Thank goodness for Rest Stops!
This is going to have to be broken up into several posts because there is so much data to cover. We'll start with the Pig Roast in Loxley (simply because that seems to be as good a place as any to start). We left right after school and headed south to the town of Foley, which is renowned for two things: outlet shopping and Lambert's.
Lambert's is a family-style restaurant famous for being the "home of the throwed rolls". They literally fling huge rolls at you (with uncanny accuracy, might I add), undermining years of etiquette and table manners that you drilled into your children with one hurled baked good. The entire time we were in line to sit down, my 5-yr-old son kept asking, the doubt filling up his voice, "They are really going to throw the rolls at us?" Then the question inevitably followed, "Can we throw them back?"
Um, no, no you can't. And yes, the highlight was the roll throwing and catching. Of course, explaining that we don't do that at home with biscuits was a little tricky the first day back from the trip, but otherwise, lots of fun.
After Lambert's, we went back to the indoor pool at the hotel and made mischief until 10:00 p.m. The funniest part of this was watching the 15-20 or so people who were scoping out the pool through the glass wall in the hallway of the hotel and seeing their faces when they saw the mountain of kids running, screaming, splashing, swimming. You could read the mental, "Oh, wow, that's a lot of kids, no way are we going in there." So, we had the entire space to ourselves. (bonus)
The next day we got up around 9:00 and headed to the pig roast event on the farm. Now, we were on this trip with our Seniors group from church. The next morning, they wanted to depart the hotel for the farm at around 7:00. I made the lady organizing the event a deal. We wouldn't call her room at 11:00 p.m. if she wouldn't call our room at 7:00 a.m. So, no one complained when we breezed into the event at around 10:00 in the morning. :-)
We had a WONDERFUL time! It was so relaxing and quiet and beautiful. The house where we had the gathering is actually sort of a "play" house. It's a small two-bedroom with a large kitchen, eating area and deck right off of a pond. It's not where the owners live, they just use it for fun events. It couldn't have been more perfect for a big group.
The kids played in the yard, ran, yelled, fished, blew bubbles, and had an all-around marvelous time of it. The adults did much of the same activities. :-) Our hosts were so gracious and everything went well. We had a great time.
Now, to the part you are all really curious about, the pig. First, it wasn't roasted in the ground. They didn't happen to do it that way this time (although, in times past, I understand, they have buried the pig). This time, they used a gargantuan grill/smoker thing. To say that I wasn't totally prepared for what came out of that roaster is an understatement. Now, don't get confused, I'm all for the consumption of dead animals; it's just that I'm in the habit of seeing said dead animals on a Styrofoam tray under cellophane at the Winn Dixie and not WHOLE with the head and feet still attached lying on a big table. Ick. Double Ick.
Elaina, whose favorite food list begins with bacon, summed it up best when she pointed at the dead, smoked pig and leaned in close to me and whispered under her breath, "Yes, I know I love bacon, but I'm not eating a real pig."
And here is the Right Reverend Steve performing the Last Rites before we "consumed the sacrificial pig". Ugh. (And this photo is proof that I'm not the only 'goofy one' in our family. The kids can't help it--they come by it honestly.)
Now, I carry on, but Porky there tasted pretty good. :-) So did all of the side dishes and homemade desserts. Only one child refused to try it and she refuses to try a lot of things, so no big whoop. It was a lovely trip!