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Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm by flerly.

This evening I had the pleasure of meeting Chad’s wife and her fair-haired children. I mentioned on Facebook that I was actually stunned to realize that I’d never met them before — Chad comes up to Alabama to deer hunt over Thanksgiving or New Years every few years so we’ve seen him, but the big visit with Beth and the kids was only relived in stories and pictures for us since we weren’t there. Still, the muffin-nazi, the surprise-wedding, the kids forced to dig a hole in the driveway for entertainment when their 4-wheeler wouldn’t start… all seemed so familiar.

I am the kid-whisperer this trip, though. The lovely miss Skyler, who is 12, struck up conversation with me shortly after being introduced, since I reminded her of Kim Possible, and we hung out all through dinner. She was hilarious, quick-witted, and generally fun to interact with, and she hopes to either grow up to be a singer, a graphic designer, or a roller-coaster designer. After our invisible game at dinner, I figured she might have said actress or comedienne, but then she starting elaborating on some of her coaster ideas and it was clear she’s got some talent there, too.

Her little brother, Riley, who is 5, was just a hoot — even though he’s not his actual son, his silliness reminds me of young Chad. The kid was introduced to us while his eyes were practically swollen shut with allergies from the cats where they’d been staying for the wedding. Apparently smacking himself in the eye occasionally made them feel better, so he kept doing it. He informed us when he turned 6 his allergies were going to go away.

So our hotel, actually quite the find I think, has a lovely courtyard with a tropical garden full of paths, little hidden patios and gas grills, shuffleboard areas and a nice pool. After our dinner at Captain J’s (where the kids eat calamari calling it Squidbert), we hang out by the pool and chat some. They don’t have suits so they can’t swim, and being by the pool is making both the kids crazy. Riley is enjoying seeing how far he can run down one of the garden paths — through the giant blooming and quite fragrant gardenia — before he’s made his mother equally crazy and she yells at him. Each time he is called back he sneezes his head off for a few minutes, smacks himself in the eyes, and then starts all over. 

Chad also informed us that Riley had an “entertainingly short” gag reflex, so if you pretend to say, put your finger in his ear then touch him on the lip, the kid starts gagging and it’s apparently quite funny. As there was some bird-poo he spotted on our chairs by the pool, we got a demonstration as Chad went after him with one fake touch of the poo then headed for his face. He’s also a sucker for the old pointing and saying “What’s that!” — as he’ll stare and stare trying to figure out what you’ve spotted. Silly and entertaining. Much too soon they all had to leave, still 2-hours drive home for them and tomorrow is a school day.

Anywho… too much sun, too much walking, too much “relaxing” and we’re all beat here. All but Team Thornton are in bed already, and this half of the team is about to go. It will inevitably be an early morning, and it will unavoidably be a long long drive home. We’re simply going to have to make a lot of stops for mom this time to make it more bearable for her, so pretty much the ride home will likely be an all-day thing.

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