Posts Tagged traveling

Five Favorite Friday–Memorial Day Weekend

Ok, so I know Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, but quite honestly, I’ve been avoiding talking about it.  We came away with more miles on the car, a smiley kid and time well spent with the grandparents.  And for that, we’re grateful.

So for this five favorite friday, I thought I’d share my five favorite moments of the weekend.  There were so many classic moments, so this will be a fun way to recap another long weekend in Va. Beach.

1.  Jack and Lola watering the plants, which later led to Jack and Jeff trying to water Lola.

Jack and Lola watering the plantsGet her!

2. Jack “helping” to wash the cars.

The little guy isn’t so little anymore and insists on “helping” as often as he can. In this case, he proved to be a stellar sponge-wetter. And by the way, this particular car wash soap can double as a kid wash if you’re in a pinch. Ok, not really, but Jack certainly thought so.
Helping daddy and grandpa wash the carsspray me!

3.  The frog sprinkler.

Ah, the infamous frog sprinkler that I was reminded not to forget.  Nope, can’t forget the frog sprinkler!  It’s a good thing I didn’t, that thing was a hit!  Not bad for a $3 steal from CVS’ after-summer sale last year!

The frog sprinkler

4.  Playing in the rain.

I ran to Walgreens to pick up some bug spray, and I came back to this:

playing in the rain

5. Celebrating with the birthday boy.

Lately, trips home (for us) have become more stressful and exhausting than they’ve been enjoyable.  This time around, we were able to get schedules aligned with my restaurant/bar working brothers and for once, we actually celebrated a family member’s birthday together, albeit a week early!  yummm…Trader Joe’s Ice Cream Cake!

Celebrating with the birthday boy

Oh and if you make a face like this when I’m behind the camera you bet your ass I’m posting it on my blog and on Facebook.  Y’know, because that’s what big sisters do!  Happy Birthday, crazy Uncle John!

crazy uncle john

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Pearls of wisdom, the vacation edition

From our recent vacation, we came away not only with a mountain of toys, but also many more pearls of wisdom.  (chuckle)
So instead of another long, drawn-out post about all the happenings, I thought these thoughts deserved bullet points.

1.  When there was only 2 of us, there was never enough time to do/see everything we wanted.  With 3 of us, we don’t even have time to THINK about all those things, never mind actually do them.
2.  You know those little kiddie luggage that say, “visiting Grandma and Grandpa,”  I’m going to get one and cross it out and write: “Going to Lolo and Lola’s.  What Jackson wants, Jackson gets.”
3.  In all seriousness, sleeping in is bliss.  An extra 2 sets of hands is even more bliss.
4.  All that sleeping bliss on vacation translates into interrupted toddler sleeping pattern post-vacation.  Bliss was shortlived–we’re BACK to square one in the sleeping through the night crusade. (sigh)
5.  Once upon a time, when we visited home, we hit many bars in a weekend.  In 2 weeks, we saw 2 bars, for less than 2 hours each.  If New Year’s Eve was really reserved for amateurs, these old partying vets stayed in pjs–by choice.  Funny how times change.
6.  Watching the kid interact with his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousin induced fuzzy feelings and painted-on grins.
Jack learned a new “trick.”  He would grab any unsuspecting person by a singular finger to drag them to the next room to do something mommy usually outlawed.  More fuzzy feelings.
7.  Speaking of fuzzy feelings, my brother introduced us to Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka.  Mmmm vodka.  mmmm sweet tea.  Sweet Tea Vodka is delicious, just ask my husband.
8.  Even after all these years of living away, like all most of our old haunts, our favorite Mexican restaurant never gets old.  I think we ate there 4 different times while we were home.  Wondering if they deliver to Hoboken, NJ.  (It’s so ironic that we both worked [and reconnected] at a now-defunct Mexican restaurant chain)
9.  Trading in our old car for the new was a lot of work.  God bless Jeff for doing the grunt work and for dad’s help, too!
10.  Contrary to what many believe, our new sedan IS much more spacious than a small SUV and much more fuel efficient–to the tune of 28 mpg vs.19.  Big difference for a family that can easily burn through 100k miles in 4 years.
10.  Needless to say, good times with family and friends rock, but getting back to our regular routine is healthy.
11.  As hard as it is to say good bye, it makes going back home for a visit that much more special.
12.  Unpacking after said long trip is impossible.  (Wondering if I could keep bags packed until next visit.)

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Bittersweet Thanksgiving Eve

CNN is reporting that more than 41 million people will be traveling today to reach their destination for Thanksgiving. If you’re one of them, be safe! For the past 8 years, on the eve of any other holiday, we’d have many bags packed and filled with anxiety about another trek home.  But this year, we’re staying here in NJ.  It’s bittersweet to say the least.
jack's luggage
You see, we love going home, especially at Thanksgiving.  What’s so hard however, is the mounting expense of traveling, the exhaustion (especially for Jeff) for the almost 400 miles each way and of course the sadness of leaving again when it’s time to travel back.

We’ll always associate Thanksgiving with gathering with our loved ones, but this year, because staying local made most sense for our family, I can’t wait to make this holiday our own for the first time.  Since Jeff suggested that we stay local this year, I negotiated that we do a NYC tradition that I’ve always wanted to do.  So, this afternoon, we have plans to go to the Macy’s Day Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade inflation extravaganza on the Upper West Side.

I’m getting in the “zone” to bake and hopefully not destroy our feast.  But most importantly, I know I can speak for Jeff and say, we’re excited to not to have to drive those long hours down to Va.  While I cook our feast tomorrow, surely, my heart will be heavy, but the day will go on.  But after all is said and done, we’ll have another holiday to look forward to, and a new trip to plan for–an almost 2 week excursion back home for Christmas.  Lesson learned:  with family sacrifice, in the future other provisions can be made.

Hopefully many of you are enjoying short work days today.  Where ever you might be, enjoy your long weekend and time with family! I’ll be back tonight with photos of our parade fun :)   And for our extended family back home in Va., we’ll miss you guys but thanks to technology, hopefully we can video chat tomorrow! woot!

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