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March 29, 2011

Whew, catch up!! It was not my intent to leave my blog to completely languish for the last couple of weeks – we went on vacation, and I fully intended to leave a “Gone Fishing” sign of some description hanging here, but packing led to more packing let to more organizing led to other stuff, and I managed to trot merrily into the sunset with nary a backward glance at this space. Very sorry!

Before we go much further I feel it is only fair to warn you that this here is likely to be a fairly picture intensive post. I am sorry! Well, not that sorry actually – it was a fun trip!

By the time March rolled around, Brandon, Anika, Sam and I figured that fleeing winter was important and we needed to get out of dodge for awhile – so we loaded up the car and pointed the car at North Carolina – where Brandon has lots of family! With Sammo along for the ride this time we figured it would make more sense to break up the trip, so we stopped overnight in Lancaster PA. We stayed at a hotel that was carefully chosen based on a) it’s great pool, and b) the fact that we could get a suite with two rooms (making it possible to put the kids to bed and not have to go to bed at 7pm ourselves).

This turned out to be a brilliant move, since we completely wore the kids out swimming and they were out cold by 6:45.

Sammo, checking out the pullout in his and Ani’s room.

Ani, eating her cheerios out of a coffee mug at the desk.

One of my favourite things about driving trips south is that it gets progressively warmer every time you stop. Anika was REALLY excited to get to put on jeans and a t-shirt and SHOES (not boots, and no winter coat) when we were getting ready to leave the hotel and continue on to Charlotte.

We spent a week in Charlotte with Brandon’s cousin’s family – which was awesome, because they have two kids, one of whom is a little older than Anika, and the other who is Anika’s age. So pretty much we got there and didn’t see Ani again for about three days. But she was happy when we found her again, so all good.

We took the kids to a place called Monkey Joe’s, which pretty much consists of a whole lot of inflatable “stuff” to jump on, climb on, or slide down.

As you can see, Anika hated it.

Apologies for the blurry pictures, but that is actually what she looked like. Non-blurry pictures were impossible.

Every time she came for water she cracked me up – her eyes and her cheeks were so bright. She had a ball.

Sam, on the other hand, was a little more nervous about things.

He wasn’t sure about all the bouncing.

Eventually, he warmed up too.

Later in the week we went to a children’s museum called Discovery Place Kids where there was also some crazy fun. There was climbing…

….and balancing….

…and doctoring….

…and….flower arranging?

Yes, flower arranging. There was a grocery store where the kids could pretend shop, and one corner was a flower market. Ani pretty much stayed there and filled every pot.

Wondering where Sam is? He was out cold in the baby carrier. You can see him in the reflection of the flower arranging picture.

But then he woke up! And we found the baby water play area which was probably the best thing ever. Picture those little baby seats that hook onto counters, bolted onto water play tables.

Sam was, needless to say, in love. And yes, that is water dripping off his head.

He was also down with the fire truck.

Honestly though, the thing we did most of in Charlotte was hanging out outside – and we LOVED it. It was SO warm we could be out in t-shirts and even shorts some days. Anika would have slept outside if we’d let her, and every time we took Sam outside he’d stick his arm straight out and wiggle his hand around, just feeling the air. The expression on his face was priceless.

We even got lucky enough one day that it was warm enough to run through the sprinkler!

We rounded out our time in Charlotte by feeding the ducks.

Absolutely lovely!

After we finished our time in Charlotte, we headed over to Raleigh to see Brandon’s other cousins! Slightly different pace, since these cousins don’t have young kids, but incredibly enjoyable all the same. We went for a walk one day and stopped to explore a little beach.

Tau-ji (B’s cousin) was good enough to push Sam’s stroller.

Anika found some shells…

…and Sam enjoyed the sun!

We did lots of other fun things too – I found a wool store that was equal parts nutty and awesome (crazy old house; wool all over the place but the selection was amazing). We did some shopping (and by “some” I mean “a lot” – summer clothes for the kiddos and us, yay!). Shoe stores. We went out for dinner a couple of times (once in Charlotte without kids; another time in Raleigh with the kids….which was partially successful – Sam’s a handful in restaurants now though).  And mostly just continued to be outside.

(Two things about that picture – one is it was the neighbours trampoline, and two is that I did in fact have pants on Sam most of the time. I can’t remember at all why he wasn’t wearing any in this picture).

Then we headed home. Another long drive, broken up by stopping again in Pennsylvania. But you know, our kids? AWESOME at road trips. I would drive anywhere with them; they were a blast.

I have a few more posts coming – Sam is now nine months old, so I need to tell you alllll about that (I know; riveting). I also have a skirt to show off that I made before we left and really enjoyed wearing down there. So look for those later this week!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Angela Quesnel permalink
    March 30, 2011 12:45 am

    Looks like you guys had a fun, wonderful, sunny and warm vacation! Awesome – and some great pics of the family to boot:0) Beautiful pics of the kids – you captured some great personality shots and the lighting makes all the difference.

    Oh and if we ever attempt a road trip of that magnitude I am not even going to attempt it with my kids – I’ll just take yours;0P

  2. Hubby permalink
    March 30, 2011 12:50 am

    30 degrees C back to -2? Yeah, that was a hard transition. Entertaining ideas about a time share in NC…

  3. Sarah DV permalink
    March 30, 2011 6:18 pm

    Yay for road trips! Can’t wait for you guys to be back a little so we can hang out a little!

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