Monday, August 13, 2012

Roadtrip 2012 Part 1: Pilgrimage to Paoli

For the third summer in a row we have loaded up the kids and headed to Paoli, Indiana.  This is the home of one of the most amazing and hospitable families we have ever had the pleasure of counting as our friends, The Sullivan's.  Jamey, Stori, Livia, Parker, Chad, Ian, and Owen; aren't they adorable.

The Sullivan's have graciously hosted the OFA Family Reunion for the past 3 years and they've let the Wood Family show up early, leave late, and take over their basement each year.  Even though every time we show up we have two extra kids! 

This year we weren't sure we would survive the trek with 6 kids squeezed into the maxi-van, but we were determined to give it a try.  Well, I'm happy to report that we all had a wonderful time, nobody got seriously injured (do you remember last year when I had the incident in the shower?),the kids traveled much better than we could have expected, and as always we made lots of wonderful memories and new friends!

We started the trip with a quick overnight detour to our friends, The Solberg's.  We first met the Solberg's when we all traveled to China to bring home our Grace and their Jenna.  We loved their family from the start and have stayed connected ever since.  So connected that in addition to Jenna and their oldest son Cade, they have also adopted two beautiful Congolese kiddos, Chloe and Luke.  We spent the night at their house and the kids all settled in for a sweet slumber party. 


After our quick visit we continued on to Paoli. It took us two more days of driving to arrive there with Grace and Haven asking every few minutes "Are we at Ian and Chad's yet?"  We made lots of stops to stretch our legs and smell the flowers.

After our first day of big driving everyone was still in good spirits and settled in for the night at our first hotel.  For the record, hotels and 6 small children are not a good combination. They are the furthest thing from child proof and something about being in a hotel room makes all my kids want to scream and stomp around like buffalo.  I sure all the other guests think it is just adorable!

Finally we got to the Sullivan's and it was like Grace, Chad, Haven, and Ian had not been apart for one day, let alone a whole year.  They settled right back into being best buddies and they played hard for 5 days straight.  And Ian was a little sweet on Katriel I think.  Owen and Louise became instant boyfriend and girlfriend but I didn't get a single picture of them smooching :(

We spent a couple of lovely days just lounging around the Sullivan house.  And then came the OFA Family Reunion. I have a gazillion adorable pictures of that day, so I am going to save them for tomorrow nights blog post.  See you then for Part 2 of Roadtrip 2012!!!
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