Sunday, April 11, 2010

vacation, all i ever wanted

a little go-go's reference for all you 80's music fans. i was humming that song to myself all week in atlanta.
thats right. the frans clan went on our first official family vacation.
we rode on a plane and everything. legit.
i heard about, hmm, 6 or 7 months ago of the aquarium in atlanta (the biggest in the country), and made it my goal to get us there this year. so when allen mentioned taking a vacation after disciple now in febuary, guess what i suggested. :)
but then the haiti earthquake happened and instead of taking a couple weeks off he spent 10 days in haiti.
i had to work through that to be quite honest with you.
even on my best days i'm at least 10% selfish.
he looked further into the year and blocked off a week in april, right after easter.
usually he takes some time off in the fall as well, so i had originally thought we'd do a getaway to dallas in april (theres a fantastic aquarium there too that we havent visited yet, and some great kids' museums), and visit atlanta in september-ish.
**side note: colby is WAY into all things ocean. that why we're planning our vacations around aquariums.**
after further deliberation and planning (and going on 9 years experience as a pastors wife) i know theres no guarantee that he'll take vacation in the fall, so i figured we ought to do atlanta while we have the week to do it.
i assumed we'd drive. i thought 'its only 14 hours. no biggie.' we'd drive thru the night so the kids could sleep in the car, and allen and i could tag team naps at the hotel on monday.
perfect plan, right?
allen was never a fan of this idea, but i was trying to save us money. plus we wouldnt have to rent a car, because we'd already have ours with us. and we could put an ice chest in the back and take all our own food. brilliant.
allen and i had a heart to heart about two weeks before we were planning on leaving.
i love my husband.
he basically said, if we're going to do a vacation, we're going to do it right.
we both arrived at the same conclusion; if we drive all the way there, 14 hours (plus stops for bathroom breaks, gas, etc) we're going to end up hating each other before the vacation even starts. this is probably true.
so i researched and researched and found a hotel right across the street from the aquarium and the coke museum that serves a full complimentary breakfast every morning and has a refrigerator in the room where we can keep our own food and drinks. the CNN tower, which has a food court, was located right behind it, so we could go there to get dinner in the evenings.
we'd pack our own lunch everyday. so our only purchased meal would be a food court dinner.
the MARTA train (atlantas subway) is half a mile from the hotel if we wanted to go anywhere else. we ended up riding that from the airport and back to the airport as well. total cost $9. awesome.

i booked the room and the plane tickets and 12 days later we were in atlanta.
we had a fabulous time. we flew crazy early so we were there by 9am. we went to the coca-cola museum on monday and the aquarium on tuesday.
wednesday we took the MARTA train, and a bus, and a very short cab ride to stone mountain, which is probably one of the coolest things i've ever seen. its the single largest piece of granite, standing 825 feet high, and i dont even know how long. the park is 3,200 acres if that gives you an idea. we rode to the top and had a picnic lunch, then came back down to the 'village' to ride the train, see some shows, and play a little.
it was a great first vacation, with the exception of atlantas ridiculous level of pollen (it hung like smog over the city. gross.), it being spring break, and the fire alarm going of twice wednesday night, or should i say thursday morning; 3:30am and again at 4:15am.
embassy suites will be getting a strongly worded email from allen this week.
hey, maybe that will get us a free night in dallas for our fall vacation.....

pictures!! (there are a lot!!)
the first few are from easter sunday.
a few days before easterm colby showed this pose to my mom and said he was going to do this in all his easter pictures because, and i quote, "it makes me look cool."
so of course molly had to come up with a pose for her pictures too. what a ham.

colby is attempting to do his pose in this picture, too. i'm not sure what mollys doing. and she insisted on having that ceramic cat on her lap...and a sticker on her leg.

the first thing we did when we got to atlanta--lunch at johnny rockets. colby had his first cheeseburger. he's a chicken nugget kid all the way, but he said he wanted to try something new since we were on vacation.

posing for the camera again.

the coca-cola bear. this thing was a little creepy. it was run by animatronics. there was a guy in there doing the arms and walking around and stuff, but he had a computer that he was operating to make the mouth open and the eyes move. the bear would look right at you. cool, but a little unsettling.

one of the jellyfish tanks at the aquarium.

this tank was 20-something feet deep, and as long as a football field. HUGE. all different kinds of fish and rays, and the only aquarium in the country with whale sharks.

view from the top of stone mountain. yes, it drops off right there.

colby and allen on stone mountain

sorry this is sideways. the yellow on the bottom of her shoes? pollen.
i'm not even kidding. it was awful.

there was a booth at the stone mountain park where you could get your hair done. molly wanted to get hers done, but she wanted me to get mine done too. i think i look like a dr seuss character.

i have a funny molly story to share, but it'll have to wait till tomorrow. i'm done for the day.


kstein said...

sooooo glad you got to take your family vacation finally! and the kids are old enough that they will always remember the great time they had! You need to watch the Grinch again- I think your hairstyle was right out of that movie! Yikes! Glad you had fun!

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn said...

Sounds like a great vacation - your kids will always, always remember these "firsts."

I was hoping to see that hairstyle at church on Sunday. Maybe you can do it again for Bible study this Thursday? It would be so festive for the brunch! LOL And, yes, it does make you look rather like a Seuss character. Cute!

Julie D said...

that's what I was thinking when I first saw that pic of your hair on facebook... Dr. Seuss!!! It's awesome!!! :)

sara said...

looks like a GREAT vacation!! I remember the first REAL vacation we took when the kids were small....where we did whatever we wanted and didn't drag food into the park!!! Great memories!

Welcome to this part of the south with the pollen...ugh! you should go look at one of my P365 pics this week! Seriously, all our cars are yellow!!