School Shopping Extravaganza and Beach Lovin’ – Day 3 and 4 of #roadtrip2010

We’re on a summer journey that will pass our big family through over a dozen states in the next two weeks. You can join me by following here or my updates on Twitter using the hashtag #roadtrip2010

My connection along the way has been spotty, so I’m going to combine some days to stay caught up. I hope. {Gulp}

Day 3-

We knew when we booked this trip that we’d have to carve out some school shopping time, since school starts literally the day after we get back. (I know. Holy crap!)

Despite taking the best care of my children’s uniforms, we always have to replace a few or buy “up” to the next size due to growth spurts over summertime. I was particularly excited because I knew that my mother had a T.J. Maxx nearby that I could invade shop from. Figuring we’d make a day of it, we packed up all eleventy-billion kids, plus my sister’s three, along with my mom, and made way to invade shop at T.J. Maxx.

As soon as we arrived, I was in love. It was inexpensive polo heaven for this momma -all polos were $5.99.

TJ Maxx Back to School Polos

Considering these are some of the most inexpensive polos I’ve found anywhere, I was quite impressed. Especially the girl’s – they had a variety of styles. I like the girls having girly-type tops. Plus, it makes it easier to sort clothes, instead of all the kids wearing the same golf-style.

See how freakin’ cute they are?

And the pants selection was wonderful. $9.99 khakis!? Holy crap!

My soon-to-be-fifth graders even found backpacks, too. Both were under $15 each!

Once we finished up, we went to make way to check-out and realized, my toddler was missing. After about five heart-pounding minutes in which I freaked out Tourettes-style while we spread out calling to her, my sister finally heard her speak softly, tucked away nicely in a clothes rack. As it turned out, she wasn’t quite missing as much as she was “hiding” wanting us to find her. Unfortunately for us, she never told us anyone it was hide-and-seek time.{Head-smack}

I think it was about this point I had a coronary. I can’t be too sure, I think I blacked out or something, because it took quite some time for me to retrieve my mind after it imploded when my daughter went missing. Gah!

After the Great Toddler Disappearing Act, we all worked up an appetite and decided to go to lunch after that. (I mean, isn’t that what everyone does after school shopping and losing toddlers?) My two youngest (to include the hide-and-seek prankster) fell asleep and slept in their strollers while we had a lunch date at the local Burger King. Yay for spazz-induced fast food! /sarcasm

We continued on our school shopping frenzy thereafter, filled with copious amounts of eye-drops for moi, of course. We finally came back to dinner cooked by my father and some combined family Wii time. I loved introducing my parents, sister and cousins to Just Dance. Too much friggin’ fun, man.

Day 4-

First, I woke up with my eye practically glued shut. Pink eye sucks, dude. For really real. After I chiseled that crap off my face and washed up properly (yeah, you’re welcome for that visual), it was time to get our game faces on. No sleepin’ late this mornin’.

Our plan for this day was some much-needed beach time. We’d already swam in the indoor hotel pool, but for crying out loud, we were staying on the ocean, we needed the sand between our toes, and while there were no tar balls on the beach, we wanted to partake in the water while it was safe. However, algae decided to invade the beaches, and instead of white, they were green. So was the water as well. It didn’t stop my family, though. They still splashed and built sand-castles with the best of ’em. All while I sat and lounged and worked on my tan in my new bikini. (Yeah, baby! I’m not too afraid to rock the stretch marks. And no, I didn’t retouch the picture to hide ’em. This is my post-pregnancy, post-weight-loss body. For now. More on that another time).

Words I never thought I’d ever say at the tail end of this beach extravaganza – “ass algae” – as in “Oh my God, honey, you have algae in your ass! NO! NO! Do NOT pick out your ass algae there on the floor, you’re getting in the shower!”

(Yes, the algae on the beach was apparently that bad. Yikes.)

After Operation Ass Algae Extraction, we packed up the van and visited my mom for lunch before we left. It is always hard saying goodbye to my mom and family, of course, but we left feeling better knowing we’re going to see them again soon, either Thanksgiving- or Christmas-break.

From my mother’s house, the navigation on our phones said the trip from Panama City Beach, FL to Atlanta, GA (specifically, Alpharetta, GA) was to take 5.5 hours. After getting gas and grabbing snacks, we finally got on the road around 2pm. We finally pulled into our hotel at a grueling 10pm.

Eight freaking hours. What the hell, man?

For whatever reason, this roadtrip likes to bitch-slap us time-wise on the road. We even had a pimpy hotel room at the Hyatt Place, too, complete with fitness center, indoor swimming pool and super-swank suite. But no! We couldn’t be timely in our drive, stopping for eight-kajillion pee breaks and whatever else happens when we drive, like some Vulcan time-warp thing where objects in the mirror take longer than what the navigation tells you, or some stupid crap like that. I don’t know?!

Needless to say, upon arriving at said super-swank hotel room, as soon as my head hit the pillow, it was nigh-nights time for this momma. No passing go and collecting $200. It was lights-the-frick-out. Of course, my dreams were filled with waking up crust-free and pink-eye-less. Here’s to hoping, right?

Stay tuned for more driving adventures on #roadtrip2010 when I tell the tale of our next big chunk of driving time on our trip, also known as Death by Ass-Numbness.

Never miss a thing! Subscribe today for all kinds of crazy parenting fun!