Sunday, August 5, 2012

Poconos & Long Island

We set off on yet another adventure at the end of July. And brace yourselves for quite the fall because we'll be jet-setting once again with the little babe in tow. It will include international travel and definitely some posts about air travel with a baby, because holy mackerel is that a totally different ballgame than our previous, never-check-a-bag-no-matter-what lives.

We headed East to introduce B to his great grandparents and great grandma. Believe it or not, B has six living grandmas and three living grandpas. B has a great-great grandmother in California he's never met who is 97, a great grandmother in California who is in her 70's, a grandmother (my mom) in California who would kill me if I mentioned her age, a great grandmother in Maryland who is 90, a great grandmother in Long Island who is 86, and a grandmother (Ray's mom) in Maryland who is young like my mom. And for the grandpas: a great grandpa in Maryland who is 90, a grandpa in California (my dad), and a grandpa in Maryland who turned 60 during our visit! That was also one of the reasons we went. How's that for an introduction!

The week was relaxing and consisted of lots of pool trips, mini golf, a hike, lots of desserts, and some mini road trips in between it all. We flew into Newark plenty of hours late with minimal communication from the airline (insert frustration as we planned to travel during naptime) and then a road trip to the Poconos.
No photos please, mamarazzi. At Chicago-Midway airport.
20 seconds long, but pretty funny. Turn the volume up for this one. Such a boy.

Peaches with Gramie & Great Gramie
Cleaning up with Gramie

Hanging with Great Papa
First indoor pool experience + float
Grandpa, B, Dad, Gramie, Great Gramie, Great Papa
On a hike
Gramie, Dad, B
Mom, Dad, B
Hiking with Grandpa

Playing with Gramie... fun photo sequence

Four Generations of men ages 0, 30, 60, 90
Celebrating Grandpa's 60th with cake!
Mesmerizing apparently.
Second time swinging... with Gramie this time! Put him right to sleep.
More pool time! 
Mini golf. That's what we call it in the west. Put-put for you East coasters. :)

We left the Poconos for a visit with B's great grandma in Long Island. These last few photos are from the last day of our adventures.
B with his Grandpa in Grandpa's childhood home.
Great Grandma holding her only living Great Grandchild.
The cuteness.
As you can tell, I took so. many. photos. on this trip. It's important for us that the time he spends with family be well documented, as we don't live close to any family. It was a wonderful trip. B's 7th and 8th airplane rides will be international next month! We're anxiously awaiting his passport in the mail and will be jet-setting to Germany. Ray may or may not have plans to feed him some German sausage while there. Cannot wait to introduce B to our German friends and load up on some of our favorite German candy bars and teas and whatever else baby I can't find in the States but love.

Random story about baby crap since my last post was all about that: While living in Germany, we were driving through France and searched everywhere for the Sophie Giraffe chew toy. I wasn't pregnant but would be pregnant with Andrew just weeks later and knew I'd need to have that toy for my baby based on our European experiences. It's super trendy in the States now, but it's been popular in France for decades. We searched and searched the stores and found only very large versions and huge sets that I didn't want. And it was the Euro and the exchange rate was terrible at the time. We came back to the States, sans Sophie, and ended up buying one and receiving one as a gift. It was fun reading all the comments about baby crap, including Sophie, from all of you. So glad I'm not the only crazy mind-boggled about this stuff!

And finally. Today is the twenty-first 5th of the month. Andrew has been gone that long. There were plenty of tears and intimate moments, even at nearly two years and with B present, among family during our trip and on our fourth wedding anniversary. My husband gifted me with earrings for our anniversary. They're square-shaped: each side represents a year of marriage and the inner part of the squares have four woven pieces. Each woven piece to resemble the four of us as a family, Andrew included always. Tears. So many tears. I'm wearing them today. Life's just never going to be quite right. We love you, sweet Andrew. So, so much.


Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

I love all the pictures :)

That was a very sweet gift from Ray. Tears for sure. Missing Andrew with you.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Oh what a lucky babe to have so many living grandparents and great (and great-great!) grandparents. I love that pic of the 0,30,60,90 . . .incredible.

When we flew 3 (8 total including connections and returns) times in one month, it seemed to get easier each time. Or maybe you become more delirious. . .but since you guys are already traveling pros - I'm sure you will find that it gets better too.

You're going to have so much fun in Germany - what areas are you going to? Amberg by chance? How many Haribo products are you going to send me? 100? Great - thanks, you're the best :)

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

Oh,that waterfall is beautiful! Where were you hiking?

I'm going to try to start sending good luck your way now for that international flight. The only international flight we've done with Eleanor was to Canada. Actually, we flew to Seattle and drove to Canada. We're not very brave.

Kristi said... [Reply to comment]

I especially love the pics of B hiking! 4 Generation pictures are treasured by us as well with all our family being so far away, too.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I adore the fact that you guys travel with B! As you know, Matt and I are avid travellers (having spent time in Germany as well) and being grounded right now is difficult for us. I love that you take him everywhere and experience it all together as a family. Germany next month? Oh jealous!! Enjoy! Which part of Germany are you going to? Have some Milka chocolate for me!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Gorgeous pictures of one adored little boy. I think your last lines said it perfectly, too. Life will be beautiful and amazing and even fun, but it will never ever be quite right.

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

I love the pic of Benjamin in the Ergo. And with his grandparents.

I started seeing the 20-something months and I don't know how we got here so quickly from single digits but I am certainly not ready for TWO YEARS without our boys, you know?