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Shell (pen name Eviefan) December 16, 2001
It was the start of the Family vacation, and Alex woke up before the sun. Going on trips with the whole family was his favorite thing, and he wasn't about to waist any time. After allowing himself to wake up, which took all of three minutes, he got out of bed, and ran down the hall to his parent's room. The door was standing wide open so he ran in and launched himself on their bed landing mostly on his father who let out a groan.

"Evie I think we have a son who needs to be tickled," Rick said, then before Alex could get away, he was grabbed and tickled quite thoroughly before either of his parents let him go.

"Okay I won't do that anymore stop, stop," He laughed, as Evelyn gave him a Raspberry on his belly. Once they let him go Alex started out.

"You two hurry up because we need to get on the road," Alex said then turned and was gone. Once he was gone Evelyn squealed as her husband pulled her against his body.

"Do you have something in mind Mr. O'Connell?" Evelyn asked as she traced her finger against his lips.

Heidi Rittner (pen name JasmineHR) December 16, 2001
Rick lowered his face to hers and was about to show her just what he did have on his mind, but Evelyn recognized that look he gave her all too well.

"Hold it right there!" she said as she put pressure on the finger she still had to his lips. "Do you forget so easily that our bedroom door is wide open and Alex is bound to come running back in here at any second? I don't think that's the way I would like to go about having to explaining the birds and the bees to him."

She gave him one of her sly smiles that showed she knew she started the whole thing. Rick looked a little shocked that this once quiet and shy librarian was getting the best of him.

"You little temptress!" He said as he started to tickle her, just as they'd ticked Alex. "You just wait until you least expect it and I'll put you in your place!"

Just then, Alex came back to see if they were ready yet. They were still in bed acting like children! Alex rolled his eyes at the sight of his dad tickling his mom until she was laughing so hard that she had tears springing to her eyes and was begging him to stop.

"When are they ever going to grow up?" Alex thought to himself as he once again ran and launched himself on to the bed.

Rachel Small (pen name Evie of the Nile) December 17, 2001
Two hours later, and with a new founded bump on his head, Rick had everyone and everything packed up in the car.

"Should we leave Jonathan a list of everything we expect him to do?" Rick asked as he sat in the driver's seat.

"Now come on! He's an adult, he knows how to take care of the house. Besides, how much trouble do you think he could get into?" She knew she shouldn't have asked that question as soon as she finished.

Rick just gave her a sidelong glance and started the car.

They were into the trip for about an hour when Alex started up. He had been sitting, dozing off every now and again, but now he was getting anxious.



"Are we there yet?"

Rick answered, "No!"



"I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to mom." Alex told him in the most sincere voice.

"Alex" Rick said.

"Yes dad?"

"Be quiet."

"But I'm bored!" Alex whined.

"Draw on the foggy windows!" Rick told him.

"NO!" Yelled Evie. "I just cleaned those! Don't muck them up with your dirty hands."

"What should I do then?" Alex asked in frustration.

"Here," Evie said, she reached into her purse and pulled out a block and handed it back to Alex. Who, in returned, promptly became silent.

"What was that?" Rick asked.

"Bubble Gum." Evie replied.

"Bubble gum?" Rick asked again.

"Lots of bubble gum. He'll be quiet while chewing it, and when we arrive. His mouth will be too tired to talk." She explained with a self-satisfied smile.

"Did I mention that you are the smartest woman in the world?" Rick asked.

"Hmmm, no I do not believe you did?" Evie responded as she leaned into Rick, he put his arm over her shoulders and she just sat there for the rest of the trip.

Jean - December 17, 2001
"Well here we are." Rick smiled as he pulled up to the lodge, finding that he was talking to himself. Evie asleep against his shoulder, and Alex out in the backseat. Getting out of the car and stretching, he decided to wake Alex rather than his wife.

"Alex." Rick whispered as he poking his son in the ribs.

"No mum, I don't want to go to school today." he mumbled, rolling away from his father.

"Alex, we're here." with that he was wide awake asking a million questions. "No Alex, I think we have a bathroom in the lodge, we don't have to go in the woods. No, I don't think a bear will eat you while we're roasting marshmallows." he mumbled in response, lifting Evie from the car while Alex grabbed their suitcases.

The lodge was empty, being the fact the O'Connell's were the only ones to be staying here, and Rick took a deep breath as he lay Evelyn onto the mattress.