Baby on a Business Trip - Cousins!4:27 PM
We were back on the road again on Day 4 of our Baby-on-a-Business-Trip travel extravaganza and I can hardly believe that it went so well. Days 1 and 2, and Day 3 were pretty exhausting, but so glad that we continued because this was my favorite day thus far!
I got smart this time and used the "avoidance" feature on my GPS to avoid highways. It took about 15 minutes longer to get to our destination, but the trek through foggy Pennsylvania backroads and misty green mountains was so worth the extra travel time.
Also, it should be noted that these last few photos were taken on the drive home... when I was not driving (because hey folks, don't text and drive AND don't take photos and drive! Technology ain't worth your life).
I was headed out to meet my sis and the nieces, my sis-and-law and the nephew, and my mom at Ricketts Glen State Park for swimming, picnicking and delicious wonderful summery-esque cousin fun!
Aaaaaand our day turned out TOTALLY different than we expected, for these reasons.
1. Continual drip-dropping rain. The weather man said that the rain would only be happening at 10:00 am. The weather man was wrong. Both my sis and I worked for a weather company years ago, so we know that they are only interested in being "better than the competition," but seriously... nobody else gets it wrong so often and still has a job at the end of the day.
2. Temperatures that hovered around 60 degrees. None of us packed clothes to deal with cool weather. It had been bright and sunny and super-hot the day before (check out my red face pic from our park playdate as proof) and so we were expecting the same.
3. Drained lake and closed beach. The weather really didn't matter too much because there was NO WATER IN THE LAKE. In our defense of visiting a state park under construction, two of us checked the park's website and didn't see the warning about that (it was not on the main page, even though that fact was like, super-important).
4. Being out in the middle of nowhere with no other options. We would have to drive and drive and drive to even get to a McDonald's and even then, no guarantee that there would be a playplace for little ones to plaaaaaaay.
Sooooo.... we decided to make the best of it! If nothing else, we made some fun muddy, cold and interesting family memories!
We found the most dry picnic tables in the middle of the pavilion, spread out some extra tablecloths for play areas and let the littles gallivant.
I loved Guardian's little monkey towel!
After our lunching, we headed over to the visitor center and found a big ol' room perfect for reading, crawling, talking and eating many, many chocolate chip cookies together. There were wildlife and nature exhibits for discovering things, and it was like a summer field trip!
Devereaux discovered a turtle.
And then he totally zoned out, because naptime.
His boy-twin cousin (five months apart!) had decidedly more mobile fun!
The little girlies disappeared behind books in the corner.
Unplanned memories are the best! Before long, it was time to head back towards our hotel. My mom was coming with us so she could take us to the airport the next morning, and so we had a fun afternoon swim in the hotel pool and then she babysat Devereaux so Brandon and I could have a mini-date! It was only about 100 feet away from Grandma's hotel room... we went over to swim in the pool and soak in the hot tub, but the uninterrupted conversation was delightful! It had been a long business trip week for us and there was so much to catch up on.
Then, it was dinnertime and we all enjoyed Moe's Southwest Grill. Yes, it was slightly ironic that we came to PA to eat TexMex, but we really wanted to try it. Moe's didn't disappoint.... TexMex that was similar in style to Chipotle, but with free chips and the COOLEST soda option machines I have ever seen! Devereaux enjoyed many spoonfuls of avocados from Grandma's guacamole.
The Day 5 adventures began with Hampton Inn coffee.
Side note about brand loyalty: My parents are extraordinarily loyal to the Hampton Inn brand. They have stayed in Hampton Inns for years and years, and loooooove them. Brandon and I have become converts to the brand, after trying a few other hotel chains on our trip down south and being wholly unimpressed. We love the cleanliness, friendliness and really...the Hampton Inn's daily breakfast and 24/7 coffee and warm evening chocolate chip cookies are pretty great, too. :D
That's our plane!! Devereaux and I flew on a different plane than Brandon on the way home, and so we did the ticket check-in, security checkpoint and waiting at the gate all by ourselves. Considering Devereaux went through three outfits by the time we actually got on the plane, I was hoping for an uneventful flight.
We sat by a mom and her three sons. I had chosen my seat carefully... last row, right by the restrooms, on the aisle. Ease of movement and less people to worry about. Things were going great, Devereaux was almost nursing to sleeep.... and then, someone walked by and bonked him in the head. Darn it! I spent about 45 minutes going into the bathroom, swaying in the aisle (I waited til the flight attendants went to do drink service and so didn't need to get back my way) and hoping for sleep. Not for me, for the baby! Eventually, he did sleep (praise the Lord!!), but we were sooooo happy to finally arrive and see Daddy.
It was an action-packed, fun-filled, exhausting five days, but we were happy to be back at our summer "home." And Devereaux learned how to do this! BOOYAH!