Mimi, being a schoolteacher, has the whole summer off and tons of time to spend with grandkids. Unfortunately, spending too much of our summer at their house makes Alli's work difficult and Grumpa doesn't love the drive to Nashville.

This year, Alli had an idea for a solution. We would drive to Aiken, spend a couple days, and bring Mimi back with us for a week. Then, instead of having to get her all the way back to Aiken, we could meet up at a family reunion in east Tennessee. The catch is that our car seats 5, and 2 of those are always occupied by hulking child car seats. Alli was volunteering for a 7 hr drive in the cramped space between. I gave her opportunity to back out, but she remained steadfast, so we went through with it.

Obligatory baby finger escaping the tent at cracker barrel on the way to Aiken photo.
Manimal also got his hair did while he was in Aiken.
Everyone got just a little grumpa time:

Well, anyway, Alli did great with the drive as did the kids. We got some playaway audiobooks (with the actual books and page-turn indicator sounds) from the library to help Hamish with the drive so she wasn't grabbing on mom the whole way, which worked well. Made a couple stops, but generally did okay. I don't think it was the most comfortable setup...

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but it worked.

And then Mimi got to really spend a little more time with us in our normal schedule and see our babies in their natural habitat. We did all sortsa fun things.
Library trip to meet and sing with mother goose:

A trip to Cumberland park to play in the splash pad, sit by the river and have lunch, and then get dirty in the sandbox.

We didn't take any pictures in the water park part though, unfortunately.
Mimi came to Hamish's mother's day out to read to the class:

We went to play at the park

Mimi read one or two books:

We had a big fancy teachers' dinner with Hamish's teachers from the last year:
(on the menu: Asian shrimp salad, mango cucumber cilantro lettuce wraps, lemon-lime sage pasta, and peach-blackberry-ginger cobbler with vanilla ice cream. yum)
Somebody also got roped into reading one or two books:
And Mimi put the Manimal to sleep on at least one occasion:
Looks awful, right?
We also took an afternoon trip to Edwin Warner park and waded through the shallow river,
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went out for paletas at Padrino's pops one afternoon and strolled to see the ducks, and Alli and Mimi went out to the Bluebird for live music (Alli taking my place last minute when I didn't feel so hot)

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There's probably more I forgot. Well as you can see Mimi had a great time with us and us with her. We're thinking about a minivan for the next time we try this...