When we found out our niece Madi was going to be in St. Louis we immediately made plans. She's just a couple of years older than our girls and they adore her. She's the big sister they always wanted.
We weren't even all the way to Aunt Mary's (Madi's Gramma), when the girls abandoned us. As we left the restaurant after lunch Aunt Mary asked if the girls wanted to drive with her. Ha! They couldn't get into her car fast enough. We all went to the Amish Country in central Illinois, visiting Rockhome Gardens and a few local stores.
Of course before getting into Aunt Mary's car the blond twin said, "Mommy, you won't be lonely will you?" I thought about saying yes just to play with her, but that seemed mean. They wanted to be in Aunt Mary's car so badly. I told her I loved how much she loved Aunt Mary and I wouldn't be lonely. After all, I had Daddy in the car with me. She wisely noted that it would be good quiet time for me since Daddy doesn't talk a lot as she ran to Aunt Mary's car.
The girls spent two nights with Aunt Mary, Uncle Terry and Madi. The first night alone in the hotel we were too tired to realize how much free time that gave us. When we woke up in the morning we looked at each other and said, "We have nothing we have to do today. We can do whatever we want to whenever we want to do it." Truth be told it was a bit disorienting. Since the girls were born there was always something we had to do.
While the girls went to play miniature golf and see a movie with Aunt Mary, Uncle Terry and Madi, we went to the Cahokia Mounds, a national historic site preserving the remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico on a 2,200-acre educational site. We later drove down along the Mississippi River before meeting everyone for dinner. It was a fun day for everyone, although Aunt Mary did note that the girls were wearing her out. I said, "Is it all the questions?" She said it was their unending energy.
The next morning we picked-up the girls from Aunt Mary's before heading to the Shawnee National Forest. They had a great time and could not stop talking about it.
I'm sure Aunt Mary, Uncle Terry and Madi took the rest of the day to recover. It's fun to have the girls around, but it's not restful. Of course, no one said vacations were restful. Sometimes a vacation is a whirlwind of fun that creates lifetime memories and bonds.