Easley, South Carolina was our next stop. I was so hyped to see Stephanie, along with her husband Brad and little one Reiss. I haven't seen her since her wedding, which was 5 or so years ago. A lot in our lives has changed since she and I were teenagers. All we had to worry about then was being annoyed by our basketball coach and accomplishing our Algebra homework. We're all grown up now, and it was priceless to hang out, even for the short time. I am SOOO mad at myself though for not getting any pictures of Steph and Reiss! I even had my camera out. Such a dumb oversight on my part. I did however get one shot of Noah and Grams in front of Reiss's crazy cool dollhouse.
After leaving Easley, we headed back to my childhood hometown, Columbia, South Carolina. I spent my middle and high school years there and made lasting friendships. I spent the two days in town with Hannah and Kerry and the Gasaways. Hannah (who I've know since 2nd grade) has had three boys since I last saw her and Kerry (close friend in high school) has had a boy and a girl, so needless to say, things for us all had changed quite a bit since we were last together. It was such a joy for me to finally meet their children, and it was exciting for us all to be together again, as mothers. We spent the morning at Leapin' Lizards (similar to Monkey Joes), and the kids had a blast. All of the boys bonded quickly and Hannah and I were scrambling to get as many pictures as possible. After some play time, we headed to Chic-Fil-A for lunch and more time to chat. Noah stole some chicken from Michael and all the kids smeared ice cream all over their faces...I mean, ate ice cream. After lunch we headed back to Hannah's, loaded all the kiddos on the couch, and got some classic photos! Man, I miss those girls!
We spent part of both days with the Gasaways, our long time family friends. Seriously long time...Beth and I have known each other since we were 2 years old! Just like most of the others we visited on the trip, we hadn't seen the Gasaways for a really long time. It was so great to catch up. Beth's two little ones, Marliegh and Bailey are so much older than last time I saw them. They're both so sweet, and they both played so well with Noah. Bailey let Noah play with all of his toys without complaint, and Marliegh was a little mother hen. Beth looked phenomenal, and her parents, Mrs. Theresa and Mr. Mike were just as they've always been...warm, loving and fun to be around. We chatted and chatted and chatted...they were all probably ready for bed by the time we left both evenings! We also got to visit with Will a little and it was so crazy to see him all grown up. I will always think of him as a toddler, so seeing him at age 16 (may be 17) was just plain weird! I miss all of them so much, and even though we see each other very rarely, we were able to pick up right where we left off. The first evening together, they made us an amazing meal, and the second night we had pizza and ice cream. Yes, Noah had ice cream yet again! And we got some really cute pictures of it. Later that night, Beth and I scored a little girl time and we went to a movie together (Valentine's Day), and then talked for a while after wards. I wish we could have more time like that!
While in Columbia, we stayed at Holiday Inn and Suites and our room had a huge tub that Noah made his personal swimming pool. At first the jets started shooting all over the place and scared the mess out of him, but once we got that situation under control, he was in heaven!
After leaving Columbia, we were finally headed towards home. We did have to take a detour due to a rock slide on I-40, however, I missed the suggested detour turn off, and we ended up on a tiny, super curvy, snow covered mountain road. Well, the road wasn't covered in snow, just everything around it. It was actually quite beautiful and even though some of the curves made my knuckles white, it was a happy mistake. Some of the views were incredible, and we ended up eating lunch at this tiny deli in a tiny town. I thought the road as seen on the GPS was funny...so curvy!
Shocker - more ice cream! Yes, he was eating this in the car, but only after he had gotten really wiggly. Grams thought he needed a little pick me up, so she sat in the back and monitored the mess.
Last stop: Nashville. We always love going to Nashville...yes, because it's a super cool city, but mostly because of our close friends Marcus and Katie. They are always so hospitable and we have a blast with them. I hadn't met their newest addition, Reese, yet, and she was killer cute. Cheeks for miles and boy did Noah love kissing them. Sadie got her fair share as well. If Noah tries to kiss all of his girl friends when he's 16, we're going to have a serious problem on our hands. At this stage, it's still pretty cute and Marcus was right there with his camera too! We had originally planned to spend the night with the Myers, but Mom and I were so tired and just ready to be home, so we stayed for dinner and some play time, and then we were back on the road.
Road trip 2010 was definitely one for the records. It was the most Noah has ever been in the car, Mom and I got a chance to spend a lot of time together, which is always nice since we get so little time together in general, and we saw so many special friends and family. We made it home by midnight exactly a week after our start, and Matt got up with Noah so Mom and I could sleep in a bit. Noah was very ready to spend some time with his Daddy. He talked about "dada" the whole time we were gone.
We still had a few days with Grams before she had to head back to Florida, but I will save those pictures for the next post, as this one has already reached a ridiculous length!
Peace out road trip 2010.