Room rate per night at our hotel: $119; Gallon of gasoline in Columbia, SC: $3.89 (if you can find it); Box fan to drown out hotel noises so that Ben would sleep: Priceless.
Okay, so staying for a week in a hotel with a seven month old proved to be a greater challenge than I expected. I guess as an adult you don’t notice the banging of the heavy hotel doors or the continuous conversations out in the hallway as much as a baby who is trying to get some sleep. On Wednesday night we purchased a box fan and by Thursday he was sleeping peacefully through the night again!!
We were pleasantly surprised that Ben did AWESOME on the drive to/from Columbia. It took us seven hours and forty-five minutes including three pit stops for gas, food and potty breaks. It was only about the last 45 minutes on the way there that he started to get kind of cranky. Thankfully we had the tambourine in tow and it worked wonders! Click here to watch the tambourine boy. I also remembered to pack one of Ben’s CDs with Old MacDonald on it. I believe this is his new favorite song…we played it on repeat for those entire 45 minutes!!
Things went really well for Jake at the school. He had a good crew working for him and they got lots accomplished. Ben and I had fun eating lunch with him on a couple occasions and checking out the progress at the campus!
Ben and I spent most of our time playing in the indoor pool at the hotel. He had lots of fun kicking his legs like a little froggie and splashing his hands in the water. He also enjoyed sailing around the pool in his yellow floatie boat. My legs have actually been sore this week from running up and down in the shallow end with him. In the evenings Jake and I would get in the hot tub and let Ben dangle his feet in the warm water. I am pretty sure he thought it was a new version of bath time with really cool jets!
We also spent some time roaming around the city. On Thursday I took Ben to EdVenture Children’s Museum.
He had a blast! He loved beating on the drums at the “Timbuktu” West Africa exhibit and composing his own music at the “Sounds Good” music studio. We also spent some time playing on this cool ship!
After about two hours it was time to go. Ben was asleep before I pulled out of the museum parking lot and went on to take a nice two hour nap back at the hotel.
Here are a few highlights of the funny comments we heard about Ben from strangers during our visit to Columbia:
Stranger 1: “He sure is a big boy…what is he about 17 months.” (I kindly replied that he was seven months. I wanted to say, try 17 minus 10!! This became a big inside joke for us throughout the week.)
Stranger 2: “He looks like that baby on those commercials, you know the ones with the baby at the computer.” (I was thinking to myself, yes, I know the ones and the one with the baby spitting up is actually pretty realistic for us!!)
Stranger 3: Ben and I were checking out at a store and this little girl came riding up on her momma’s shopping cart. Ben had been a little cranky but when he saw this little girl he started smiling and squealing with delight. The little girl turned to her mom and said, “Momma, he sure is happy to see me!” She was very cute!
Stranger 4: “Myyyyy, what a sweeeeeet baybee!” (Picture in your mind a little lady with a pretty hat on her head and a very strong southern accent.) The people in SC were SO friendly!!