Thursday, July 31, 2008

roadtrippin' with the critter

here's some cuteness to start off with, and then i'll tell y'all about our trip. expect this post to be peppered with random pictures of the cute that may or may not have anything to do with what i'm talking about. :)

portrait

so--we went on vacation last week, a big road trip north to see family and friends and just hang out. the critter did WAY better than we thought he would with all the car time. i think the key was to have low expectations, not try to adhere to a schedule, and to be willing to stop when he needed to. the kid's got some kind of cracker barrel radar--i swear every time he started to fuss in the car, we were right next to a cracker barrel. HIGHLY recommend stopping there with little kids on the road--they are super kid friendly, have clean bathrooms, and are reasonably quick. plus--hello? bacon!!! just sayin'...

meeting aunt mary
we stopped at our friends ralph and mary's for the weekend and just hung out--very low key and pleasant. they are just easy to be with. they had a fit over the critter, fed us delicious things, and took supremely good care of us. they are the kinds of friends who make you feel more like welcome family than guests in their house. love that. they loved kieran, of course, and he got lots and lots of good attention from them. i think it made them miss having a baby in the house--their youngest is 9 years old.

what's up, ma?
after the weekend, we made our way to the farm up in pennsylvania where the hippie's family lives. we tried to take more advantage of the area this time around. i keep thinking about eating more local foods and less things shipped from half way around the world, and it was really cool to be in farm country where the local foods are plentiful and readily available. we went to a local butcher shop that gets its meat from the cattle and hog farms in the area; we bought steaks, bacon, and chicken salad. the bacon was some of the best i have ever had--so good that we brought a bunch home--and the steaks were delicious as well, grilled up with just a little sea salt and pepper. the only difficulty was in getting them to cut the steaks thick enough for us--the woman at the counter looked at me like i was insane when i asked for inch and a half thick steaks. we also spent some time rumaging around in a crazy antique store that seemed to go on forever and was filled to the brim with all manner of Thing, everything from wrought iron gates to garden statuary to books to milk bottles to doll houses to marble topped wash basins to silver spoons. and more... we bought four books, including a french-english phrase book from WWII that was issued to american soldiers going to france (it has phrases in it like, "run for your life!" and "my leg is injured, and i will need stitches."), and two lovely silver serving spoons for ten bucks. ten bucks!!! if we had had the hippie's truck, we would have come home with a lot more... we also stopped in at this lovely little tea shop that was such a fabulous experience for me that it will get its own post later.

sitting on nana's lap
in addition to exploring the area, we spent a fair amount of time just chilling on the farm. i picked blueberries every day for breakfast, even when it was pouring rain. i petted little kittens and played with the dog. i walked up and down the lane with the baby in his sun hat. sadly, i didn't take many scenic pictures this time like i did last summer--i just kept snapping pics of the baby!

the hippie and i also took an evening to go visit his friends from college, clay and heather. clay has been to our house many times, but this was the first time i had met heather and their beautiful daughter, carlee. oh, and dora, the bassett hound--such a cute puppy--she licked the baby's whole face in about 3 nanoseconds. you should have seen his expression! heather and clay are about to have their second baby (next monday!), so we didn't stay too late, but it will still awesome to see them. heather is definitely My People, and if she lived closer, you can bet she would be getting added to my sunday, come-over-and-do-your-thing thing we've got going on.

foot investigation
on the way back, we stopped back in at ralph and mary's for one night, which turned out to be filled with people and drinking and the lovely chaos of a house full of boys (plus one girl)--so fun to watch! they were up and down the stairs, playing 20 games at once, lighting things on fire (literally), and just having a good time. it was like looking into kieran's future or something. i really can't wait till he's big enough to rage around with the big boys. as a thanks for being our hotel on this trip, i brought mary a bunch of stuff from the farm: blueberries, milk, bacon... i think her son had a religious experience over the whole fat, straight-from-the-cow milk. it really is pretty awesome!

chompin' on daddy's hand
last, but not least, the critter had his first trip to ikea on the last day of travel. he loved it, of course. or maybe that was me, and i'm just projecting onto the kid. either way--he did great, and we acquired many kid-related items for him as well as many storage related items for us. i really do love that place. swedish meatballs for lunch, shopping, and a nice, relaxing place to breastfeed the baby before getting back on the road. they have an awesome baby care room, which has chairs and pillows for breastfeeding as well as a changing table, a sink, free diapers, and toys for any older kids you have to play with. it was even nicely decorated and had a mobile hanging over the changing table. figures that this kind of attention to detail is found in the US only in a store based out of another country. that's a rant i'll save for another time, lest i digress... i heart ikea.

anyway, the trip was good--better than expected with that baby on the road. still, i am also glad to be home. now if i could just get caught up!

ps--updated critter pics in the set if you click here, and more to come...

1 comment:

Emjayknits said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time and I am ENVIOUS! Fresh picked BLUEBERRIES - YUM. I'd buy the bacon too.

Glad you are home.