This last week our family spent almost a week in Virginia. Jim’s brother, Logan, graduated from Patrick Henry College on Saturday the 12th so we flew to Virginia from Kansas City on Friday the 11th. We flew home on Thursday the 17th with lots of memories made inbetween.
We departed KCI around 1130am. It was a great time for Abigail. We were able to get up at her usual time that morning, feed her breakfast, and head to the airport. We got there extra early because we weren’t sure how it would be checking in and going through security with all of our stuff. We had a carseat, a stroller, 3 suitcases, a laptop bag, a purse, and a diaper bag. How we managed to carry it all in and around the airport defies logic. And how we managed to only have to check one bag defies logic even more. I talked to some online buddies about what all I would need to do for Abigail and how getting everything on and off the plane worked. They gave me great advice and it made the trip easy and painless.
We were on a smaller plane that had 2 seats on each side. Abigail rode on our laps(mostly mine) the whole flight. We gate checked the carseat, stroller, and our two suitcases. We carried on the laptop bag, my purse, and the diaper bag.
Abigail did amazing. She was completely content eating a healthy diet of fruit twists, animal crackers, and goldfish. A few episodes of Dora helped round out the flight. The only mild hiccups we had were during the descent her ears started to hurt and she cried a bit, but a few more snacks helped her ears pop and she was happy again shortly. The other was as she was chugging some water from her sippy the lid popped off, effectively soaking us both. Not a huge deal, but irritating nonetheless.
Abigail’s first flight as an outside baby!
So happy to be off the plane and walking around again!!
After we got off the plane and rounded up all of our baggage, we took a shuttle over to pick up our rental car. I could sing the praises of Enterprise endlessly. Best $160 I’ve ever spent. For real. If you want to eliminate marital stress during a vacation, RENT YOUR OWN CAR. Once we had our own wheels, we grabbed some lunch at Leesburg’s extremely packed chick fil-a, stopped at Target to pick up diapers and wipes, then headed to our hotel to unpack our things and get A’s bed ready for the night.
After all of that we headed to a very, very dear friends home for dinner. I grew up with this family and attended church with them for years. We hadn’t gotten to visit for 2 years so it was a wonderful time of reunion and fellowship. I was a little worried how Abigail would do after such a tiring day full of travel and having to “behave”, but she did so wonderful. She was happy and smiling and chatting. She loved petting their kitties and thoroughly enjoyed her hot dog bun, angel food cake, and vanilla ice cream dinner.
Showing off her “cute baby” skills on the Weitz’s back porch
Group shots with The Weitz’s and The Gill’s. Such wonderful friends!!
When it was finally A’s bedtime we headed back to the hotel, put her to sleep, and Jim and I watched a movie on Netflix in the dark, with earbuds:)
The next day was Logan’s graduation. Before we headed to PHC we had to make a stop at *my* old Starbuck’s. I worked at this particular store for a year before Jim and I were engaged. I scrimped and saved every penny while I worked there, and, as Jim and I were discussing while we were there made it possible for us to buy our home and is still a large portion of the security net we have still today. I’m proud of myself!
So we had to make sure we got a picture of the two of us at Mama’s old work.
I had forgotten that you say “skim” in VA instead of “nonfat”. This midwesterner was corrected, lol.
After our morning Starbuck’s run, we went to PHC where we sat through a very long, but very enjoyable graduation service. Logan won a special award and graduated with high honors, so we were very, very proud of our Uncle Logan! Once again, snacks saved the day and Abigail sat very nicely and happily through majority of the service(minus the two times she pooped-really kid!?) munching on crackers and fishies.
Once the service was over the 3 of us headed to the time share where we would be spending the rest of our trip at. It was in Bayse, VA(otherwise known as, the middle of nowhere). We drove the 90 min to the cabin and settled in. We soon realized we would be sleeping in a loft style bedroom with Jim’s siblings, there was no internet, and the pool and other ammenities wouldn’t be available until after Memorial day. So, suffice it to say, we played a lot of games and got to know each other a bit better.
Hangin with Grandma Jenny
Posin with Aunt M.E, Uncle Logan, and Daddy
We took some family pictures one morning:
We ventured out one morning to the local airport/library where there was *gasp!* free wi-fi. We both were able to check up on the world and since the weather was beautiful Abigail was able to run around and enjoy the fresh air.
She does the cutest thing when we tell her to smell the flowers. She brings it to her nose and exhales really sharply. It’s so sweet!
We found a little creek that Abigail loved throwing rocks into. The splashing and throwing was about the greatest thing she’d ever discovered. She would have stood there all day doing it if we had let her.
“Show Mama your rock!”
How often do you get to play on an air strip? Pretty awesome. Fabulous room to run around.
The day before we left, the 3 of us went for a day trip to D.C. (Let’s once again take a moment to praise the magnificence of the rental car). We parked near the Jefferson memorial and walked around the tidal basin. We stopped at the FDR memorial first, (ugh, can we give his new deal back?) The best part of that memorial was public restrooms and a shady place to sit so A could eat her lunch. Then, we walked to the Lincoln Memorial, took lots of pics, stopped for ice cream, walked back to our car, drove over to the Smithsonian Museum of American history, ate lunch in the basement, walked through the “America at War” exhibit while Abigail took a nap in her stroller, got a parking ticket, drove back to Leesburg for dinner, shopped the outlet mall, stopped at Target for more snacks for the flight home(since one flight and a 4 hour graduation had completly depleted our stash), got another sbux, and headed back to Bayse.
A wasn’t really feelin posing for pictures at this point in time. But, this is a pretty good pic:)
Hug attack on the steps of the Lincoln memorial
There was a big crowd of people clapping for some unknown reason, so A decided to join in.
Look at that beautiful reflecting pool….er….cement floor.
Nothing like a refreshing ice cream bar, accompanied by a myriad of birds, squirrels, and gnats. Miss A loves her ice cream.
On our last day, we departed from Bayse around 945, drove 15 minutes past our exit into West Virginia(I was asleep and we had no garmin. I’m not even joking, I opened my eyes to see out the window “West Virginia Welcomes You”), turned around and drove to Leesburg to meet our good friends Angie and David for lunch at Panera by the outlet mall. It was such a blessing and such perfect timing to get to see each other. Angie and David live in Iowa currently but are in town for Angie’s brother’s wedding. Even though we were 40 minues late we still had a great lunch and got one great pic!
And so finally, to conclude the most epic blog post ever written, we flew home. Our flight departed at 330pm and was completely uneventful. Abigail was SO happy the whole time, didn’t even fuss during the descent, and our flight landed early!
There were some trying moments, some tiring moments, some wonderful moments, and some incredibly special and to be forever cherished moments on this trip.
I think that’s just the sort of thing amazing vacations are made of.