For those who don't know about my amazing work schedule, I work three days on, and three days off. The three on days are twelve hours long, so by about 4 PM on day 3, I am absolutely dragging - but it's all worth it for those three glorious days off! This week, I was asked to work on Saturday (would have been my second day off) because one of the other managers wanted to use her comp day that day. Sure, no problem. In return, I got Wednesday off (would have been my third day working). I spent a good portion of Monday morning in and out of the bathroom at work, and feeling downright lousy, so I asked my boss if I could go ahead and take Tuesday as my comp day, since we would have plenty of coverage anyway. He agreed, which ended up granting me five days off in a row. Five days off. In a row. And so even though I spent last week's days off at my dad's place in Pennsylvania, I decided to make the trek back to spend some more time spoiling my nieces.
I got to my dad's yesterday afternoon around two. After a visit with my dad and then a short nap, I took my nieces out to dinner at the Pennsyltucky Grill. Then we made a quick Wal-Mart run, and then headed back to the house for a little bit. In the evening, I took the girls to play Miniature Golf (Scarlett won - she's a champ!), and then we went and got ice cream. Lovely afternoon!
This morning, I woke up fairly early after the girls and I all camped out in the living room last night watching "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." Don't judge me. I blame it on the fact that the girls are 7 and 11, but to be honest, I'd probably be a nerd and watch it anyway. Shortly after I woke up, I saw Lily stirring on the other side of the room, so I asked if she was up. I don't think she was really up, but my talking woke both girls up. We decided to go to the zoo. There is a zoo pretty close to my dad's house, but the girls told me that the one that's a little further away is a bit nicer, so we decided to go to that one instead - Space Farms Zoo & Museum. It was really fun. I'm glad the girls asked to go there instead, because it was considerably nicer than the more local zoo.
Sidenote: I'm also glad they opted to go to that zoo because the ride there was absolutely breath-taking. I mean, perfect. At one point, we drove up this incredibly steep hill, on top of which I felt like I was on the top of the world. I often forget how beautiful home is. Today was a reminder that home is amazing.
After the zoo, we headed back toward the house and stopped for lunch at Apple Valley Restaurant, and checked out a gift shop right next to it on our way out. Then when I found out that the girls had never been to Grey Towers (a staple in my childhood - we were definitely a family of day trippers. Never a real amazing vacation, but we day tripped all over the place), I took them there. Speaking of breath-taking views! Oh my goodness, another place that I forgot was so perfect (or never appreciated in my youth).
This evening, I hit a local general store/deli to grab dinner for everyone. After we ate, I took Dominick, Lily and Scarlett out miniature golfing. It was nice to have Dominick with us, because he's only here part-time. Dominick won the game. We had a blast, despite some rain and a bit of lightning. We kept on playing (possibly not the best idea, but it never seemed that we were in danger. Though ya know, carrying metal golf clubs around may not have been my most brilliant idea). Then the girls asked if we could get ice cream again, so we did that.
I'm having so much time being around the kids. It's really making me wonder if moving closer to home is the best idea for next year. I have so many ideas in my head about where I might want to be next, but it's been great getting to spend so much time with the kids these last two days - plus last week. I just wonder if it wouldn't be as special if I lived closer. Luckily I have several months to figure it all out.
Photos coming soon - I have no way to transfer them to the computer tonight, so it will have to wait until I am home (probably tomorrow).