We were about 10 minutes late to go get Grandmom for our Delaware trip today, and then there were so many detours that we were even later. Good thing it was just a fun day, not her surgery!

Our first stop was Nemours Mansion. I’d seen this place a few days ago when I was searching for things to do in DE and was intrigued by the French gardens there. Except for plantations when I was a kid I’ve never gone to see a house just because it’s huge until today. And it was huge; there are 105 rooms! But the gardens were what I came for. We got there in time to see most of the informational video that talked about DuPont’s life: he married 3 times, gave a lot of his money to people less fortunate than himself, and adopted a war orphan and brought her up as his own. As soon as the video was over we walked out to the shuttle that drove us around the grounds; they were magnificent! The woman at the front desk told us that there had been so many people here the last two days; today was great, though, it was just the 5 of us and 4 other people on the tour around the grounds. I admire how much he cared for other people, and how wiling he was to share his wealth, but I think a gold plated statue is just way too much.

There were several gnomes around the garden that made us chuckle.

When we were let off at the mansion I asked the lady at the front door how we were supposed to walk to the maze garden. She looked puzzled and said we just walk there. I figured there would be a walkway we should use, so I double checked that it was ok for us to walk on the grass and then she chuckled and said yes, we could walk anywhere. She pointed out the empty fountain I’d noticed and said we could even step inside that because there were no signs saying we couldn’t. They’d probably rather I didn’t but since there were no signs we might ought to go ahead and step in. HA! I made sure we got our pictures taken there. I only took mine in there with my camera, the rest were with the circle camera and I’m not sure they’ll show up here.

We walked around the grounds a good bit, and after a little while Grandmom found a place in the shade to rest. Ted and the boys and I walked all the way to the Temple of Love that housed the Diana the Huntress statue, and when we were mostly there we texted Grandmom that she might want to just go back to the mansion and wait for us.

When we’d had our fill of walking and admiring the gardens and were super hot we made our way back to the mansion. Max made it there first and headed to the ice chest to get some water. After a minute I saw him run towards the door and thought he was trying to hide from us like he likes to do sometimes. When I got closer I realized that the ice chest spigot was stuck in the on position and he couldn’t stop the water from running all over the porch, so he was running to tell the lady! She couldn’t get it to work right either, and I was so glad it wasn’t something he had done. We spent some time putting new cups under the spigot and laughing about how the water was going everywhere. We’re making such good memories!

There wasn’t a lot I was hoping to see in the house, I just figured we’d walk from room to room and see what there was. Once I looked at the floorplan of the house the thing that most piqued my interest was the butler’s pantry and kitchen, what an awesome area! There were so many pots there; I can just imagine the elaborate meals they made there.

The bowling alley and movie theater was fun to see, too.

In one of the bedrooms Jack found this fake cat that he wanted to pet.

When we were finished with the estate we talked to the doorman who suggested a burger joint to us. It didn’t have great reviews on yelp so Grandmom picked out Russell’s Quality Food; the name cracked me up, you know it’s quality because it says so right in the name! It had great reviews so I was glad to go there, but when we got there it was a food truck, and it was closed! Ugh. Ted quickly picked another close-by place and it was a winner! Philippine Smoked BBQ and Grill. Jack and I split the 3 meat plate (ribs, chicken kabob and smoked kielbasa), Grandmom and Max each got the 3 ribs plate (which actually came with 6 ribs), and Ted got the ribs and brisket plate. The ribs were amazing! So juicy and falling off the bones! The fries were fine, and the cole slaw was nothing like usual cole slaw but it was great. But if we went back I’d only get the ribs. Yum!

While we were there Ted suggested skipping the Air Mobility Command Museum I’d picked out. I really didn’t want to do that; in order to really do DE I felt like we should spend the whole day there, not just see one place. But he said by the time we drove another hour to get there it would close about 45 minutes later, and it was probably all outside and super hot. So we didn’t go. We looked around a bit on our phones and talked about where else we could go and I said maybe just go to the coast. I found a little park right on the water so we headed that way. There was a little kid there so he and Jack played a bit. Max and Ted posed for crazy photos, and Grandmom and I tried not to sweat.

When we were ready to go we decided to go to Arctic Freeze again and get more great ice cream. Mine had more lime and less coconut this time so it wasn’t quite as good as the first time, but it was still really good with those strawberries on top. This is Jack’s ice cream:

We went back to Grandmom’s and hung out there for just a few minutes while she called Sam and John to see if we could take his part of his birthday cake to him, then we said our goodbyes. I can’t believe our time with her is over!

We took John’s cake to him and got to hear about his first day of work a bit. Then we went to WM on the way home to get some more olive oil for Jack and a church shirt for Max. That boy’s growing out of so many clothes! On the way back to the bus Ted had Max sit in the front seat.

I weighed the cake after frosting it and it’s 8.8 lbs!! That’s just under what Jack weighed when he was born!

