Now we're on to Brianna and Clayton's Vacation Part II.  When last I wrote, we were meeting my mother and youngest sister, Shannon, on July 1st.  Our drive down to Cherry Point was pretty easy.  We made it in about 14 hours, which was very good time. 

When we got to our place Monday morning, I gave Mom and Shannon a tour of the house, showed them to their room, and the four of us crashed in our respective beds for the rest of the day.  On Tuesday we went to Food Lion with the grocery list I'd prepared before we left for New York.  After putting away the food, we got our socks on and went to the bowling alley on base, Stars and Strikes.  You may remember how Clayton recently dislocated his shoulder?  As a result of that incident, he had to bowl right handed.  However, he is now so used to making due with the wrong hand, that he actually did quite well.  Mom and I did rather well, too.  Shannon's score was all over the place, which we understood once we realized she was holding the ball wrong.  After a couple games, we went home and started preparing for the next day's adventures.

Wednesday was the Fourth of July, and we had BIG plans!  We got up sufficiently early and packed up our picnic, including wraps we made that morning, as well as cupcakes we'd made the night before.  The four of us piled into Clayton's truck, and we headed to New Bern.  Upon finding a parking spot, we scurried over to the Tryon Palace, where we passed most of the day.  There were old-fashioned games, copies of the Declaration of Independence we could sign with real quills, and free lemonade.  At 11AM, "Governor Alexander Martin" introduced another costumed man as John Penn, one of North Carolina's signers of the Declaration, and welcomed Penn and his wife as guests of honor at the day's festivities.  "John Penn" then read the Declaration aloud to us all.  It was particularly moving, as people cheered the principals it espoused and booed King George's offenses against America.  Also, there was a costumed man moving throughout the crowd, heckling throughout the reading, which just made everyone else boo the king even more.  

Besides witnessing the reading and playing the old games, we strolled the gardens, had our picnic and participated in a country dance.  I am thrilled to say that, at least in the genre of late 18th century dancing, there might be some hope for me and Clayton, because we were pretty much the only ones who caught on right away.  From the palace, we stopped at the Cow Cafe for ice cream and milkshakes.   As fun as this afternoon was, we couldn't wait to get back home, because the temperature was in the neighborhood of 100F that day.  We got home and quickly got into swim gear.  The pool closed early that day, but we went in anyway because it just felt so good to be wet!  That night, we went to the park in Havelock to watch some nice fireworks.  

Thursday we went to the Pine Knolls Aquarium.  The last time Clayton and I went there, it was just us, one or two other couples, and a field trip of grade schoolers.  So when we had to do the parking lot stalking game before even entering the building, we were shocked at how busy it was.  All the same, the aquarium was a lot of fun.  That night, we played our new Parcheesi game, which is a much longer game than I'd thought it would be. 

Friday, we took Mom and Shannon to lunch at Morgan's, our favorite restaurant in New Bern.  The food was, as always, delicious!  Then we walked around New Bern a little bit, and picked up a little fudge from the Bear City Fudge Company.  I picked peanut butter, and Clayton got his usual jalapeno.  After New Bern, we came home and tidied up.  That night, our friends came over and did pizza with us, while Shannon enjoyed the first part of a Harry Potter marathon on t.v..  

Saturday, Mom and Shannon packed up and headed back to New York.  They have since made it back without event.  Clayton and I have since put the furniture we brought down with us in the places where we wanted it, and started catching up on laundry.  I posted recipes from our picnic on the website, as well as pictures from Mom and Shannon's visit.  If I get the go-ahead from Rachel, I'll post pictures from the wedding, too.  That pretty well sums up everything we've been up to til now.  



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