Saturday, March 26, 2016


We've realized that at this stage in our family's existence, it works better for us to do trips that aren't very far from us and do them for a shorter amount of time.  This reduces the overall stress level reached over the course of the trip, and it worked out really well this Spring Break.  We traveled with two other families this first day and met up with a third there in Memphis.

High:  Memphis is a mere 2ish hours from us, and our car travel was much better than expected.  (Please keep in mind that our expectations are at rock bottom low based on past car trips.)

High:  Our first stop was lunch at Central BBQ, a Memphis standby which did not disappoint.  We had a private room reserved which always helps to control our chaos.


High:  Stop #2 was Sweet Noshings - the popcorn/candy/ice cream store that we always visit.  In fact, they recognize us now, which is impressive since we don't live in the city.  We got our fill of candy for the kiddos and popcorn for everybody.


High:  Our first views of and checking into our spot for the night.  There is a giant pyramid in Memphis that recently got converted into a Bass Pro Shop/hotel called Big Cypress Lodge, and we'd heard great things about it.


There is the obvious strange paradox that you are in an outdoorsy environment inside of a glass pyramid, but it really is so cool.  And well-done.  And amazing.  Our children were in absolute heaven.

(our room was directly above the aquarium and under the logo!)

High:  After getting settled, we met up with friends to ride the "tallest free-standing elevator in America."  It's 25 stories to the top of the pyramid and overlooks the Mississippi river and Memphis for a killer view.  Our children ran a bit wild and some of them got cold, but overall, it was a fun little excursion.


Low:  Trying to get a family photo with the view.  I don't know what made this so very hard, but it was.  It did provide a lot of entertainment for my friends trying to take the picture.


It should also be noted that at this point in the trip, Violet decided she wanted to be in every photo.  I'll be posting those for entertainment value as well.


Low:  After exiting the elevator, we were heading to check on our dinner reservations and lost track of William.  We had a bad five minutes while some adults doubled down on the other twelve children and the rest fanned out to hunt for William on the Bass Pro Shop floor.  There were only a million places he could have gotten to and very quickly.  Thankfully, a friend found him wandering through the fishing poles and brought him back to us.


Low:  After a series of miscommunications between our group and the hotel and the restaurant and bowling alley, we ended up waiting and frustrated at dinner time.  At long last, they did end up giving us a room to ourselves, which was a bright spot in the experience.


The dinner and service turned comically bad at almost every turn, though they did offer us a discount in the end, which was appreciated.  We didn't end up doing the Fish Bowl, which was disappointing to the kids, but there was simply no time after everything that had already happened.


High:  It was my birthday, and my sweet friends brought cupcakes for me and everyone to celebrate.  The adults all got drinks.  The kids sang to me enthusiastically no less than three times, and everything that happened at dinner was so epically bad that it will be forever ingrained as a hysterical shared memory.  Plus, the children had a delightful time through it all.

(Violet needed to be photographed with the cupcakes.)

High:  Though we didn't get to bowl, we did have an Easter Egg hunt planned for the kiddos.  We used the hotel lobby, and it truly was a massive hit.  Each mom said we'd bring a couple dozen eggs, but we ended up with 260 - it's never been said that we go half way on stuff.  We got the children all into pjs while the dads hid the eggs, and then released them all to the hunt!

(Big Cypress was even decorated for the occasion.)
(Violet wanted to be in on the Ross's family picture.)

High:  Being with sweet friends that are like family.  It really is a treat to spend time with these people whom I love.

(and Violet!)

We hit the hay after all the fun of the first day, glad to have each of our children tucked into their beds in our cozy rooms.

(here's Court's take on the day!)