Saying last weekend was a whirlwind would be a bit of an understatement. We got last minute news that a close friend’s father passed away last week. It wasn’t the news anyone hopes to hear when you pick up the phone, but we wanted to be there for their family if we could. And it just so happened that we could. So, Friday morning we booked a redeye for Friday evening. Julia and I snuck out of work and daycare a few minutes early, and we were off to the airport in Raleigh. Two and a half hours later, we were off. It was smooth sailing until we got to Charlotte and circled and circled and circled the runway. Because the runway was closed due to thunderstorms. Which was fine, until the pilot came over the intercom telling us we were limited on fuel and we’d be re-routing to another airport if the runway didn’t open back up in the next few minutes. Luckily it did, in time for us to rush across the airport to our next gate and see our flight was delayed three hours. Mind you, it was the redeye was delayed three hours. We’ve had some seriously bad flying luck lately!
But Julia didn’t mind – take a closer look 😉 She slept in that carseat until we finally got on the plane. Through the plane ride, on the bus to the rental car center, through the rental car process, the hour drive to my in-laws, right up until our 05:00 am arrival at grandma’s house.
When we knew our travel plans were to Boston, my first phone call was my mother-in-law. They live in New Hampshire (a state we love), but are within easy driving distance of Boston. So, when I called them the night before to ask if we could stay, and confirmed the morning of, I could practically hear my mother-in-law leap out of her seat with excitement. They’re always so ready to welcome us into their home – even at the very last minute. She just said “our” bed was ready for us and asked what we wanted to eat!
When my in-laws relocated to New Hampshire (the same state we met and got married!), they found a house with coolest attic room – which my mother-in-law declared “ours.” She let me pick the paint color, hung pictures of our family all around, and made sure the kids have lots of Steve’s childhood toys to play with! (I picked the color that was in Steve’s childhood bedroom growing up!) So much thought goes into her decorating, and she is so good at it. I find the pieces in my home that I frequently get compliments on are the ones from my mother-in-law. You can imagine how I felt after being awake for 24 hours and flying with a toddler when I saw this bed. One of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in. Ah-mazing. I had to snap a few pictures of this room because it’s the homiest little New Hampshire hideout when we visit!
Moose are kind of a New Hampshire thing. And gifting moose items between our families (including my parents too!) has also become some sort of a family tradition.
To alleviate having to bring a lot of stuff (kids come with so much STUFF!), my mother-in-law stocked the room with diapers, wipes, spare pacifiers, and toys. Julia was a lucky lady and happy as punch once she recovered from our girls night out in the airport!
She was especially happy to have the coziest little crib set up with Daddy’s old blankets and stuffed bears just for her. She slept like a baby over in this little corner – and can you blame her?!
It’s funny to see what Fisher Price looked like in 1990 compared to now!
After a solid four hours of sleep (ha!), we felt much more rested and ready to smell the roses. Julia was especially enamored with all the beautiful flowers in bloom! It feels like everything down here in North Carolina is dry and/or dead, so we weren’t complaining about the 60 degree gloomy weather and lush grass on our bare feet. It felt like a true New Hampshire fall in July.
We also can’t forget about Annie the dog! She is always so happy to play with the grandkids and have two extra adult hands to scratch her.
Since I went to high school and college in New England, I have lots of friends in the area. I was on a collegiate rowing team when I met this girl. She’s now finishing up medical school and will be a doctor in a year – crazy! I got to introduce her to Julia and we caught up on our five years since college over lunch, where my child at 3/4 of the grilled chicken from her salad.
Next up, it was my hockey teammates. When I wasn’t rowing, you could probably find me playing hockey. (Or studying, but I tried to spend more time at the school’s athletic complex than the library, ha!) These girls and I (plus Robin who is missing!) all lived in a little apartment together during college. Out of our apartment, we have two (more) soon-to-be doctors, a physician’s assistant, and a special education teacher. I love that all of my friends are in professions of service that truly exist to help people.
Julia got to meet everyone for the first time and actually sat through two hours of dinner. She only threw her baby doll on the floor 14 times, spilled two sippy-cups, watched an entire showing of Jungle Book on the iPad, dropped my fork six times, and just proved to everyone to make sure they really want children or are willing to sacrifice eating out in peace before they have some of their own, ha!
The next morning, most of us met at the cutest little bakery in downtown Concord, Massachusetts. It was set back on the cutest little brook (hence the name). I always love seeing where my adult friends grew up when I get to visit them in their hometowns. I ordered a cupcake to go, like I wasn’t going to eat it with my breakfast sandwich and (much-needed) coffee. Coffee was the theme of the weekend since our gradually increasing average of sleep went from two to about five.
It was so good to all be together again! The last time 4/5 of us were together was for Robin’s wedding three years ago when I was seemingly 37 months pregnant with Mitchell (but actually 7.5 months but it sure felt like it). I said that the next occasion for a reunion better be a beach trip to North Carolina or someone’s wedding, because this was not the reason any of us wanted to reunite. But it was so good to see them all and I love that our friendships have continued – even now, five years out of college!
This was the view from our breakfast table, where we sat for nearly two hours and talked some more. It’s amazing how much there is to talk about when you go from living together for two years to all living in different states for five years! The girls and I also had the chance to walk around the cutest downtown for a bit and I found a treasure! An old map of Spain to hang in the house! A quick trip to Target today for a picture frame and I can’t wait to hang it in our bedroom as a memento of our trip last January!
Monday morning we were up at the crack of way before dawn to head back to good old North Carolina. It was an unexpected treat in the midst of the circumstance to visit my in-laws and college friends. New England has some darling towns, the break from the heat was welcomed, and we passed so many road signs that made me want to turn onto another highway toward another place we’ve made a memory. Holderness School, Martha’s Vineyard, Connecticut College – if I could visit all of these places, I totally would have! But I’ll tell you, we were definitely in the Northeast where they thought the northern equivalent of “bless her heart” when I asked for sweet tea at a restaurant. (My mother had a whole stash in her refrigerator – she knows me so well)! We’re not sure the next time we’ll make it up there. We hope it’s soon, but this schedule seems to keep us pretty tied down. For now it looks like it’ll be a pretty easy-going second half of summer for the win!