Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Driving Tanks Across the Country: Part 2

If you missed the first few days of our trip, you can catch up by reading Part 1

Day 4:

I awoke the next morning around 10:30 and decided I had slept long enough. Grig was next to me asleep, but Kevin wasn't upstairs with me, so I went downstairs to look for him. I found him wide-awake and playing with his grandma. She told me that he had slept briefly, but then he had woken up again.

We proceeded to have a very relaxed day. We spent the majority of this day recovering from our trip.

Kevin really enjoyed exploring the property and seeing the many different kinds of animals. He especially loved the cats. He just would not leave them alone.

Grig also found a toad, and Kevin enjoyed that as well.

That night we had Family Home Evening with Grig's parents and we played a fun game. It is an Italian game I guess. Basically, one person (the wolf) stands out in front of everyone with their back facing them. Everyone else stands on the starting line and they yell, "Wolf, what time is it?"

The wolf will then say a number, and everyone takes that many steps forward. The wolf continues this way, until eventually the wolf, instead of saying a number, responds, "I'm hungry." Then, he/she turns around and chases everyone else. If he can catch someone before they reach the starting line, they become the wolf. However, once they get to the starting line, they were safe. We really enjoyed ourselves. It was a nice recovery day.

That night, we also kind of planned out our week. We were trying to decide what we wanted to do and when. With a plan in mind, we went to bed. I was still exhausted, but feeling better.

Day 5:

It seems that I didn't take any pictures or videos for this day. Whoops. 

For a large part of this day as well, we spent our time relaxing and recovering. Kevin really enjoyed playing with his aunts and uncle. His grandmother enjoyed the time with him as well. Grig took Kevin into the woods with his mom, and they had a nice walk.  The camera was charging, so they didn't take it with them.

Later in the afternoon, around 5:00, Grig, Kevin, and I went to visit Grig's grandmother and a few other people. She was really nice and Kevin had a really good time at her home. As we arrived, I realized that I had forgotten the camera! Oh, no! I reassured myself that we would come visit again and I would definitely bring the camera. We talked for a while, and then we went to visit a couple of older men who are kind of pseudo-grandparents to the family. We enjoyed visiting with them as well. 

By the time we finished, it was nearly time for Kevin to go to bed, and he was ready for it. 

I put him to sleep, and then we watched a couple of episodes of River Monsters with Grig's siblings.

Day 6:

This was now Wednesday, June 11. Grig's sister who lives in Richmond had the day off from work, so we went to Richmond to visit her. Maybe we were crazy for getting back into the car, but the short two hour drive seemed like nothing. It was over lickety-split!

We had decided that we would pick up his sister, and then go to a place called Maymont Park. After a little bit of confusion, we were able to find his sister's apartment and pick her up. We then drove to the park.
Kevin and his aunt. They had a great time picking flowers.
Kevin was pretty excited to find geese there, but they were actually in the wrong direction of where we wanted to go. It was hard to convince him to go the other direction. As we started our journey into the park, dark clouds hung ominously over the horizon. Someone worried that it would storm, to which I replied, "We just need to pray about it, and it will wait until we're done."

I don't know if anyone else prayed about it, but I said a quick prayer.
Some of our group from the back. Kevin holds hands with his grandma and grandpa.
Kevin loved Maymont

Maymont was incredible. Frogs were in every stream and Grig's brother found a huge dragonfly!

As we walked along the path, we came to a miniature aviary. It contained native Virginian species. I was especially interested in the black vultures. I had never seen them before. I used to work in a zoo that contained turkey vultures, but I had never seen the black variety. Evidently the farmers don't like them because they will attack live animals as well.

Kevin and his grandpa enjoy looking at the bald eagles
Black vultures
At the end of the aviary, there was a giant bald eagle head where you could look through the eyes to get an eagle's perspective of the world, but it cost money to activate it, so we just took pictures of the head instead.
After that, we walked along a path and climbed trees. There was supposed to be a waterfall, but the waterpump had broken, so the waterfall wasn't turned on and all of the water looked kind of gross. However, it was still beautiful.

There were also a few other animals there that you could look at. There were some bears, but they were fairly far away. We did enjoy a bear statue though.

The next area we visited was a Japanese garden. Aside from the murkiness of the water, it was gorgeous. I had never been to a Japanese garden before. I was super impressed by the design. It was very artistic and it nearly took your breath away. 

We then explored some beautiful old buildings. Evidently Maymont used to be a plantation and many of the original buildings are still on the property. They were beautiful. 

Kevin and his aunt.
Family picture
Who knew Kevin's hair was this curly?
The rain held off the whole time we were in the park. We also visited a farm area with farm animals, but at about this point my camera's battery began to die. Grig and I went for a walk by ourselves through a bamboo forest while Kevin stayed with his grandparents. We had a great time exploring and chasing toads and frogs.

We had a fantastic day. However, Grandma Tank had to pick up Grig's sister and brother-in-law from the airport that night, so we had to leave. As we got into our vehicles, it began to rain. I know that Heavenly Father held off the rain until we were done. We dropped Grig's sister back at her apartment, and then went back to Grig's parents' home. It poured the whole way, which made it difficult to see the car in front of us. We thought we saw them turn off an exit and we followed. A few minutes later they called to see where we were. We had taken the wrong exit, but it would eventually take us home anyway. We stopped to grab some food, and eventually we made it there. 

Kevin went to bed, but Grig, his brother, and I stayed up for a while. I was partially waiting for Grig's sister and husband to arrive, but as it got later I decided to go to bed.

That's probably enough for today. For the next part, read Part 3Part 4, and Part 5.

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