05 July 2016

The Start of Summer. Road trip!

We're wrapping up the 4th of July weekend...time has flown since school has ended, and we've certainly made the most of it.  School was out on a Friday, and on Monday morning, we hit the road for vacation. 

Let's be honest, packing our family of four is no small feat.  Maddy is at the age where she just requires, to be frank, a lot of crap.  Pack n' play, stroller, backpack carrier, diapes, wipes, clothes, the list could go on.  Knowing this, and since we were road-tripping, we had our first taste of what mini-van life is like...as in we rented a minivan, and even after all our stuff, there was still room left over! (I totally get the appeal of the MV.) We started out by dropping off Gabby at her own adventure for the week (Thank you, York Bark n Play...your daily FB posts of doggy pics assured us that she was having fun and being well taken care of!) Next was picking up the van, visiting Grammie and Grampie to leave our car, and then finally be on our way.  Where to?  New Jersey! Auntie Tanya's house, then another road trip to western Maryland to see Daddy and Auntie T's aunt and uncle and cousins...so many cousins! The adventure began...sustenance first at the Maine Diner, then we were off. (Daddy clearly hadn't had enough coffee yet) 

So honestly, the ride down was one of my major sources of anxiety because this was the first really long car ride either one of you had ever been on.  Ok sure, we go to Bar Harbor in under 3 hours, but that's just it...it's under 3 hours and it's a breeze.  This was 5+ hours and who knew how either of you would handle it.  Madeleine especially, since she tends to fuss on just the 25 minute ride home from work/daycare each night.  That said, both of you were amazing.  You watched movies and played on your leap pad the whole time, and Madeleine? She slept, laughed, looked at books, looked out her window, and didn't utter a peep of discontent. (Did we have the right child?) The ride down was hard...crazy driving in Southern CT all the way to NJ, long waits to get over the GW Bridge (dumb mistake going that way!) and overall a lot of time just sitting, and you both were rock stars.Thank you! 
We finally arrived to Auntie's house after 5...and basked in just being able to stretch our legs and be out from the van. You and Maddy both liked to explore, inside and out!

Tuesday was our day in NYC, a first obviously for both of you.  Big excitement was brewing as we got to take the ferry in. The day itself was beautiful, and we efficiently took an open-topped tour bus to see the sights, stopping at some key places--the M&M store and the Disney store.  Parks, fountains, lunch at the Shake Shack, a brief stop at the Museum of Natural History, then Central Park, and a quick tour of the bizarre structure that is the new Oculus.  What a day!


And that was only Tuesday!  Wednesday gave us another gorgeous day, and a trip to a beautiful zoo, the Turtle Back Zoo.  We had such a fun day here. Saw so many different animals, ran through the mist stations, rode a carousel, ate from a taco truck, and got to see some really funny faces (The cheetah playing with the ring and the giraffes munching on grass were my faves!).  Ended it with a walk around the pond, and then a super fun pirate ship playground.  The best.

A perfect Wednesday, which ended with exploring the backyard with kitty cousin, Teeny, and bison steak for dinner.  

Thursday we were back in the car, rolling our way to Western Maryland.  Again, you two surprised me with how quiet you were! I think for Madeleine it was all about having someone sit next to her as we traveled, but even then, she seemed ok to just entertain herself. And you watched Zootopia about 47 times and played on your leappad. We stopped a couple of times...and then landed in our serene cabin for the next couple of days.  Savage River, lovely! Naturally, s'mores were a must.

Friday was spent with the cousins, Angie and Anastasia. During the day, we went to visit a very special place...peaceful and serene...someday we'll tell you more about your Grandmother Prescott...you and I talked a bit about it when we were strolling together through this cemetery. I understand it's hard to connect death for someone that you've never met, although you did make the astute observation that Uncle Seth and your grandmother were 'together in heaven' as you knowingly said. 

Next up was beautiful Swallow Falls and lunch near Deep Creek Lake.

Nap time then an evening spent with family.  I was also mesmerized by hummingbirds. So many hummingbirds!

Saturday brought yet another car ride, this time back to NJ...but first, did I mention that the county where all this took place was none other than...

Anyway, we made our way back to NJ for one last night before making the long trek back to Maine. 

On the trek back to Maine, we stopped at a favorite from my childhood, Rein's Deli, where the best pickles in the universe are served, in Vernon, CT.  Surreal is driving in areas of one's former life...a town next to where my grandparent's lived.  It's totally different now, and yet the same.  As it was my turn to drive, I also couldn't help but get off the exit to where my childhood home was in Ashford, CT...so I could show you where Mommy grew up.  It was so familiar.  Yes, weird to sort of stalk one's old home and do quick drive by picture ops, but for posterity, it needed to happen! 

And then finally, we arrived back in York, ME just at 4pm, ready to pick up the sweet Gabby, who probably thought we had left her behind.  She fit so well in the van! 

There it was...our week vacation, gone by in a flash.  Now 4th of July has practically ended and we've made the most of that as well.  July will find a long stretch of daycamp for you and hopefully some beach days. Summer is here! 

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