For years, I had been wanting to get out to the Carolinas to see old friends and meet their little ones. I finally made it, and we had a blast. My mom flew out to St. Louis so that she could ride with me and Noah. She was (and still is) convinced that it would have been an incredibly dumb thing for me to do on my own, but I still insist it would have been fine! However, I must admit, her help was invaluable, and it was much more fun having her with us! Not to mention, she and Noah got some serious bonding time in on those long days of driving!
We left St. Louis on a Thursday and made it all the way to Charleston, W. Virginia where Lorrell booked us a suite at The Embassy. Noah was a trooper, but he (along with mom and I) were totally ready to stretch our legs a bit after the long haul, so we meandered around the lobby area of the hotel. The next morning Noah snacked on a granola bar in the bathroom while mom and I got ready for the day. We finally managed to get out of there by around 10am, after enjoying the best continental breakfast bar I've ever seen and almost letting Noah get run over by the revolving doors in the lobby. (Thank you to the anonymous stranger who saw this catastrophe about to happen and ran to save my child! I didn't realize these doors were electric and wouldn't stop moving. So close.)
Our first destination was Charlotte, and after making an hour detour through a blizzard to find a Starbucks, we arrived late afternoon on Friday at Holly and Brent's. Brent made delicious homemade salsa, and we enjoyed a Mexican fiesta together that evening. Holly had a lovely baby shower on Saturday, and so we were able to be there for that, and we had a blast just catching up and hanging out with Lorrell and Holly. Noah had a great time too, as he was fed by his Grams, and then he helped himself to some pepper-jack cheese without batting a lash, and played with a new friend. (I don't know why I didn't get a pic of all of us together!)
Saturday, after the shower, we headed to Durham to visit Ben and Marsa`. Along the way, we made a stop at Ikea, and I was able to stock up on some kid stuff I've been wanting for a while. It made for an even fuller car, but it was totally worth it! Noah loves his new goodies. After that detour, we continued to Ben's and made it there right around dinner time. Marsa` was out of town until Sunday, so Ben took us to Elmo's (a fantastic little diner) and then, after Noah dumped out all of his cranraisins on the floor, we headed back home (to Ben's). Ben was gracious enough to introduce Noah to his first fire (in a fireplace that is) and he LOVED it. Noah also really enjoyed opening and closing the french doors leading into their dining room. He would of course say "bye" as he shut himself away from us. He really had a good time at their house, and I was pleasantly surprised at how kid-friendly their place already was! He played with Uncle Ben's guitar, sat on one of his super enormous books for a bit of height at meal times, and slid all over their glossy wooden floors. He even slept through the night! Sunday, we went to church and heard one of their friend's preach, went home for sandwiches, and then after a long nap, took Noah to a neighborhood playground where he swung, walked up slides the wrong way, and pet puppies while saying, "woof woof." Later that night, Ben made an amazing dinner, and Marsa` returned from her trip. We did get to visit with her a bit, and although it was short, she is so good with Noah, he warmed right up to her in no time. Monday morning we said goodbye to them as they headed off to work and school. Then, we got ourselves ready, said au revoir to their gorgeous little bungalow, and were back on the road by 9:30am.
Next stop, Easley, South Carolina.
To be continued...
To be continued...