Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cole's First Road Trip to NC

With excited minds and heavy hearts we dropped off the dogs at Colleen and Eric's one week ago and hit the road for North Carolina. We would have loved to be bringing them on our road trip, but it would've been too much. Matt was picking them up in the morning and they'd be spending the week there. This was Cole's first road trip and we were super excited to see family.

Just outside downtown Chicago, making good time (God, the IL tolls are expensive), but Cole was STILL awake. I thought for sure he'd crash right away, but his eyes were like slits and he fought it. It didn't help that traffic was still heavy into Chicago. He barely had his eyes open and Cole said, "red Jeep, mama"... at that moment I thought, this could be a long night. 

Chicago...what a beautiful city at night. Even better without traffic. The Sears tower was lit with red and blue for the Olympics and the moon was laying low and orange right out the driver's side window. After singing "A your Adorable" and "Bushel and a Peck" for 20 minutes straight, Cole finally fell asleep. He wrapped his puckey around the back of his neck and snuggled up and closed his eyes.
It was a good night...Cole only woke once, around 2:30am, when we stopped for gas and switched drivers. We made awesome time and Cole was a great traveler!

Jackie brought the girls to Chris's house pretty quickly after we arrived. We made a quick trip to the grocery store and our vacation was under way. Cole fell in love with the attention minutes after arriving and soaked in every ounce of his cousin's love. Today was mainly a day of playing. Jim and I were still pretty tired from the drive down, and more than anything we really wanted Cole to warm up to the crew and hang with his cousins. We topped off the night at Chris's house for a grill out. 
Play-Doh fun

Cole wanted Uncle Chris to read "digger book"
Cole loved climbing through the cat doors at Chris's house

On Tuesday we took a quick hike around Beaver Lake before the crew headed to Splashville downtown. Cole wasn't quite sure at first, but quickly figured out the fountain sprinklers were pretty awesome- especially when his older cousins are doing it with him. He was running from one to another in no time. We tooled around downtown, in and out of a few stores to do a little shopping. We stopped at the Chocolate Lounge and ate a yummy treat. We went back to Jim and Jackie's house and decided to make an AMAZING homemade meal using as many veggies from their awesome gardens. You should see these gardens. From homemade tomato soup to veggies and corn on the cob, it was so delicious...even better since we were all sitting around the table enjoying it. With such a busy day (and no nap), Cole fell asleep within five minutes of being in the car! Another great day. 

Trying to catch up with Emery

Cole's new Little Blue Truck

Isabel's fort
Reading in Isabel's fort

Way too many cooks in this kitchen...

Murray, the snuggliest dog around
Wednesday  we went to the NC Nature Center...I will admit, Cole was a little cranky on this trip, but nothing Isabel and Maddie couldn't deal with. They were such great helpers, always stepping in to help out with Cole and help cheer him up, encourage him to eat, etc. I WISH THEY LIVED IN WISCONSIN! Cole was anxiously waiting to see a "moo, cow", but we weren't in luck. We saw a lot of other cool animals, but no cows. He'd have to wait until WI to see those friendly faces. Wednesday afternoon brought about our tie-dyed t-shirt project and reading in Isabel's fort. Cole loved snuggling in Izzy's cardboard hideout, reading with his cousins. The craft project was a little messy, but all together fun. Maddie, Emery and I created three beautiful masterpieces. After letting the dough rise all day, that evening Jim Schmidt made up some of his famous individual pizzas in his outdoor pizza oven. He even threw the bread in the air and did a little singing for Cole (I couldn't get it on video this time around). 

Look what hatched!

Otter Slide

Our tie-dyed creations drying

Isabel with her two best friends- Hank and Murray

Calendar shot...

Jim and his pizza oven

Man at Work

Thursday was our last day in NC. Jim slept in a bit, allowing me to get all of our belongings packed up and organized. We hung out at Chris's for most of the morning and then went to the NC Racquet Club for some swimming. We were only in the pool about 20 minutes before thunder rumbled and we were forced out. The dark skies may have prevented us from swimming, but they didn't stop us from playing at Jone's Park, the largest playground I've ever seen. We topped off the afternoon at the Toy Box, an awesome toy store in Asheville. I needed a birthday gift for Cole's buddy Cael and a few items for Cole's cousins as a thank you. We were all so busy playing and exploring we didn't realize we'd been in the store over an hour. The nice owners wrapped each of my gifts separately and we made our way to Chris's for our last dinner together...who doesn't like a "taco party"!

Jones Park = Awesome Playground

Cole LOVED the attention from his cousins

Playing at the Toy Box store...this tractor is on Cole's wish birthday wish list...
a lot of tears when we had to leave

 Although it was slightly raining, that didn't stop the cousins from playing a little baseball in the backyard before we hit the road. We had to soak in every last minute of play before we left. Jim and I packed up while Emery and the girls kept Cole occupied. We headed out of Asheville around 7:45pm (Asheville time). Cole was sound asleep within 10 minutes. He slept the entire way back to Milwaukee. Jim was a rock star driving, making it home in just over 11 hours. This mama did too much worrying about traveling with Cole. He was such a great traveler...thanks for the fun times in NC, Schmidt crew!

1 comment:

jim s. said...

Good times. C'mon back, y'all!