24 October 2012
I Ate Lobstah
London and I flew out early Thursday morning, October 18, to my Aunt Wendy's in Southbridge, Massachusetts. I stayed up past what would be considered a reasonable bed time hour to finish packing the 281 necessary items required when traveling with a young child, and due to pure adrenaline, had plenty of energy to attack the 5am hour with vigor. (I'm in a writing mood, so be aware of the possibility of extra adjectives and adverbs and flowery lingo and sentences that seem too long and perhaps confusing in this post. Be warned.)
Anyway, I worried a little as I usually do before getting on a plane with a little one that the flight could be excruciatingly horrible...or not. London is almost 14 months old, a very difficult age to fly with, so it was a toss up. Thank the heavens, both legs went pretty smoothly.
London and I arrived four hours before the rest of our family, so we obtained the rental and drove around Hartford, Connecticut for a bit. (For the record, it was a swagger wagon, and I was not sold. Just saying.) I had this silly grin on my face, probably the entire time, because I felt so free being in a place where I knew no one (except of course for my Aunt, who was still an hour away at this point). London was knocked out in her car seat (a new habit she is becoming more comfortable with), so I had the radio on and no one to please but myself. It was exhilarating! Since having my babies, I've put my dreams of world travel on the back burner and become quite content with the life God has graciously handed to me; but this short opportunity to be alone (essentially) and free was an intoxication I hadn't felt for a long time. It felt so good!
Those moments of independence quickly passed as my parents' arrival time neared, so we headed to pick them up from the airport. It's always a pleasure to see my folks for the first time after months of missing them. Their faces are so familiar and warm, and I love being known and loved by them. It's such a sweet reunion each time.
After some amusing, old-married couple bantering about directions (love you Mom and Dad!), we made our way to Southbridge to find my Aunt Wendy, along with Uncle Sandy, Aunt Pam, Uncle Dudley, Aunt Julie, and cousin Mark. Let the reunion begin!
I love the McNutt clan. Everyone is so different from one another; so traveled, so worldly, so interesting. And they like cards and wine. And they like to laugh. And they like my kids. And they love to take pictures. And they have opinions. And they love family history. And they love antiques. And they each have distinct personalities that draw you in and make you want to know them more.
Early into the weekend, my cousin Jacquelyn and cousin Ward arrived. I hadn't seen Jacqui since my wedding, so it was a sweet reunion. She brought her babies with her who are now 13 and 15, and I enjoyed getting to know them a bit. Her daughter Samantha thought it was pretty cool to be in a room of people that she looked like! She was cute enough to eat. We spent the long weekend wondering around my Aunt Wendy's fairly new town (new to her that is), discovering cafes, antique shops, living museums, good restaurants, and art fairs, but mostly we just spent time being together.
Monday quickly showed it's face, and we had to return to Hartford. I had last minute fantasies about changing my flight so I could go to Boston and NYC with Jacqui, but that didn't work out for multiple reasons. C'est la vie!
Once in the airport, my parents and I were checked in and headed to security before we realized we were on the same flight to Baltimore. Mom and I seemed to simultaneously concoct a plan of she and Dad holding London on the plane, so I could have a few minutes to myself...and what glorious minutes those were!!! On a plane, with no child to care for! It had been a while. We ended up running into the Aunts and Uncles in the Hartford Airport, and then again in the Baltimore Airport. I think we said a total of 3 goodbyes to them.The reunion wasn't over yet!
Hopefully these little weekend reunions will continue throughout the years. As an image bearer of God, I am made to be in relationships, just as God in person is in relationship with himself (Father, Son and Spirit). It does my heart well to be surrounded by people who have the same blood running through their veins as I do. I think in a perfect world, we wouldn't be so far apart.
And, I certainly can't neglect to document that this was my and London's first girls trip! Just the two of us. And as she gets older, I have romantic and wildly fun notions of many more purposely planned girlie expeditions.
And one more thing...the Massachusetts accent is as real and hilarious in person as it was in Good Will Hunting. I loved hearing the natives talk. So lastly, and in that vein, I'd like to report that while in Southbridge, I ate some lobstah. :)
(More pictures in a post to come.)