Friday afternoon we took all of our remaining kittens to the shelter to go to other foster homes for at least a week. While every one of them had finally figured out how to drink formula from a bowl, none of them were quite big enough to even go up for pre-adoption. Besides, spring has truly sprung and every kitten cage is full, we are one crowded shelter.
We did our usual feeding and medicating and watering and sweeping floors while we were there, then went home to pack and prepare. As a concession to time, and because i don't have it often and it's a treat, i didn't cook and Sweetie brought home vegan pizza (it's even gluten free and soy free!) from a local bakery that caters to those with allergies or gluten intolerance. Yes, usually i eat a totally raw, vegan diet, but in this case, i ate cooked vegan stuff, and i always binge on it and feel terrible about it the next day. That's why it's a rare treat!
We didn't set a specific time to leave Saturday morning, and no one but me got up early, but we still got everyone up, everything packed (except one vest i wanted to bring), all the instructions for Anne posted for when she comes to take care of the cats, all of the leftover food in the fridge to the neighbors with 6 children and no money so they could eat it and we wouldn't come home to rotten stuff, and were heading down the road at 8am. Not bad.
And the road construction is over, so our only highway traffic was trying to get through the Mobile Tunnel, as usual.
We stopped at the Mississippi and Alabama Welcome Centers, both of which are nice places to wander and get lost in, looking at all these wonderful places you can visit. Unfortunately, #2 Son and Little Girl are not much for such wandering, so we didn't really linger as much as i would have liked. When it was time to get off the highway, instead of at Pensacola, we exited at Loxley. We were hungry and went up to Foley to find a restaurant. That was an adventure in crawling from light to light with everyone else. It became very tedious, very quickly, but none of us wanted fast food, and most local places are all about either steak or seafood -- very little caters to vegetarians like the girls and i are. When we spotted a chain restaurant that i know has a nice salad bar and great guacamole, we stopped there. All of us were tired and cranky from the last 15 miles taking almost as long as the previous 50.
After lunch, we made a trip to the grocery store to get supplies, where everyone splits up and there are two or three baskets being hauled around and it's a Saturday so it's crowded and we go in circles to find each other and figure out who grabbed milk and did everyone get the kind of juice or bread or whatever-it-is that they wanted, and we find each other and lose each other again and everyone in the store ends up thinking we are nuts as we call each other on the phone to find each other (it's a big store), and by the time we leave we are more than ready to leave (and they are more than ready to have us gone, even though it costs a lot to buy this much food) and then on to Perdido by way of the Beach Express.
#2 Son drove Bigger Girl's car part of the way, and he's a very good driver (he should be ready to test for a full license soon). He stayed right with me, and i was careful not to signal for us to get over unless i knew there was plenty of room.
Once there, the smell of the ocean just hits you and you are suddenly care-free, or at least i am. Unloading didn't take long and we got everything into the condo, where the rest of the family were waiting for us.
Dre was the first to greet me -- almost knocking me over with the force of his bear hug. Have i ever said how much i love that kid? Anyway, there were hugs and whispers of secrets between cousins and Little Girl took her shoes off and announce, "I hope you all know that I'm not going to put shoes on again for the whole vacation!"
Everyone scattered then, Bigger Girl went to the piano room, and the next time we went through the foyer areas we could hear her. She will do that a lot for the next several days. #2 Son and Little Girl went to find Brick, the security guard, who is their hero. Doc and Uncle J headed to the pharmacy to get a few things, and some of us decided to fix ourselves a snack.
A bit later i wandered down to the beach, to be nearly tackled again by a now wet and sandy Dre. He and Uncle P had gone to the beach "just to look" at the water. Well, we all know what happens when a 6-year-old goes "just to look." He was still in his shorts and t-shirt, and had been going in the water, then coming up to dig a hole in the sand, then going back in the water. The hole was very deep by now, and Uncle P offered to go back up and get a towel (not being a dad, he did really think they were going just to look, i would have brought a towel anyway).
Soon we were joined by Bryn, and she and her brother chased each other in and out of the surf, then she buried him in the sand. The sun was very low on the horizon and the clouds had moved in, so there was a rough surf and lots of wind, making it cooler on the beach than in the water itself.
As it did get cooler, proposals to go on up were met with resistance until Bryn said the magic word to Dre, being the word "pool." #2 Son had been sent down with one towel for the two kids (insert smile here over still clueless uncle), so we washed off the sand and the kids got in the big outdoor pool, where i set the timer for 30 minutes so we wouldn't be out there all night..
