Ok, we survived the trip to NY and back. The drive really wasn't all that bad, you know, if you like The Incredibles enough to watch it 8 times in a row, or if you enjoy driving bleary-eyed through the mountains at 3am.
Really, though, it wasn't all that bad. The kids were mostly quiet for the ride, and the company once we got there was very, very good. The weather was beautiful for the first 3 days, then slightly rainy after that. We got in some good park time, a trip to Lollypop Farm, some good cider and fresh fry cakes, and visited with family that we only got to see a handful of times throughout the last 3 years.
We visited with my grandparents (that's Big GG and Little GG to the boys), Aunt Sue and her husband Dahni, my cousin Chris (who has been in Japan teaching for 3 years- I think- ) and his girlfriend Sakiko, my other cousin Mike and his wife Jessica, and my other cousin, Jonathan. We also paid a visit to my great aunt Babs and great uncle Bob, who were completely charmed by Chase. Big GG, unfortunately, ended up in the hospital for the last few days of our trip. We didn't put him there...it was a nasty bout of pneumonia. He is being well taken care of now, though, and is on the mend. So, yeah, ups and downs, but I always love going back there...and it is always fun sharing my guys with all the northerners.
Bonus: there is a new Goodwill store close to my grandparents' house. It was so clean and well organized. I went there like 3 times. Ian got a new pair of Lands End boots for $2, 2 pairs of pretty good fake fuzzy Crocs for $3, and Connect Four for $.99, I got new jeans and a sweatshirt, and Chase got a new book. Gaga got a pumpkin carving set with neat light-brite like lights and a puzzle to do with Ian. We scored big. The only way we made it back home in the van was due to my dad's amazing packing power, otherwise someone would have been strapped to the roof.
And now, too many pictures:
Cousin Chris hanging out with Chasey at the good BBQ place.
Little GG was an excellent baby sitter.
Ian digs into his Abbott's frozen custard. I am kind of glad that there isn't an Abbott's in NC, because I would be 300 pounds.
Ian and Gaga at the park.
Gaga, Ian, Sakiko, Chasey, and Chris at the GG's house.
Chase is such a big boy now, navigating the entire playground on his own. I only occassionally get freaked out at how close he hangs over the sides.
Who's job was it to rake up the baby?
Gaga and Ian on the slide- young at heart, that woman is. And young on the outside, too, of course. (Hi Mom!)