Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Braver with Friends: Nashville, Huntsville, and Birmingham July 30, 2017

Filed under: Family Life,Friends and Relatives,Summer Vacation,Travel — leighj @ 9:46 pm

We had some fantastic days in Kentucky as we wrapped up our visit. I think I’m going to do bullets, because I don’t have much time, and there was a lot going on.

  • We swam with my high school friend and her children, who are nearly adults. After we swam, her kids took my kids to the park, and she and I went out for a margarita. That’s what I call a win-win-win-win! So fun, and so glad we are close still.
  • On Friday, I took the boys to the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. Two of my friends came along to help and enjoy the science center. Harlan did not like being confined to the stroller and wanted to jump into the water maze. Porter, surprisingly, loved the dark and eerie “Starwalk” and asked to do it twice. Seamus and Gilbert liked the build your own volcano, Burnulli’s principle, and a few other things. My dad had packed us a picnic, which was a lot of fun to enjoy under the solar panels, until we realized, we’d picked the panels with gaps! It started raining….

    They liked the build it center.

  • Saturday, we picked up Patrick from the airport and started our family vacation in earnest. Our first stop was at our friends’ pool south of Nashville. They have a three year old too, and it was fun to see what he could do and to encourage Porter to be a little more adventurous. By the time we left, 4.5 hours later (oh, how time flew!), Porter was comfortable jumping off the side of the pool, but only if Heather was catching him, chilling in water over his head with his floaties on, and getting a little bit of water splashed on him. In fact, he was having so much fun and being so praised, he didn’t want to leave, and had a big tantrum. Gordon, our friends’ son, got brave enough to jump in without his floatie. We marveled at the positive effects peer pressure can have.

    So much more fun to swim with friends!

  • After our pool fun, we headed to Huntsville, Alabama to spend the night. It was a nice drive and we were tired, but not totally exhausted. I went to an Aldi to get some snacks and breakfast items. I wasn’t as impressed as some people with the store. It was chaotic and confusing, but I did accomplish the desired shopping. There’s supposedly one getting ready to move into our town in Virginia, but I don’t think I’ll become a devotee.
  • The US Space and Rocket Center was so much fun! I remembered it being so from when I was a kid, but it still holds much charm. We played and looked at exhibits and rode some rides. Afterwards, we had a picnic on the lawn and tasted astronaut ice cream. Seamus was really interested in the moon flights exhibit; Gilbert was a little bored in the way Seamus was bored at Boonesborough; Porter liked seeing the rockets and doing the flight simulator; and Harlan was pretty happy in his stroller. The Saturn V rocket hall was really cool. I wish we could have walked through the replica space station, but moods were souring fast!

    Shuttle behind us!

    Will we learn anything?

    Driving the rocket!

  • We took the “scenic” route to Birmingham, and I’m so glad we did, because we sponataneously decided to take a detour and see a covered bridge, and because the younger boys napped really well, and the older boys were able to finish listening to The Watsons Go To Birmingham–1963, which tells a fictional, heart-wrenching story of the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church, which we’ll see tomorrow. More then!
  • The covered bridge was a gratifying detour.

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2 Responses to “Braver with Friends: Nashville, Huntsville, and Birmingham”

  1. Linda StClair Says:

    Everybody is growing so fast!


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