Sunday, July 17, 2011

Part 3: Minnesota

Why on earth would you go to Minnesota you ask? Well, it certainly wasn’t for the mosquitoes, although there were plenty. The primary reason was to visit our dear friends Ben and Laura who moved there last summer, and to see some family on my mom’s side that we don’t get to see very much. We had a great time! Here are some highlights:

4th of July – Nolan got to play in one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes – which he LOVED! And we got to see fireworks – which I always LOVE! The only downside was that Nolan apparently ate a little too much watermelon which he projectile vomited all over my face… and then all over Ben’s. Gross.

This is Jack and Nolan playing by the lake. The water felt really good after a long day in the car!

This is Nolan playing with some glow sticks while we waited for fireworks to start:

It gets dark really late in MN... fireworks didn't start until like 10:00, which was 11:00 Eastern time. Nolan tried is best but just couldn't make it the whole time. Meanwhile Laura and I had a great time hanging out and catching up!

Family – We got to visit my Aunt Marie. I haven’t seen her in forever, but it was good to visit and catch up. We missed out on seeing some other family, but my mom got to see them so the trip wasn’t a total waste.

Baseball – Tuesday we went to a MN Twins baseball game – Nolan’s first game! He really did a great job considering baseball games are so long. I think his favorite part was all of the clapping and cheering. He was quite the little flirt with the people behind us. Whenever they would cheer I think he thought they were cheering for him. He also loved the cheese curds they serve there (which I’m willing to bet they don’t have at all baseball stadiums). It was really fun!

Mall of America – You can’t go to MN without going to the Mall of America. Well, maybe you can, but since I’d never been I wanted to check it out. Obviously the boys could care less about the shopping, so the highlight was definitely the rides. Nolan got to do his first “roller coaster” rides! He definitely had a BLAST! It was really fun to watch.
At the Lego Store... Nolan got to meet one of his favorite characters - Woody from Toy Story! (the Lego version of course):

Nolan playing with some Lego's:
(another engineer in our midst?)

Jack and Nolan on one of the rides:

Our friend Ben on a ride w/ Nolan (who is clearly having a BLAST):

The "horsey" ride - w/ our friend Laura:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Part 2: Chicago, IL

It took us 13 hours, but once we got to Chicago we had a great time! We got to see Logan and Antonio who showed us around the city. Some highlights include: eating brunch at Anne Sather’s (best cinnamon rolls EVER), walking around town and the playground, visiting the zoo, eating traditional Chicago Pizza, and more… wish we had more time to spend there!

It's hard to see it in the pic, but Nolan has icing all over his face. Even he knows the glory of Anne Sather's delicious cinnamon rolls!

This is Nolan looking at some animals at the zoo. Good thing his head is so big or he would have gotten it stuck:

Quick group shot near a fountain somewhere in Chicago:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Road Trip!

For our summer trip this year we decided to travel across the country – first to Chicago, then Minnesota, then Nebraska, and back home. My biggest concern going into the trip was traveling with a toddler and a hugely pregnant momma (me). But I am relieved to say that Nolan did AWESOME and I was able to control my bladder to a reasonable amount of bathroom stops. All in all, we had a great time! I will be posting some highlights from our trip (but it may take a couple of posts worth, so be patient!)

Pt. 1: Driving (and driving, and driving some more…)
Here is us packed and ready to go... -->

Throughout the 10 days of our trip we spend about 48 hours in the car. Yikes!
Nolan usually does ok in the car, but he is so active that he gets restless after a certain amount of time. This could pose an obvious problem when you’re traveling for a bazillion hours. Thankfully though we were able to plan accordingly (thanks to much advice from friends!) and we all survived! Here is a glimpse of his time in the car:

We left around noon which is the time Nolan usually takes a nap. He was bathed and fed so he fell asleep pretty quickly in the car, and slept for 3 hours!

After "nap time" we stopped for gas, bathroom, and to stretch our legs. Afterwards Nolan was perfectly content to eat his popcorn and watch Toy Story on our portable DVD player (best. invention. ever.)

By the time we stopped again it was time for dinner. We ate and stuffed Nolan full of french fries (a reward for being so good). Then he played some in the car - with an empty cup no less. I couldn't care less what he was playing with, as long as he was happy!

And for the final lef of the trip, it was bed time! While we drove through the dreadful state of Illinois (tons of tolls and terrible roads!), Nolan slept. We finally arrived at our destination about 1am Central Time.

The rest of the traveling days followed in a similar manner, although this was the longest day of driving. The others were 7, 7, 12, and 9 respectively.

More to come soon...