During the end of August and early September, we spent nearly two weeks in Ohio visiting with family, seeing new-to-us sites, and, most special of all, celebrating at my younger brother’s wedding. On this trip, William got to meet my dad and brother for the first time and he also got to meet a lot of extended family members for the first time. The trip wasn’t all roses and butterflies, though (although there were many flowers and butterflies, to be sure!) – we had a frustrating start with a missed flight in Chicago, it was very hot and muggy most of the time (and by the time it cooled off and began to rain, it was time to attend Matthew and Katie’s wedding), and my patience was thin after “traveling” with three kids for such a long period of time. No matter what, though, as always, we had a lot of fun and made a lot of special memories that we’ll enjoy thinking about for years to come.
As I said above, we had a rough start to our trip. I’m exhausted just remembering it, but in a nutshell, due to weather, we missed our connection in Chicago. I was traveling alone with all of the kids and quickly had to remember that I was the one in charge of three very small children. Missing our luggage, I steered the kids to a hotel shuttle and checked us into an offsite, but nearby airport hotel. I fed the kids, I let them run around like banshees all over the hotel, I bathed the kids, and I put them all to bed at their usual bedtime. I snuggled up in bed with Vivian and listened to a big thunderstorm pass by before falling asleep myself. It was my birthday and even though the day did not go as planned, at the end of it, I had all of my babies close by me and we were all safe and sound. The next day, luckily, we made it to Ohio on a small regional jet. Whew!
Morning Excitement Before a Stressful Travel Day
The rest of this blog post will provide a very high level overview of the things that we did while in Ohio. In many ways, this trip was similar to our trips to Ohio after Vivian was born and after Lillian was born (with one major exception – this time, we traveled with a very easy going, non-fussy baby!).
A day after settling into my mom’s house in Ohio, she and I took the kids to a Butterfly House and a really fun park.
Tandem Swinging at the Park
We spent a lot of time hanging out with my mom and dad. The girls collected chicken eggs, rode the four-wheeler, fed the neighbor’s horse, and played outside.
Collecting Chicken Eggs
Vivian Riding the ATV
Lillian Riding the ATV
Getting to Know Papa Better
Feeding Catch Me Apples
My mom and I took the kids to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium one day.
Dive into Adventure!
Dan flew out to meet us a few days after we arrived and we all attended the annual S.C.R.A.P. event.
Riding the Barrel Tractor Ride at S.C.R.A.P.
I had to work one day and so my mom, sister, and Dan took the girls to The Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center.
Painting at the Art Museum
We visited a well known local donut shop and took the kids to storytime at the library.
Whole Wheat Wednesday Donuts
We also took a tour on the Miami and Erie Canal aboard a historic canal boat pulled by mules.
One night, we left all the kids with my parents and rushed out to do a little wine and beer tasting with my aunt and uncles.
The best part of our trip, though, was attending my brother’s beautiful wedding in central Ohio. Vivian was a [reluctant] flower girl. Their venue was breathtaking, despite the torrential rains. And my brother and new sister-in-law were happily married.
Family Photo at the Wedding Rehearsal
Our Girls in Their Wedding Best
With the Happy Couple
Before we left Ohio, we met up with the new Mr. and Mrs. at their post-wedding brunch.
Brunch at Southside Diner
Our flights back to California were blessedly uneventful and we arrived at our destination on the same day that we left our point of origin. Stepping foot off the plane meant stepping into a new reality for us. The next day, I went back to work full time and teaching part-time, Vivian went back to preschool full time, and William started full time daycare with Lillian. I left behind family in Ohio and a wonderful maternity leave, but I started looking forward to the upcoming Fall and winter holidays.When one door closes…