Wednesday, June 21, 2017

days 11-12 and FIN

We are home!  Arrived late Monday night after a 2+ hr flight delay.  It wasn't fun, but was still better than a similar delay we had when the kids were 1 and 3 (on the way back from a trip to North Carolina!).

But before I get ahead of myself, the rest of our trip included:

- MASSAGES at the hotel for Josh + me (the kids stayed with my parents from about 6pm Friday to 11am Sunday.  It was a mini babymoon and much appreciated!).  The Hotel Palomar was great - I've never been disappointed by a Kimpton property.

- shopping at a Japanese stationery shop!!  I would love to say I stumbled on it, but I googled "Japanese stationery" and this gem came up, just 2 blocks from our hotel.

haul from the trip.  My stash was looking depleted . . .

- triple dinner date with the lovely Laura and another (anon) blog friend ( + spouses) at Talula's Daily.  We had a blast!  I was just a wee bit jealous of everyone's wine pairing, but . . . next time.

dinner started with lobster rolls . . . decadent

- a trip to visit Josh's college friend.  Their gorgeous home and yard (and some others I saw on this trip) gave me square footage envy, something I never had before.  Annabel and Cameron played amazingly well with their 10+12 year old children.

- father's day gift giving + family BBQ

Mostly just the aforementioned flight home.  Note to self:  fly before noon.  We didn't get home until 10 pm (due to delays on a 4 pm flight) and it was rough!  But we survived.

airport hijinks

We are now back home and today I started back at work, though it was mainly a catchup/meeting day.  Tomorrow I have a full pt day and on Friday I'm on call for a week!  At least I'm armed with fresh vacay energy this time . . . and thankfully no more nausea.

Maybe I'll even have the mojo to post some goals soon!  We'll see . . .

Saturday, June 17, 2017

days 9-10

To anyone wondering if we are ever returning to work, the answer is:  eventually :) .  This is actually the first time we've ever scheduled a 2 week vacation, but I am loving it and hoping it will not be the last.  Yes, it means waiting longer between each vacay, but 2 weeks really allows one to relax and forget about work in a way that 1 does not (at least for us).

Pajama life 

 We left off in Havertown, my hometown from ages 2-18 (I spent 0-2 in downtown Philadelphia before my parents made that classic post baby move to the burbs).  On Thursday the weather was perfect so we headed to the Philadelphia zoo.  

It was gorgeous weather and the kids loved it!  Highlights: a baby gibbon, giraffes, cheetahs (which Annabel is currently obsessed with), the carousel, and ice cream.  Cameron is becoming more and more verbose and it's so much fun to hear his thoughts on everything.

The kids passed out afterwards for a 2.5 hr nap- and I think every adult did too!  We capped the day with dinner at Distrito all together which has evolved to be more casual - perfect for the kids.  My virgin margarita wasn't exactly as good as my usual one but I hope to be back for a real one next year . . .

Yesterday (Friday) we headed to the mall to buy Father's Day gifts.  Unfortunately both kids were in a MOOD and the shopping experience wasn't the sweet one that I was hoping for!  Mission was accomplished though (hope dad likes his gifts though I still need something for my father!) and the kids were cured by some good old fashioned playground time.  Quiet and space to run was clearly what they needed and 3 hours later they were asleep again -- daily naps for the kids have been hard to avoid on this trip, for better or for worse.

We headed back to my parents' house for dinner, and then back out without the kids to see Sigur Ros at the Mann Center.  My parents happily (eagerly!) agreed to watch A and C to allow us a mini babymoon -- we are actually at a hotel for a 2-night stay, which has been a fantastic and restful break so far.  And no one even cried when we left!

To be continued . . .




Thursday, June 15, 2017

days 5-8

I guess I'm behind!  There has been a lot of fun but little downtime, and phone blogging is not my fave.  (Note to self: need portable keyboard at least!).  However, the 4:30am dawn somehow woke me up this morning and I don't feel terribly tired (2nd tri energy burst ... are you here??) so I'll try to capture the highlights of the last 4 days!  There was a lot I want to remember.

Sunday we left Williamstown, and the kids climbed all over famous sculptures while I had a final catch-up with college friends over coffee.  We then headed to brunch at my former professor's house!

Williams is pretty tiny (2000 undergraduates) and one major benefit is the relationships that develop between students and faculty.  I got to know Professor Noah Sandstrom in his very early years - he had just graduated from Duke and was getting his start as instructor (he's now tenured and his wife, also a professor, is Dean)!  I took his (awesome) class called Hormones and Behavior probably in 2000, and clearly it had an influence on my ultimate career path!  I ended up doing a senior thesis in his lab and have stayed in touch since.  They have 2 adorable kids ages 13 and 15 and it was so much fun to see what life is like for them now.  I told them we would be back every 5 years!

From there, we headed to Closter NJ, a northerly NYC suburb where Josh's cousins live, with beautiful and sophisticated 10-year-old twin daughters.  This was also a really fun glimpse at our (way in) Future Life with Big Kids. 

It was blazing hot when we arrived so we started with a swim and BBQ.

Pretty much perfection.

The next morning, the twins made us breakfast.  Seriously, this dill and feta omelet was perfect!  I am hoping to get Annabel into cooking so I can come downstairs to this in 5 years in my own home (I can dream, right?).

We spent the day tooling around Closter and letting the kids play with everything in their house.  

Downtown highlights:  bakery La Tabatiere and a Korean toy store that had some awesome stationery.  Of course I bought several notebooks!!  

After pastries and stationery and 95 degree heat (woah), we headed to Brooklyn to meet up with Josh's brother, my SIL, our 2 NYC nieces, and another set of cousins.  We all had a casual Italian dinner together and C experienced his first city bike trip ... sort of.

NYC is sooooo not my scene but it was great to see family in their natural habitat when we are used to having them down in MIA!  Unfortunately school was still in session up north (calendar is entirely different!) so we didn't get to see much of  my nieces. 

The younger cousins were still around though and we stayed in their Brooklyn home for 2 nights.  We thoroughly explored the playground scene, and spent the day at MoMATH, a math museum in Manhattan.  It was definitely a little over the kids' heads but they loved it anyway.

Tuesday night Josh and I headed out for a special treat - his cousins watched A and C while we went out to see Hamilton!!!  I have never seen a single Broadway show but have been playing the soundtrack on repeat for the last year, and honestly the performance was spectacular.  We were riveted and I am still singing the music constantly.  

Yesterday we drove to Philadelphia (singing the soundtrack the whole way while the kids watched Wild Kratts on iPads) and spent the day settling in with my parents.  We hit up the playground, had dinner, and relaxed -- low key being necessary after all of the prior activity!

So far, this trip has been a big success!  There have of course been some challenges (whiny kids at times; less than ideal sleeping situations)

. . . but overall it has been great!  I do think 3 is the magic number in terms of age to make traveling with kids actually enjoyable.  We will probably plan on lying low for the next few years after #3 is born, or plan trips where we bring extra childcare when we do want to go away!  But A and C have been great overall and I can see it only getting more and more fun in the years to come.

All right ... onto Day 9!  More to come ...