The bags have long since been packed up and loaded and life has returned to its normal routine, both for us and our favorite house guest. It didn't take long for Grandpa to lament the return of quiet, however. Summer...Grandpa and Grandma...house guest? It can only mean one thing: Kayla was here.
She and her friend Elizabeth drove down on Sunday for a mid-summer beach break before college classes start in just a little over a month. College! Wow...it seems strange to be saying that but it's true. Elizabeth was a delight; as easy to be around as Kayla and it was fun hearing two sets of giggles in the house.
Kayla has driven some or all of the way here before but this was the first time sans parents. And her first time navigating around town totally on her own...well, with a little help from the navigational aps on her iphone. She did a great job finding her way where she wanted to go and coping with the heavy rain on the Interstate.
And one of those places she wanted to go was the zoo in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She'd been with some of her cousins a couple of years ago and enjoyed the lemur encounter so much she wanted Elizabeth to experience it. While they thought the reptile encounter was revolting and the kangaroo one appeared boring, they loved the lemurs. Both agreed they'd go back again...right away, if possible.
They shopped, ate at Lambert's (where the waiters throw rolls at everyone and apparently write their cellphone numbers on the bottom of the meal tabs going to cute girls), visited family and dined on steaks grilled just for them by Grandpa.
And, of course, spent time at the beach. They had the timing down perfectly as it was raining when they arrived and it returned again today. For them, however, the sun shined on their beach time. They even stayed for Bands on the Beach, a free concert offered every Tuesday night. The performance by Lektric Mullet, a local band that plays music from the 60's and 70's. The girls allowed as how they'd only heard one or two of the songs but enjoyed it anyway. Wayne and I sighed and felt even older.
The visit was short but then it always is when our girl comes to see us. There was a little part of me that missed the younger version...the one who wanted Grandpa to come play with her in the pool or Grandma to find the Rummikub game. But far more of me was thrilled with this grown-up version buzzing around in her own wheels. She knows she can get her on her own now and I'm sure it won't be long before she'll be checking into Hotel Grandma again.