Monday, April 04, 2011

Our Mini Vacation to Durham & Again With the Waiting

We headed to Durham, NC last Tuesday. The main purpose of the trip was for Tim's surgery, but we took a couple of extra days for some fun family time. (A huge thank you to the Kines for farm sitting for us while we were gone.) The weather was cold and wet. The kids were all fighting colds, but we refused to be deterred. There was fun to be had.

Everything started on the right foot when we checked into our hotel. I know the hotel itself really isn't usually one of the highlights of a trip, but we loved this place. The deal I got it on it was fabulous too, and if you know me, you know how much I love a great deal. I took a chance and booked two nights of our stay using Expedia's unpublished deals. The rates here are fantastic, but the catch is you only get limited information about the hotel. You don't even know which hotel it is until you pay for the room.

It ended up that I booked Homewood Suites. The suite was bigger (and nicer) than my first apartment. A full breakfast was included, and what we didn't know until we got there was a dinner was also included. Everything was nice and clean. The staff was friendly. The only thing that would have made the stay better was an indoor pool or weather that was nice enough for us to use the outside pool. We loved staying there, and we got it for a steal. After I get the rebate back from Ebates,  I will have paid just less than $50/night for our stay there!

Photo from Kidzu. Photo credit: Jim Sink.
I hoped to visit some historical (and free) places while we were there, but the nasty weather forced us into indoor activities. The savings from dinner being provided at the hotel enabled us to spend a little more than we planned on activities. We went to the Kidzu Children's Museum. This was a little smaller than I expected, and was definitely geared toward the younger kids. For those of you who are local, it reminded me a lot of the basement of Highlands Museum. There were lots of educational play stations. Even the oldest boys, Tim and Kellen, had fun with the over sized building blocks and other construction type areas.

Photo from Museum of Life and Science
The next day was spent at the Museum of Life and Science. This was an incredible museum. There was so much to do there. We spent the entire day, and still didn't see everything. Our favorite spots there were the Butterfly House, the Dinosaur Trail,  soundSpace, and Amazing Structures. The kids were less than thrilled with the Farmyard. Gee, I wonder why? They were probably afraid someone was going to tell them to grab a feed bucket.

The next day was Tim's surgery. I can't thank Bev enough. She is a friend of a friend who gave up her day to take three of my kids and  three of her grandkids around for the day. The weather was finally nice, and the kids had a great time. This made the day so much easier for me.  Tim spent the entire day at the hospital. Kellen and I were there for the afternoon.

The surgery went well. Tim is going to have a nasty scar on his shoulder, but that really is not a big deal. The surgery really doesn't tell us anything until the lab results come back. They will be checking the removed lymph nodes and tissue surrounding the original melanoma to see if the cancer had spread. The odds are in our favor, but we'll be waiting about a week before we know what happens next.

Again, I want to thank all of you have helped us in so many ways! We have a wonderful community of support!


  1. Continued prayers. That was a good deal! We get similar deals for our annual spring break to the Jersey shore. I love those discount sites!

  2. Patricia Stilwell4/4/11, 9:53 PM

    Glad to hear everything went well. I know how hard it is to wait and you want to think positive but there is that little question in the back of your mind. Praying everything comes back normal.
    We will be taking a trip in May to New York to see another doctor and we wanted to have some fun and make it educational too.
    See you next Tuesday. The girls will have a lot to talk about.

  3. Sounds like you made a good time out of a bad situation. We will be praying that the results are good.

  4. Thanks for the update. I'm continuing to pray for full wellness for Tim and for extra grace from God for all of you to deal with whatever comes. Way to go making a nice mini-vacation out of the trip. I'm glad you made nice memories.

  5. Glad the surgery went well. Praying for complete recovery and good test results.