and it's only for 2 nights.
We got there around lunch time so went to a restaurant for lunch as they had just gotten back from their own one week vacation the night before and had no food in the house. I have to admit I was surprised to learn this and then really appreciated that they agreed to have us stay. I know I wouldn't be ready to have people stay after being gone for a week. I'm still getting my house back in order, and we've been home for 5 days.
When we sat down for lunch the kids were all looking at the menu and one of the kids asked what Michael was going to eat. Before I could say anything, he responded, "I don't eat cheerios".
Yep, my stubborn little two year old is still just eating purees and I've basically given up trying to get him to eat table food or even the stage 3 foods with the chunks in them. He's healthy and growing well, and the doctor doesn't seem concerned, so neither am I. But I am looking forward to the day I don't have to bring food for him anytime I think we may be stopping for a meal somewhere. I brought 100 containers of food on our trip and he went through most of them over the course of 10 days. I know it's purely a control thing for him, and one day he'll just decide he wants to try something of ours food. Occasionally he will make chewing motions with his jaw when he's eating so I think he's getting close but then he's been doing that for a while and nothing seems to change.
Ok, back to our story. After a nice lunch we went back to their house and everyone got in the pool. SC was the hottest of all our stops topping out at over 100 degrees. The kids all got along well, and my little man loved being in a house that had a boy as there were tons of cars, trains, etc to play with. We barbecued for dinner and the kids went to bed, and then we all settled in pretty early too. Monday the parents had to work but their nanny came and we all took the kids to the Edventure Children's Museum in Columbia. It's a really cool museum and in many ways better than the one we have here in Chicago. They have this big two story model of a boy in the foyer that you can climb through and see the different organs and how they work. Really cool. They have a full size fire engine and outfits for the kids to wear. My son loved that. They have a construction section with a mini bulldozer that the kids can pedal and move padded "bricks". There was a farm section with a tractor to climb on, and a TV studio where kids can pretend to do the news and weather. They all had fun doing that.
At this point the kids were hungry so we left to go to lunch as the museum didn't really have much in terms of food. Why is it that children's museums have such lousy food options? Don't they realize people would stay longer if they had good food? So where did we go? Chick-fil-A. Ok, maybe not the best option, but since I'd never had it, and it's what the locals wanted we went. We pulled in right around lunch time, and couldn't get a parking spot. There was a long line for the double barrel drive thru. We ended up parking in the tractor supply store next door. The funniest part though was that the McDonalds across the street was practically deserted. Anyway, we had our lunch which was better than I had expected. The kids got kids meals and each got a book with their meal. My daughter received Wind in the Willows which she has already read. Somehow she found out that she could trade in her book for ice cream, well that was a no-brainer. And of course once she did that her sister did the same.
We headed home and my kids wanted to get in the pool and the local kids thought they were nuts. Why? Because it was too hot. Too hot for the pool? Didn't make sense to me at first until I dipped my toes in the water and realized it was like a nice warm bath, not a refreshing place to cool off. So the little man took a nap and the girls all played school while we waited for the sun to go down behind the trees and the pool could cool off. In the time my son napped they had spelling, math, Italian, and art. Finally the little guy woke up and they had "recess" in the pool. Our oldest is getting pretty comfortable swimming, but the younger ones spent most of the time in the hot tub (without the jets on) which they referred to as the "kiddie pool". Before dinner they played school some more, and they even got report cards. They both passed :)
Once the parents got home, we went out to dinner. We got home around 8 and their kids had been promised that they could watch a movie in their home theater. Unfortunately this was already decided without running it by us, so we kind of had to allow ours to watch as well. They were ready by 9 (their usual bedtime) and settled in to watch Cars (which was longer than I thought). They didn't get to bed until 11, but enjoyed the movie. Overall it was a good stop, very relaxing, everyone recharged and I after spending the previous couple of days in a house with no kids or toys it was good to just be able to let them play.
The next morning we wanted to leave by around 9 as we had reservations for lunch at the Pirates House in Savannah before hitting Jacksonville. Unfortunately nobody was packed so it was going to be tough, but at least tonight the kids went right to sleep.