Monday, November 10, 2008

spelunking we will go...

since "gigi" (aka granny) has been in town...we haven't really done anything new & exciting so we decided to head out yesterday to luray...home of the caverns! what an experience that was!

no one even remotely explained to us that when you walked through the very NARROW door to start your would promptly be greeted with 87 stairs to embark down - not good when you are equipped with a double jogging stroller, two children, & one sweet granny who has two bad knees! first obstacle - check. as i grabbed the camera bag, my purse, two blankets, a teddy bear, AND MADELINE...i started my way down! jeffrey, the big brute that he is, hoisted the double stroller and began his descent...with ella in tow! poor granny began to go down as well and thank goodness for the kindness of strangers...because we didn't have enough hands to assist her! we all made it in one piece...mission accomplished!

as the docent begins her speech about the caverns and we learn about the stalactites and stalagmites...we begin to hear madeline...or should i say we begin to hear some tunes coming from her diaper. seems that right about the time we get into the deep cavern where things echo...the sugarless gum that madeline got into before we left home (that's a whole other story for a whole other post!) began taking effect...thus causing her to be, well - let's just say - more "tootiful" than usual!!!!!! 2nd obstacle - check.

we viewed the first exhibit...pluto's ghost...and then comes, you guessed it - obstacle #3...check. the opening (aka doorway) to walk through did not seem big enough for me to push the girls jeffrey, who by the way is pushing granny in her first wheelchair experience of all time, begins to lift the girls through this rock doorway. what he doesn't understand until it is way too that i am ATTACHED to the stroller by that strap you can use for running (yeah, i have never used that feature because i never run...but you get the picture)...and he is literally dragging me along with him!!!!!!! the entire group of people on the tour with us are staring in our direction at this i felt the need to announce that everyone should just ignore us...but how - we are making a total spectacle!!!!!! *sigh*

i am thinking to myself..."great, we only have another 1.25 miles of this adventure. super"!!!!!! yes, folks that's how long the tour was...1.25 miles! right about that time, we hit a downward slope that sent me and the stroller, with my precious cargo, sliding down at a breakneck speed. there was no traction & no stopping...look out heels of anyone standing in front of me...i cannot STOP!

obstacle #4 - check. thankfully, those same strangers that helped the abandoned "gigi" at the top of the stairs, helped me put the brakes on and helped me for the rest of the tour!

since we were such a distraction, we ended up missing most of the explanations for things - because we tried to remain as the caboose at all times...but the girls thought the cave was neat...and there were some really neat parts! unfortunately, right about the time i was going to get the BEST picture of camera battery died. obstacle #5 - check.

we made it to the end of the luray caverns...and we discovered that there was in fact a lift that granny could ride to get her up the stairs...thank goodness. the only bad part was that jeffrey, who took the girls to the car while i waited with granny, did not realize that the stroller was not allowed to be brought up on the lift. obstacle #6 -check. once again...i have everything that i had before - minus madeline - and there is no way that i can lift the stroller up 87 stairs! so that just meant that i got a good "glut" work out...up & down twice for order to go get jeffrey!!!!!!! i'll add a peanut butter cup to the end of the day - check!

all in all, even with all the challenges, we had a great day and the drive was absolutely gorgeous. the weekend was peak color for the fall leaves...and i whipped out some christmas tunes as the soundtrack to our excursion!

i don't know what next weekend will bring...but it certainly can't bring any more obstacles!!!!!!

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