Sean got no sleep while on call last night. Not due to many women in labor, but due to two separate people needing a copy of the schedule. At "just after he drifted off to sleep o'clock," and "just after he'd drifted back off to sleep o'clock." No worries, he could sleep in the car. Somehow he forgot that we have four children.
After filling our cart with all sorts of Swedish particle board, we finally made it to the magical bin that held Jude's star birthday present. A kitchen set. We trekked the 2+ hours to find that their online in-stock notifications lie.
Y'see, last week we bought a ton of stuff at Lowe's to make our own, custom made kitchen set. And be we and our, I mean Sean and his. Our cute idea suddenly turned expensive and laborious. I found the IKEA set and all the Lowe's stuff went back to the store, where it belongs.
Back to IKEA, there was no kitchen set to be had. Sean even tried to haggle for one of the several display models. Apparently it is against IKEA rules to sell the floor model of anything kid related for safety reasons. Awesome.
To make the trip feel worth it(aside from the already full cart), we let the kids go nuts at the per pound candy wall. At least we got to cash in on the $5 off of $20 food purchase. I got a less than heartfelt, "Way to go, Mom." from Sean. Whatevs, gotta make that dental insurance worth all the hype.
Even though he declared we would not be eating anywhere fancy(side note: fancy means anything grander than Chick Fil A), I found a lovely, local joint on Yelp in Fredericksburg. It was here that we learned perhaps we were in for an interesting ride home. Someone mentioned "storm," there was rumor of "tornado," etc. etc.
This only prompted me to grab coffee before leaving city limits should we enter a weather induced traffic jam. As I hopped out at the first sign of espresso, I didn't bother to take notice of where we were.
The year of DC was so chaotic for us with school and a new baby and only living there for a year that it almost feels like it never happened. As I opened the coffee shop door, a wave of recollection hit me. I almost said it to the barista, "I've been here before!" And then I saw her face and realized she wouldn't have been interested in the drawn out story of deja-vu. I assume all of those reading will be, though! I don't remember why we were in Fredericksburg back then. I remember it being cold and all of us running into the coffee shop for hot chocolate and coffee and that's where the memories end. It must not have been for any length of time or exploration because I found so much great stuff in Fredericksburg that I want to go back and see.
After grabbing a coffee, we decided to take the scenic route home. Of course we did. Simon mentioned after an hour or so that he got a weather alert on his iPod. I decided to turn weather alerts on on my phone. As luck would have it, we were smack dab in the center of a tornado producing line of storms. We had a quick discussion about the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. The funny thing about the scenic route is that there is nowhere to stop. Nowhere. There was one cinder block gas station that we passed, nah. There was another gas station that was out of business. A few trailer parks and some churches rounded out the options. We discussed what would need to happen if we spotted a tornado and ran through a ton of scenarios. Thankfully, we didn't have to act any of them out.
We saw some freaky looking clouds and felt the 60 mph wind gusts several times, but we made it home in one piece. The tornado that hit Waverly was just west of us. Given that it was traveling at 50mph straight for us, I'm glad Sean was feeling the urge to get us home quickly.
I did some digging and found these pictures from our first visit to the coffee shop. I remember more of the story with the pictures to prompt. It was December of 2012, so not too terribly long ago/a lifetime ago(!). We had dropped my parents off at a little airport and gotten stuck in traffic on the way home. Fredericksburg just happened to be the exit we hopped off at. Funny little life coincidences. The bit of deja-vu took me on this trip down memory lane. Look how little Felix was.
Pictures from today. Still shots are not nearly as impressive as a video would've been, but imagine the creepy clouds blowing around at 60 mph while your kids mumbles in the back, "The clouds are spinning in circles." Exactly what one wants to hear as they calculate how to get four kids into a ditch at a safe distance from the likely to overturn vehicle. This was just after we passed a field of grazing cows and were able to recollect about the movie Twister. I should add that we never actually saw any tornadoes, much to the disappointment of several(but not all) of the kids.