here a few (or perhaps a bit more than a few) photos from our vacation to north carolina last week – we saw some six or seven dolphins leading our ferry on the way to the island, kayaked into the bay, swam with schools of fish while finding conch shells, and left fully refreshed and ready to take on the new season.
a spontaneous visit to our friend helen and her family was just what we needed this weekend. after deciding against a trip to massachusetts with the kids at an age they wont remember anything, we traveled 12 hours to stay the weekend in kentucky. the kids were AWESOME during both the trip there and the trip back. seriously, all fear of travel with these two is now gone. praise the lord!
leaving at around 4:30 am, we were up early enough to watch the sunrise. steve and i love to leave for roadtrips early in the am – the excitement of the dew morning air mixed with mcdonalds breakfast sandwiches is incomparable. the kids slept most of the way there since theyre usually late risers, and when they woke they were all smiles.
lunch was tiny burgers at a restaurant thats gift shop consisted of a james dean purse, bunny ears (in july, mind you), holographic dolphin posters, and “hillbilly cookbooks” — wuddup south. around seven we finally arrived in kentucky at what was supposed to be our first stop. musty, dusty, and yucky – it was so sad to see such a great piece of americana history going to junk. this has been long on our must-see list, so not all was lost. and clearly, oliver was enjoying his time finally out of the car!
the next morning, we got more tiny burgers (our area doesnt have whitecastle, so we took full advantage) and headed to the park with helen and her son gabe. ollie and gabe followed each other, poked each others bellies, and took each others sippy cups. yaknow, baby stuff. ; )
onward to downtown louisville where we crossed half of the walking bridge to indiana. the heat was brutal and the babies were a-sweatin, so we roamed the city for iced tea at heine bro coffee co, and found fair trade baskets for insanely inexpensive. we also got maribelle this quilt that youre going to be get tired of seeing because i’m obsessed.
the next day we spent just the four of us – steve and i with the kids. we ate at a farm to table restaurant and got their duck fat popcorn to go, heading back to the walking bridge to get some wiggles out. maribelle sunbathed while oliver ran around in circles making himself dizzy. the view one direction was indiana over the water, and the other was the skyline of lousiville. it was pretty much perfect.
bonfires, friends, and goodbyes. staying with helens family was the definition of hospitable. if they were a bed and breakfast, i’m pretty sure they’d make a killing. we had so much fun spending time with them and their friends, catching up, and sightseeing a bit. steve and helens husband adam shot off bows, talked hunting, and race cars, while helen and i talked motherhood, home stuff, and Gods love. this trip was so refreshing for all of us, and we’re dang excited to go back soon.
a few tips we aquired while traveling with two under two:
– snacks. seriously, all the snacks. on the daily, we try to not encourage snacking for oliver, but with a 12 hour trip whatever worked, we went with. pretty much at all times on the way there and the way back we kept a snack container filled with bunny grahms or puffs.
– water jugs. we brought along three, using the for cleaning things out (ex: sippies used for milk, and then rinsed for water) we also used the water for drinking to save on bottled water along the way.
– location location location. we organized the car where everything we could need was within reach to minimize unnecessary stops. diaper bag stocked was between the kids, as well as blankets and an extra burp cloth. snacks and tissues were on the floor of the backseat between the seats for easy grabbing. a small first aid kit in the glove compartment and phone chargers on hand. we stopped about four times each way, using those stops for nursing, bathroom, food and running time for oliver all at once.
– if youre kids use binkies (both of ours do) invest in a binky clip. we used ours from nomilude for both of the kids so they werent able to throw them somewhere out of reach, thus resulting in an extra stop. this was a big one for us because oliver just loves to toss his binky willy nilly, and fusses soon after.
– steal kisses. i think this is the most important tip of all. kiss that husband of yours. hold his hand. comment on how good hes taking those winding roads like a pro. its easy to get distracted by the stress of bringing the kids along for a lengthy trip, but its still your trip as well. enjoy it. xx
a lot of eating, a lot of sleeping, and a lot of fun this weekend – all things we easily take for granted. my dad was home this memorial day weekend, and is finally home for good. for the past four years, he has been working overseas – first in iraq, then in afghanistan. he was working months at a time, twelve hour shifts with no days off. good food was unheard of over there. there wasn’t any time for fun, and not even much time to call back home. sleep is hard when alarms are going off every day, meaning you have to hide under your bed or go to a designated area to stay safe.
so this weekend, we ate crabs by the pound, bought bouquets of beautiful, fresh flowers, went on more looptyloo rides then our stomaches could handle, watched the kids laugh till our own bellies hurt from laughing, and just enjoyed each others company. it was a memorial day weekend done right.
