"Vacation" to Hope

For the past month or so, Daniel's been coming home several times a week saying, "I really need a vacation! I don't care where we go or what we do, but I need to get away." So, we began discussing our options. We didn't want to spend much money or go too far away because we didn't want to use too many of his vacation days (he gets 2 weeks, and they're priceless!). We finally decided on heading to his Dad's house outside of Hope, AR for about 4 days in the woods (he lives on a deer lease). Daniel worked that Monday so he could tackle his sermon for the next Sunday, and then the plan was to leave as soon as he got home and not return until Friday night sometime.

Side note: the week before, Daniel came down with a nasty stomach bug that came and went for about 5 days.

Monday morning (of the day we were to leave), I began feeling a bit queasy, but I tried to ignore it while I worked on packing everything...and I do mean EVERYTHING! I worked all day to get us ready to go, so when the time came to leave, I was exhausted! I usually like to drive because we get places quicker, but I asked Daniel to drive this time because I wasn't feeling well. A great start to a vacation, huh?! We made it to Hope and unloaded the mound that was in the car. Once we were all settled it was time for the kiddos to go to bed. Daniel's brother was spending the night that night, also, so we were short a bedroom, so all 4 Bramlett's bunked in one room the first night...can you say, nightmare?? :) When Ella woke up at 4 am Tuesday morning to eat and Riley woke up because of her crying and refused to go back to sleep, I definitely felt like I was in a nightmare. And then on Tuesday, my stomach bug hit. Yay for vacations!

Once we were able to move Riley to his own room, things got better, but there were still challenges. For instance, Ella decided she needed to wake up and eat every 2.5-3 hours DURING THE NIGHT. What in the world? I was alright when I was sleeping, but when I woke up, I had to head to the bathroom, so that meant both Daniel and I were up and down many times Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Like I said earlier, we were supposed to stay until Friday, but when I was up multiple times with Ella and my stomach Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I insisted we pack up and leave as soon as everyone was up and fed Thursday morning. So, we did just that and headed home from our visit (I just can't bring myself to call it a vacation) to Hope. Poor Daniel came home more exhausted than before we left. Thankfully, God in His mercy, provided some good rest for him that weekend.

So the "vacation" may not have gone as we planned, but there were definitely still moments of fun. Those moments I captured on my camera, and I'm thankful we'll have these pictures to look back on and not pictures of the not-so-fun moments. :)

Riley loaded up and ready to go (amidst the floor-to-ceiling stuff!)

Baby girl's ready, too!

We love Chick-fil-a, so it was a must that we stop at the one in Texarkana and carry it the 45 minutes to his dad's house!

My boys on the 4-wheeler

Riding alongside Pa Son

Family of 4 on the 4-wheeler. Wondering where Ella is?

 Tucked away close to Mama in the baby bjorn :)

Pa Son teaching Riley about how deer rub their antlers on trees.

Sweet little hand that will one day (in the not too distant future) be driving this 4-wheeler alone!

Big girl sitting in Pa Son's chair

Daniel's mom just happened to come to Hope for a meeting, so we were able to meet her for lunch and some touring around Historic Washington State Park.

Meeting the horses that would be our tour guides

The building behind us is where our wedding reception was in 2008. 
(Notice we're not only both wearing stripes, but the stripes line up perfectly in the pic!)

Our own little Daniel Boone

Ready for a carriage ride!

Sweet girl's face when the carriage started moving. She wasn't a huge fan of the ride...ok, really, she cried almost the entire time.

Riley loved it, though!

And Daniel was freezing

Our family with the beautiful jonquils (and our car in the background...)

So for Daniel and I, it may not have been the best vacation ever, BUT I wouldn't trade it for anything because of the time Riley got to spend with his grandfather. He had a blast and made memories he'll cherish for the rest of his life. That made each sleepless night and multiple trips to the bathroom worth it. :)

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