Where do I begin to tell you about our week away? There is a lot to tell and I am not sure I have the energy to go into it all, so I will hit some "highlights".
We left at 5 on Saturday morning. Our drive to Florida was pretty uneventful. The stops took a long time, but there were no issues on the road. One stop at McDonald's in Cornersville TN, took the longest. I believe we waited about 40-45 minutes for our food. Apparently, everyone stopped into this McDonald's at the same exact time. I don't think they were equipped to handle that many people since there are probably only about 25 in the whole town!
We arrived at St. George Island, Florida around 7 at night. Emily and I tried to settle into our camper while Mike ran to the store. He was gone for quite a while. There were no stores on the island and he got lost on the way back. There are no lights on any of the roads so it was pretty hard to find a road that he had only driven once before! In the time that he was gone, I tried to find places for all of our STUFF in the tiny camper. I gave Emily a bath (her bath chair just fit into the shower stall) and get her ready for bed. That first night did not go well. Emily did NOT like the camper. She cried and cried. Mike and I were exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep, but she was not having it. We tried numerous ways to get her to sleep, but no luck. We eventually brought her to bed with us. She fell asleep on me and I had to gingerly slide her onto the bed. That left me with the very edge of the bed to sleep on. Some sleep (albeit uncomfortable) is better than no sleep at all!
Mike's week was pretty hectic. He made breakfast, lunch and dinner for about 70 people each day. He made daily trips to the Piggly Wiggly (which was at least 30 minutes away). It was crazy, but I think he loved it.
Things were very different for Emily and I. She cried uncontrollably almost the entire time she was in the camper. We would go to the cafeteria to eat with everyone and she would be happy-go-lucky. I was surprised because it was very noisy in there and she usually doesn't handle loud noises very well. She would smile at everyone and was charming as ever, but as soon as we got back to the camper, she would cry and cry and cry. I felt like I was losing my mind! I also felt like somewhere along the way, my lovable, happy, easygoing Emily had been switched for this other Emily. I was walking on eggshells at all times. If she was calm, I didn't want to do anything to set her off.
I tried to make the most of things, but by Monday night, I had reached my limit. We went shopping with Mike after dinner. Emily was great the whole time. Mike put his groceries away and we returned to the camper. We were back for 2 minutes and she started crying. I decided to get her feeding pump ready and noticed there were ants all over her medicine bottles on the counter. I started to look for a ziploc bag and found a cockroach in one of the drawers. I screamed and that made Emily's crying fit even worse. I picked her up and went outside for a couple of minutes. I decided to go back in and give her a bath. She cried the whole time. By the time Mike got back to the camper, she was laying on the bed crying and I was pacing in the hallway crying. We found the youth pastor and he got a room for us at a local motel.
Emily was back to her old self at the motel and that made my week better. Mike took the afternoon off on Wednesday and we all went to the beach. Emily did NOT like the beach at all. She cried the entire time we were there (all 10 minutes). I think the noise of the waves was overwhelming for her. I don't think she was a fan of the sand or the cold water either. We took her to the pool afterwards and she was a little better. I forgot to mention, it was about 105 degrees while we were there. So during the day, I didn't really take Emily anywhere. We hung out at the hotel and took naps. Not very exciting.
We left Florida on Friday and headed to Atlanta. On our way there, we had some car trouble near Tallahassee. We went to a garage that a local man recommended and were told that our thermostat was dead. It was replaced and we went on our way (after spending about 4 hours on the coach at the garage). In Atlanta, we started to notice that the car was leaking anti-freeze. We kept an eye on the temperature gauge and made sure we kept the radiator filled with water. We didn't have any trouble with the car while we were there. We left Atlanta Sunday morning and made it about 100 miles before we started to have car troubles again. We thought the new thermostat was put in wrong. We broke down in Manchester, TN. As I type this post, we are still in Manchester. Now we know, that there are multiple issues with the car: the head gasket is blown, it has valve & cylinder issues and the worst part is, the engine is dead. We are waiting for a member of our church to pick us up. He is towing our Honda here. We will drive that home and he will tow our dead Escape back to KY for us. We cannot begin to tell you how thankful we are for our church family!
We would really appreciate your prayers as we attempt to drive about 300 miles in a car that is 14 years old and has seen better days. And as we get home and try to figure out what to do with the Escape. When we do get home, we don't think we will be going anywhere for a while.
By the way, I will do another post with some pictures of our trip to FL and GA.