friday to monday morning we stayed in ocean city. the first night, both the kids slept until ten and woke slowly – taking in the salty air blowing through our open window. steve and my dad enjoyed morning coffee at oc coffee co. while the rest of us went to bashful banana to get their famous banana whip. being as maribelle cannot have dairy or soy, bashful banana was my saving grace this weekend. the weather was pretty chilly for may, so we didnt spend much time on the shore, but what we did spend oliver took full advantage of. our little water bebe.
monday was spend in cape may – first at the zoo, and then to sunset beach. most of our shores on this coast do not have the sunset, so this was a real treat to see. while waiting for the sun to set, we saw a school of dolphins swim by, with three to four fins peeking over the waves at a time. there was also a fisherman who caught a baby shark, so we watched as he swam along shore and was released back into the ocean. when it came time to leave, we experienced the first meltdown over not wanting to go from Oliver. quite the experience, these toddler milestones!
and now we’re plum exausted. perhaps we need a vacation from our vacation? 😉
a few vacation tips from our weekend away with family + two under two:
– layers. we were able to keep from overpacking my bringing layers. one sweatshirt can be worn the whole weekend with multiple shirts underneath. if you get hot, take off a layer, dont change an entire outfit.
– when packing, we pack four bags: one for me, one for steve, one for the kids shared, and one of misc items and food. when we arrive, our clothes all go into the dressers, and our bags are used differently. my bag becomes the bag for clean clothes to be put away when we get home, steves becomes the dirty clothes to be thrown into the washer once home, and the misc bag doubles as our beach bag while we’re there. this system always works out really well for us and keeps us from having our bags sitting in the living room for days after.
– take advantage of what youre hotel has to offer. we saved money (and room when packing) by making our breakfast in our rooms often. rather than bringing beach towels, we brought the extra hotel towels down to the beach. our hotel also included beach tags and boardwalk coupons, so always check into what your hotel offers for free.
– bring a book, even if you dont think you will have time to read it. you may surprise yourself and find that you do, or at the very least it can be used to keep photo strips and other paper from bending.
– sunscreen and baby powder (for removing sticky sand) had a permanent place in our strollers back pocket, along with a huge stack of napkins. always keep napkins! runny noses, burp cloth, messy food, or a toddler that thinks its funny to blow bubbles in his milk (i’m not talking from experience, though…. ;P)
– after the kids had gone to sleep, we prepared for the next day. stocking the diaper bag, setting out the next days outfits, and so on. it kept us from craziness in the morning and potentially realizing we forgot something when it was too late.
what are your packing tips with babies in tow, or just tips in general? would love to hear!
Over the past year, we have gotten to know the Horners so well. Jeana had gotten ahold of me on instagram (seriously, what did we do before the internet?!) and we found out she had bought her house from my cousins. We began meeting up for dinner together, and became so close. Mark and Steve have so much in common, we (now) each have a little boy, and Jeana and I are basically twins ; ) On more than one occasion we’ve had people ask if we are sisters. This weekend, we all went camping at Parvins together — Steve, Oliver and I ended up having to leave our camper for the night because the temperature got too cold for Oliver. Then, today around three until about nine pm Oliver had a wicked case of the achey gums that had us leaving a night earlier than expected. Through all of that, we still had an awesome time, and got some cutesie pictures to show for it. Before we left, Mark prayed for Oliver – for his pain and for him to find peace. We’re beyond blessed to know this absolutely precious family who we honestly consider part of our own.
This is literally the only picture she and I have together – what kind of craziness?!
life IS full of little pleasures! one of them is the many travels with my husband and best friend ; ) We are always on the go- thinking of our newest adventure we could go on. and one of our favorite things about traveling is the drive! This past week, we drove to Montreal – driving all through New York with amazing views, as well as enjoying old Montreal during their snow season. And did I mention the amount of French I heard? or how about the amount of macarons we ate?
we booked our hotel through Groupon a few months back when we decided to make the trip up here. It was even more cute then we had imagined it would be! upon walking in, there was a chalkboard sign asking for us to remove our shoes and put on house slippers. a note with our name on it was taped to the door with all the information we needed, as well as our room key. breakfast was refilled on our table every morning with the cutest mugs reading “happy” in french. we were smitten!
my absolute favorite part of our trip was going to Fuchsia Epicerie Fleur – everything in this cafe was flower based and beautiful. We quickly made friends with one of the two animals in the cafe. of course, we couldnt leave before buying a treat or two. We ended up buying rose biscuits and lavender sucre. walking out of the cafe and back to our car was quite the hike. It began to snow heavier and by the time we were back to our hotel we were soaked and giggling – ready for some maple tea ; )
Our last day we spent in the city of Montreal, which we honestly really didnt like. It was much like New York, and positively freezing. During our time there, we got to stop at an Anthropologie, which was great because i’m positively addicted (I aim to go to one in each state/country we go to). And how fun to be able to go to such a french store, being surrounding by the culture and the language itself? It was just a dream.
..and then we forgot where we parked. haha! a frustrating experience in the cold, but in retrospect, it was a bit of fun ; )