Max finished all his school before we needed to leave the house. Ted decided we’d go ahead and have lunch with Grandmom, and then he had a hard time finding a place for it since it was Labor day. We finally settled on Iron Hill Brewery. Grandmom had heard lots of good things about it so she was glad to try it; we’d been here before, the last time we were in NJ. She got the crab cakes, I got a roast beef sandwich (that was good, but super good once I ditched the bread), the 3 boys got cheeseburgers. We were all pleased with our lunches.

Then we drove out to the hospital to see Sam and John. Of course when we walked in the door the receptionist told us that kids under 14 aren’t allowed upstairs! Ugh. I had a bad attitude today and that just made it worse. Max went out to the truck and got electronics for the boys and I stayed in the lobby with them while Grandmom and Ted went upstairs to visit. After a bit John came in and was surprised to see us hanging out in the lobby. Apparently this receptionist is a stickler for the rules and none of the others are. John said he’s been here tons of times and never needed a visitor’s pass, but he did today! After he’d been upstairs for just a few minutes Sam and the rest of the gang came downstairs to visit. Then a few minutes later the alarm bells sounded and we were all locked in place! I was surprised we weren’t taken out to the parking lot if it was a fire alarm, but they said they’d isolate the fire by locking all the doors??!!

When Sam had to go back to her room we headed home. We saw a big playground along the way so stopped and all 3 boys went to play while Grandmom and I talked in the air conditioned truck; it was hot! Then we stopped at a Wal-mart for some groceries. After we dropped Grandmom off at home we stopped by the hotel to return the hand-towel we’d inadvertently stolen; it was funny how much they hooted and laughed at someone actually returning something! Back at home we showered and hit the hay.

We went to the tiny (and old) church again. When it was time for the Lord’s supper Ted took 2 breads! I don’t know what he was thinking; it must’ve been the jetlag. And then when it was time for the juice he took 2 of them!!! He said that he was taking one for Max, but he didn’t tell Max, so he ended up with 2!! Goober!! It’s hard to be serious when he’s being crazy like this. We ended up splitting his extra juice among our 3 cups. I told him not to think he’s better than us with his double portion of everything!

When we got back to the campground the boys were let out at the playground while I boiled the pasta and made butter bread for lunch. I do believe I’ve found the spaghetti sauce recipe I’m looking for, although Ted says he’d like it saucier. It’s really a meat sauce, so I wonder if I just add more tomato sauce and up all the spices if it’ll work.

I took a nap while Ted changed out the light fixtures in the kitchen and man, is it bright in there! I was a little hesitant wondering if it would be too bright, and it kinda is, but it’s also like living in a house again. Nice. I’m glad he changed them out.

When I woke up we sent the boys out to play and I got busy making a carrot cake from scratch. I found a recipe with tons of great reviews from Southern Living, and I had a great time making it. It took forever, and in the end I decided to save the icing for tomorrow because it was getting late, but I had a blast baking it. I hope it tastes good…it baked up pretty evenly so I didn’t need to cut any off, and therefore I had none to taste!

Sam texted us this evening to say there was a change of plans, and do we like Chinese? She’s in the hospital but thinks they’ll release her by tomorrow!!! She’s in a lot of pain, had fluid in her lungs and was having trouble breathing. And she still thinks we’re going to her house for dinner tomorrow?!

Ted has a headache so he’s sleeping late today. I made Jack’s breakfast and we played some Uno.

We stayed home all day, and then around 5:30 Ted started a fire. Max brought out his school notebooks and burned them. It was funny to see him looking through his old notes and laughing and picking things out…like this essay I made him write on having a good attitude.

We slept late, and then I sent the boys out to the playground before it started raining and I made
cinnamon rolls. They ended up being for lunch instead of breakfast; Ted worked on our next route/stop while I was making the rolls so I’m using him as an excuse as to why it took me longer than usual. Although really, it’s not usual that I make them, sooo….

When he came home I had Max bring in the hammock because it’s supposed to rain off and on until we leave; I’d rather not have to wait for that big ole thing to dry out if I can get ahead of the game. Ted is pretty stressed about finding our next place; it’s always a bit of a struggle, and Boston is looking like a no-go again. I think he worries too much about making me happy with where we’re going when I’ve told him a million times that I’ve been happy with every place we got, and I understand that we’re beggars not choosers when it comes to our route. Maybe he just likes driving himself crazy about this like I drive myself crazy about Jack. Huh.

After we ate cinnamon rolls we started school. When Jack was mostly finished I took a nap, and when I got up the boys went out to play again because the rain had stopped. There are so many people here that there are lots of kids to play with. School around here starts soon so people are out having their last fling!

We played some card games, and I made us burgers finally with some awesome Wegmans ground beef. Man, those are awesome! I’ve stopped putting so much on my burgers, just meat, salt, cheese pretzel bun, bbq sauce and a little mustard.

I called Jo and we chatted a good while tonight. Jarod has been suspended for hitting, and he’s been having other trouble. Of course she’s wondering if it’s related to Ted having a different house and a new woman living there. Poor kiddo! After that call I watched a little of the Dateline show with Jamie Foxx and his sister with DS. He literally said that she taught him how to live!!!! Lol!! We’ll have to tell Hooper that when we see him next.