Dre managed, for the first time every, to do a handstand from the bottom of the pool and a front flip in the water, just like his big sister. They were both proud of him and tired from the efforts when they finally clambered out, dried off as best they could sharing one towel, and headed upstairs.
There was, as usual, still cooking and TV watching and computer surfing and such going on, and we lined up to take showers and get ready for bed.
After all, tomorrow is another big day.
Celebration of the Arts -- Community Center, Yorba Linda, CA, US (fine arts and music festival for all ages)
Children's Awareness Memorial Day -- a day to remember children who have died from violence
Coronation Day -- United Kingdom
Coronation Day and Social Forestry Day -- Bhutan (anniversary of the coronation day of the Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the 4th Druk Gyalpo, in 1974, and the day children plant trees)
Day of the Rice God -- Chiyoda, Japan (rice transplanting festival to honor Wbai-sama, the Shinto rice god)
Father's Day -- Lithuania
Festa della Republica -- Italy (National Day/Feast of the Republic)
Festival of Light and Dark Spots -- Fairy Calendar
Festival of Utter Confusion -- an internet declared holiday, and this is the one for me!
Hristo Botev Day -- Bulgaria (poet and national hero who fell fighting the Turks this day in 1876)
"I Love My Dentist" Day -- no one will claim starting this one, so it makes me suspicious
Isabel Province Day -- Isabel Province, Solomon Islands
Kuramae Jinja Matsuri -- Kuramae Jinja Shrine, Tokyo, Japan (every two years, but cancelled in 2011 because of the earthquake, so this year's festival should be a great one)
National Bubba Day -- created by comedian T. Bubba Bechtol for Bubbas everywhere to have their day
National Cancer Survivors Day -- US (National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation)
National Child's Day -- US (wait, isn't every day children's day around here?!)
National Rocky Road Day
St. Blandina's Day (Patron of girls, people falsely accused, torture victims; Lyon, France)
St. Elmo's Day (a/k/a St. Erasmus; Patron of ammunition workers, boatmen, childbirth and women in labor, explosives workers, mariners, navigators, ordnance workers, sailors, watermen; Gaeta, Italy; against abdominal pains, appendicitis, birth pains, childhood intestinal disease, colic, danger at sea, intestinal disorders, seasickness, stomach diseases, storms)
Turtle Races -- Danville, IL, US (49th annual; proceeds go to help the disabled in the community)
Yell "Fudge" at the Cobras in North America Day -- at noon, your local time, because according to Wellcat Holidays, cobras hate fudge and will not stay if we mention it
U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom, 1886 (only president to wed in the executive mansion)
Elizabeth II is crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories & Head of the Commonwealth, 1953 (the first major international event to be televised)
Justin Long, 1978
Zachary Quinto, 1977
Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso, Queen consort of Lesotho, 1976
Wayne Brady, 1972
Joel Tobeck, 1971
Dana Carvey, 1955
Dennis Haysbert, 1954
Cornel West, 1953
Jerry Mathers, 1948
Marvin Hamlisch, 1944
Stacy Keach, 1941
Charlie Watts, 1941
Sally Kellerman, 1937
Johnny Weissmuller, 1904
Hedda Hopper, 1890
Sir Edward Elgar, 1857
Thomas Hardy, 1840
Marquis de Sade, 1740
Martha Dandridge Custiss Washington, 1731
Today in History:
The Vandals enter Rome and begin 2 weeks of plundering, 455
The First Siege of Antioch ends when Crusader forces take the city, 1098
The first Récollet missionaries arrive at Quebec City, from Rouen, France, 1615
Bridget Bishop is the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692
The Derby horse race is held for the first time in Epsom, England, 1780
P. T. Barnum and his circus start their first tour of the United States, 1835
The Slavic congress in Prague begins, 1848
Guglielmo Marconi applies for a patent for his early radio device, 1896
U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act, making Native American Indians withing US territories and states US citizens, 1924
Lou Gehrig begins his streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, 1925
In a referendum, Italians vote to turn Italy from a monarchy into a Republic, and exile their king, Umberto II di Savoia, 1946
The USSR and Yugoslavia sign the Belgrade declaration and thus normalize relations, 1955
Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft land on another world, 1966
Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country, 1979
The Bhutan Broadcasting Service brings television transmissions to the Kingdom for the first time, 1999
Europe launches its first probe to voyage to another planet, Mars, 2003