I guess it's about time I write about our trip to visit Jenavieve's birth family in South Carolina! We left early in the evening on Thursday. Our plan was to drive through the night, stopping to nap at a truck stop if we needed to. We would save money by not staying at a hotel and wouldn't have to have an awake toddler in the car all day. Unfortunately, Jenavieve wasn't able to sleep well in her carseat so we ended up stopping in Virginia at a hotel to sleep. They had free hot breakfast, so we ate and then hit the road.
Vivi was actually very well behaved in the car. She ate a lot of snacks, read a lot of books, and we sang A LOT of songs. She made up a new game where she makes motions with her hands, and we have to guess what song she wants us to sing, and as soon as we start singing a song she quickly says "no, no" and moves her hands again. She thinks she's so funny :)
We made good time and got to the hotel around 3:30. Eric and Jenavieve unloaded our bags while I shaved my legs (I was going to wear jeans to dinner that night but it was HOT!) and then we headed over to Grandma Marquetta's house. We met Kapri's sister Quanda and her daughter Reyna, Kapri's dad, and Ka'Praisha and Quez's dad, then we took Kapri, her kids, and Reyna (so her mom could finish getting ready for her birthday party) to Golden Corral, our traditional dinner place. Having 3 kids under 3 and a 5 year old who did a lot of 'helping' made for an interesting dinner, I think the waitress was relieved to see us go, but we had a lot of fun! Ka'Praisha is such a little mama, she wanted to sit next to Jenavieve and cut all her food for her, and got her a big bowl of ice cream because "my sister likes chocolate ice cream". Despite having such a busy dinner, we did manage to do a lot of catching up with Kapri, and she's doing very well.
We dropped everyone off and headed back to the hotel. Jenavieve was exhausted from running around with her siblings and cousin, and got a good sleep. The next morning we got up and had breakfast, then went to get Kapri and her kids to go to Portrait Innovations. My mom made matching outfits for the kids, and Kapri had a coordinating outfit. For her birthday present, we got pictures of each kid individually, all 3 kids together, and Kapri with all 3 kids. We kept a sheet from each pose and gave the rest to Kapri to share with the family. Jenavieve did not want to sit and look at the camera, she was all smiles watching the other kids get their pictures taken, but when it was her turn to sit with them, all she wanted to do was run around. We managed to get really cute pictures anyway.
We took them back to help set up for the party and went for lunch and drove around so Jenavieve could get a nap in. We stopped and bought a sweet grass basket from one of the roadside stands as a souvenier, and got a booklet with it that told about the history of the sweet grass baskets. Our first trip to South Carolina, we thought it was very odd that all of the roadside stands on the high way sold baskets and nothing else. Turns out it is a traditional art form that was brought over from Africa with the slaves, who continued making and using baskets for their work. It is a practice that was passed down through the generations. As big stores started moving into the area, basket makers moved to road side stands. Sorry for the history lesson, you can read more about the history here. We bought our basket from Lizzie's because we saw her actually weaving a basket while sitting there and we wanted to see. She told us that her grandmother used to make and sell the baskets, and she taught Lizzie. We didn't realize how pricey they were, or that they took hours to make a small basket, but I'm a sucker for history, especially since it is a part of Jenavieve's history, so we had to get one. We were able to haggle a price on a small basket, perfect for Vivi to carry around, and were on our way.
Check back soon for part 2 of our trip, and a link to all the pictures!