The boys were anxious to get to the airport. While they don't love to fly they all love the airport. They talk with the security agents and Ian asked if he had to take his shoes off yet. They joked with him and asked him if he shaved yet and assured him he could keep his shoes on until he turned 12. I was proud that he was confident enough to speak up and ask without looking to us to do it for him. We walked the terminal and decided that we'd eat a late breakfast at the airport and fill up on snacks on the plane.
We settled down to eat and watched our plane fly in. We watched them unload the plane and load all our luggage on. The boys had fun trying to spot each of our bags and commented on how fast they load the luggage. All three bins were emptied by one man onto the conveyor belt in no time. The boys passed our time waiting for the plane to board by playing video games and a little boy of about 3 or 4 came over to watch Ian play. Ian talked with him and offered to show him part of his Minecraft land. When Ian started to pack up his bag this little boy tried to help him so Ian thanked him and offered him a piece of his gum. It was so cute!
I passed out their boarding passes and Evan read the numbers on them, putting them in order. We boarded and since we were near the end we knew we weren't going to sit together. I couldn't even find 3 seats together but I did find 2 seats with one across the isle and asked Alec if he was OK with sitting by himself with me nearby and he agreed. The man sitting next to Evan at the window offered to switch with Alec so we three got to sit together after all. Good thing too since it's the first time Alec has flown without medicine or ear planes or anything for his ears. He was very nervous taking off that his ears were going to hurt him and he was going to scream; but he didn't! He was fine. The pilot had warned us that take off was going to bumpy since there was a storm in the area and we needed get above it. As we hit this little bit of turbulence, Alec turned to me and said it was caused by the air thermals. He then went on to tell me all about how birds use the air thermals to hover, glide, and gain altitude too. Sometimes I just have to sit back and marvel... air thermals...
Evan had so much fun watching out the window as we took off. He pointed out everything he saw and told me we were going to fly to cloud cuckoo land (from the LEGO movie). He pretended it had snowed on the ground when we passed above the first layer of clouds and pointed out that we had clouds under us and clouds above us. We talked about how there are many layers of clouds. It was also neat to see how blue the skies were and how sunny it was once we got above the storm. The boys settled in to enjoy the flight and passed the time playing with their toys, playing Nintendo DS games, and watching a movie on the DVD player. I pulled out the Kindle from time to time and used the flight tracker and free Wi-Fi to show the boys where we were flying on the map of the United States, our speed, our altitude and stuff like that. Evan made up his first joke (that he told us over and over and shared with dad and Ian as soon as we got in the car): What kind of nuts do they serve on the airplane? Plain nuts! All of the boys have had their fair share of trying to make jokes but this was the first one that actually made sense and was kind of funny & cute.
Once off the plane the boys hurried to the baggage claim and they each claimed their own bag off the belt. They thought that was pretty neat and exciting. I had them all check the tags to make sure it was their bags and not someone else's and then we went to find our rental car company. The boys really wanted to take the escalator but I was very skeptical that they could maneuver their bags down the escalator; they all had a suitcase and a carry on but they were determined to show me wrong and they all did a fabulous job!
Once we left the airport they all looked around anxiously. Alec pointed out how lush and green everything was. Ian noticed all the housing developments, all the construction vehicles and all the new roads they're building. We noticed that their dirt piles looked like loom or sand-- all fine and without any rocks; so different from our dirt at home. We talked about how much easier it is to dig down in Florida than up in New England. Alec pointed out birds in the marshes near the road and the boys all kept an eye on the clock and our GPS counting down the time we had left to reach our hotel.
After checking in and dropping our bags in our room we got ready to head to the pool and go swimming. The boys loved our hotel pool; which had a big pirate ship in it! They went down the waterslide, swam and played in the sprinklers. Our hotel provides beach balls, pool noodles and other assorted floating toys for the kids to play with. The boys asked their dad to play Jackpot; a game that they made up with the help of some friends and family at the beginning of the summer. One person throws the ball and the others all try to catch it. The thrower assigns values to the balls and each player keeps tabs on their score. The first one to reach a certain amount or catch a Jackpot ball wins and gets to be the thrower in the next game. Alec has started adding negative numbers into his game too. They had fun playing with math and then we all dried up and headed out to dinner.
We ate a local Irish pub and sports bar and the boys watched a soccer and rugby game. They noticed a lot about the games watching the pros play. I had never even seen a rugby match or watch anyone play before and it was quite amazing to see these guys crushing one another and taking so many hits to their bodies without any real protective gear. It was crazy and completely riveting! Evan started pointing out all the Shamrocks and told me it reminded him of all the Ireland books we had read when we were studying Ireland. I was so surprised he remembered! It was late and after a long day of travel we were all tired and ready to try out our hotel beds.