I went back to NC last weekend for an overdue visit with the family and to meet my brand new niece. As fortune would have it, all 9 of my mother's children were able to be in the city at the same time, these days a rare occurence given that I am the only child to live outside the 150 mile radius everyone else lives in. Anways, I flew out of Tucson last Thursday EARLY in the morning. I had to be so early at the airport (0530) that I did not sleep the night before! And because I can't sleep sitting up on a full plane, I didn't sleep the entire way there. The flights were just fantastic, not much turbulence and reasonably on-time (I was late into Charlotte though). I met Grandma at the airport as she had flown down from MA to meet me, and we went and picked up our rental car. Got a GREAT rate on that, very inexpensive for a minivan for 5 days from Budget, and the van was just sweeet. It even had radio controls on the steering wheel. I thought that was pretty cool. We made the drive to Asheville in about 2 hours, linking up first with Mummy and Rachel at the Carrabas where they work and dropped by the house to say hi to the rest of the rascals before turning in to bed at our very nice hotel (again, great rate. I am queen of researching things to death and getting the best rate possible) I slept SOOO well that night. The next day we took it easy, cruised around Asheville with the younger kids after Mom and Rachel were off to work. Asheville is filled with all sorts of cool little shops that aren't very touristy. That night, Grandma headed off to bed while I took the kids and Timothy (who arrived by bus late in the afternoon) to a weekly event in Asheville, the drum circle. lordy chasing 2 babies around even with help is exhausted. Saturday night we had dinner at Carrabas where Mom, stepdad, and Rachel work. They each had invites for four people including themselves so we were able to all eat free which was REALLY cool. It was a great dinner, although I was rather sick and didn't enjoy the food as much as I could have. Mother theorizes that it is the pain making me ill as I was in pain most of the weekend. SUnday afternoon we spent a quiet afternoon in the hotel room beading. Grandma got some great shots of the babies playing with their wooden beads I got so they wouldn't be left out.
Monday morning we packed up and left out of the hotel to pick everyone else up and go take pictures in downtown Hendersonville. Every year, from about April to November, they have Bearfest, where a lot of artists paint different bears and they are displayed downtown. They are really cool to look at and naturally Grandma wanted pictures, so there we were running around like maniacs as Grandma and I had to be in Charlotte by 3 to drop off the car and get to the planes on time. We did that ok and the flight back was quiet and uneventful. I even arrived in Tucson early. I grabbed my car, headed home and just crashed. I took the next day off to recover, as while it had been a good weekend, it was also exhausting:)