We get there.
After 5 and a half hours in the car, we all arrived safely.
I didn't jump out or throw any of my kids out.
I've learned to celebrate even the tiniest of victories.
After talking through my "road trip issues" with dear friends, it was made very clear to me why I hate them and Aaron likes them.
One of my friends pointed out that men like car rides because all they do is drive.
This was revolutionary to me.
I had never thought about it before.
For some reason, I think driving is a hard job.
"Aaron has to drive the whole way" is really how my brain thought through road trips.
when you think about it...
that's not very taxing.
On the other hand...
crawling over seats to pass out Capri Suns or to re-buckle a child who got caught half way, trying to escape from their car seat...
that's hard work.
After being in the car for an extended period of time, the only place I hope we're driving to is a chiropractor's office.
My neck hurts from turning around to assist in some way.
I have buckled and rebuckled myself 98,000 times from the beginning of the trip to the end of the trip.
And Aaron has sat there and...
as well as watch my rear end crawling into the back seat many, many times.
He admits...the driver has the best job!
I think he may even bribe the kids into being extra needy, because extra needy means extra times when Aaron gets to see my rear end in his rear view mirror.
We get to Garner.
We wait a very, very long time to get our camp spots.
If you go to Garner with a group, make sure to plan something fun for the kids to do while you all check in. We didn't...and we regretted it. Poor babies (and grown ups) we drove forever, get there and then you find out you aren't really there...you have to wait a long time to get all the details ironed out, spots picked and tags on your windows.
The entire time I was getting ready for this trip I googled "cabins in Garner" a ton of times to come up with not ONE picture of the cabins.
Why aren't there pictures of the cabins?
I need to know the lay out.
I need to know what to expect.
In my daydreams about camping, the cabins were made out of trees...so cute...so quaint...so clean...so post card campy.
The real Garner cabins...um...not so post cardy.
When we arrived, I walked in...saw TWO roaches...alive...
I sat down in a chair.
My head was spinning.
I was trying not to cry, but Aaron walked in...I saw him...and I cried a little.
I was so disappointed in myself!
I SO wanted to do this!
I can do dirty.
I can do hot.
I can do outdoorsy.
I can't do roaches.
I'm terrified of them. Remember this?
Aaron saw me, sat down in front of me, was so sweet and said...
"You can't do this, can you?"
I was trying hard to hold back the tears.
"No...I want to though. I don't want to ruin this for you and the boys. I want to be able to do this" I said.
"But you can't, can you?" You won't sleep all week, will you?"
"No...I won't. I can't."
Then he was so precious and said, "What can I do to make this better?"
Ugh. I was so upset with myself.
I did NOT want to be high maintenance.
I wanted to unload our stuff...be manly in a womanly way...and get down to that beautiful river.
I was disappointed in myself.
I should have known myself better. If I had really thought through this whole thing, I would have KNOWN I could not do this.
I'm not this kind of person, and deep down, I know that.
What was I thinking?
Next, Kirby came over.
I almost cried to her too.
It is funny NOW to remember the conversation with her and Aaron.
I was so sad that I couldn't do this. They were so calm.
I said..."I don't want people to make fun of me. I don't want to ruin anyone's vacation..." I was a mess.
They both said that YES, I was going to be made fun of, but this isn't going to surprise anyone.
Aaron even said..."This is why we like you...you're insane."
I don't know why that made me feel better...a normal person would have probably been offended...but it DID make me feel better.
Kirby added..."This is just you. No one is going to be shocked by this. You're eccentric. You're crazy...but we love you."
Aaron says..."What can we do?"
I said, "I would rather sleep in a tent than sleep in this place with the roaches."
When I'm sleeping there are some rules...and one of them is that no roaches can touch me.
That's not so high maintenance, right?
Well...we couldn't just cancel our cabin and have a tent spot because Garner is hard to get into, and the tent spots were unavailable.
So...why not put a tent right outside our cabin? We already had that spot...so that should be fine, right?
No tents are allowed on a cabin spot.
And then there was the whole air conditioning issue.
Yes...go ahead and laugh...
But we brought an air conditioner.
And so did lots of other people, so just shush-it.
It's May in Texas...it's hot.
And again...for VACATION...sleeping in sweat just doesn't seem like something you can't wait to leave home and do.
Aaron was sure he could air condition our tent outside. I believed him. He can do anything.
But, we couldn't have a tent spot, and we couldn't pitch a tent on our cabin spot.
Aaron thought of a brilliant plan.
This sweet man drove about 40 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart.
He bought us a huge tent.
He also bought us two queen sized air mattresses.
He drove 40 miles back to Garner and put a tent up in our cabin.
We tent camped inside a cabin with air conditioning.
That's the way the Hendricks do camping, people...
this is where it's at.
I felt so bad for Aaron having to work so hard on his first day of vacation...but he was wonderful.
While he was working, I went up to him, practically in tears again watching him work. I said, "Aaron, I'm so sorry I'm so annoying."
He said, "Heather, my mom always used to say that my dad's favorite thing in life is to save the day. It's my favorite thing to do too."
He was right.
Aaron loves to save the day, and he gets the opportunity to do it almost daily. He is amazing, such a genius and can make any bad situation good. It's a gift.
He made a potentially horrible situation wonderful.
The tent remained ZIPPED at all times unless one was entering or exiting, which was restricted to bedtime only. Under NO other conditions could the tent be open.
Once this issue was fixed, everything was WONDERFUL.
We played at the river all day, hung out and laughed with friends at night, and then went to our cabin and slept in a tent, sealed up, protecting us from roaches. We slept wonderfully on air mattresses with our own clean, wonderful bedding...all in an air conditioned environment.
There was one breach in the tent security system...the only time during the entire trip that this mother lost it. More on that later.
For now, enjoy the pictures of this beautiful, clear, cold river in Texas.
It was incredible. We lived down there last week, only coming back to the camp sites when starvation was near.
This river is so beautiful. It's completely clear. There isn't even any sand! Crazy! It's completely white rock. Even the "beach" area is all white rock...no sand in your food...in your swim suits...it really is heavenly.
Hayden caught fish all week with his goggles! Isn't that amazing? He was such the nature freak. Even random strangers at the river would joke about him being Bear Grylls. This was a huge compliment to him!
None of us wanted to come home. Hayden summed it up best:
"I don't want to live in Bryan anymore. I want to live by that river for 5,000 days."
What a great trip! If you have never been on vacation with friends...you should go! I had never really done this before where you stay with friends for a week. It will be one of my favorite memories, I'm sure.
I got the nick name, Heather Hilton this week.
Don't listen to any of them!
The worst teasing came from my brother and Mike.
Teasing me about sleeping in a tent in a cabin is unfair since they both brought a Marriot with them to camp in.
Now the Wards on the other hand...
There will be an ENTIRE post about them.
They TENT camped with babies and no air conditioning.
They are super hero equivalents to me after this week.
More to come...
Oh...and for the record...
When we got home, the first night, I told Aaron...
I miss our tent. I would take this bed down tomorrow and put up a tent in our bedroom.
I loved it that much.