Sunday, March 27, 2022

Time With Cousins

 One of our favorite things about our travel route was that it took us to Carbondale, IL to spend time with cousins. Although it was a quick twenty-four hour visit (due to expected severe weather at home), the kids fit in a lot of play time and memories to last until our next visit.

We left Birmingham mid-morning and made a stop in Nashville. We stretched our legs in Centennial Park and made our list for everything we want to do and see next time we're in town. When we began our day in Birmingham, it was 70+ degrees and rising. Nashville was 75 degrees. By the time we made it into southern Illinois it was below 60 degrees. I definitely miss those warm temps of the south!

The smoothest trees we've ever felt.

The kids got right to playing and my sister in law made us all dinner. For once I didn't have to cook! Then, they surprised me with a delicious chocolate cake for my birthday. Those two things alone were two of my best birthday gifts.

Reading bedtime stories (above); Zeus following Daisy around, annoying her with his need to always be playing (below).

We took the kids hiking to Giant City State Park. We did the simple one mile nature trail, but it was quite the work out. I would love to come back here for more hiking. The kids had a blast climbing the limestone rocks and exploring every nook, cranny, and cave along the way.

We made a quick stop at Castle Park (super cool park with a back story; read about it here) before we hit the road. Although we had originally planned on spending one more night and half a day in town, we drove home a full day earlier than planned due to severe weather forecasted for Iowa. While we were bummed to not get extra time in with family, I'm super thankful I made a safe call because destructive tornados hit right in the path we would have been driving (had we left when planned). Sure it was a long night and we didn't get home until 2 a.m., but the minis were so tired from playing with cousins that the drive was pretty much silent.