Tuesday, August 4, 2015

North Carolina Vacation - Part 1

Over the past several years, many of our family members and friends have migrated to North Carolina. It was only a matter of time before we made the trip to see everyone. In a week's time, we saw some old friends, visited for a few days with Jeremy's grandma and some of his extended family, and then met up with my brother and his family to visit the outer banks, which also happened to be the boys' first visit to the beach. All in all - AMAZING trip.

Here is the ground we covered in an 8  day period. We logged just shy of 2500 miles on our rental car. We also got the boys through 2 new states, Virginia and West Virginia. The rest were all repeats. 

I took the first shift of driving since we didn't leave until after Jeremy got off work and he was really tired. We had to cover 7 hours of driving to stay on schedule. Here are Lex and I taking a selfie while Jeremy ran into a Dollar Tree to buy band-aids for Eli who somehow scratched his face while we weren't looking and well... let's just say there was blood.

Funny story - at least I think... We've lived in Missouri for 8 years now and I still like taking pictures of the arch every time we pass through St. Louis. Jeremy's always like, "Seriously?" And I'm like, "Yep. Take the picture."

And now my new favorite thing to take a picture of every time we pass through St. Louis is the cool new bridge. It looks like you're driving into a spaceship or something. It's pretty cool. My brother got some really cool night pictures when he came to visit a couple months ago.

 After 2 days of driving, we arrived at our friend's house in Monroe, NC, just in time for her 40th birthday party. Here are all my boys celebrating on her back deck before her other guests arrived.

And since it was more of a grown up party, here is Lex chilling in the living room playing Minecraft. Eli, our social butterfly, didn't care about all the grown ups. He fit right in making conversation. At one point, he walked up to a couple of people and said, "Hi! I haven't met you yet. I'm Eli." Um, cute.  

The next day, we packed up and drove 2 more hours to Bladenboro for 2 relaxing days of Grandma's home cooking and relaxation in her sun room. Of course we couldn't pass up the nearby park just a short walk away from her house. What I didn't know about North Carolina is that apparently there are fire ants EVERYWHERE. Jeremy's family seemed concerned that I sent the boys outside barefoot (like I do all summer long), because there were worried they would step in an anthill. Well, the boys survived NC with no bites, but while we were at this park, I got one single fire ant bite on my ankle, and let me just say, um OUCH. It stung for hours.

I digress.

Back at the park, Lex practiced his monkey bars...

And Eli climbed.

Up to the sky...

We enjoyed a couple of paddle boat rides on Grandma's pond. So relaxing.

So relaxing in fact, that Lex promptly fell asleep on our drive to the restaurant for dinner. We went to a Mexican place in Hope Mills, NC for dinner and Jeremy's aunt had the great idea to have them come sing to Lex for his birthday which was just a few days away.  When they came out and put the sombrero on him and started to sing, we were able to quickly snap this picture right before Lex dove under the table in ultimate humiliation. And I cracked up laughing while trying to pull him up for a picture. Now that I write this, I feel like a mean mommy... and yet I'm still laughing.

 We did get him up for this one picture once he saw that there was ice cream involved.

 Eli on the other hand had no problem wearing the hat and posing for pictures. 

After the restaurant, we headed to Jeremy's aunt's house so that Lex could practice his piano and give a performance to everyone.

And then we had one more family ride on the paddle boat as the sun set.  It was a great last night in Bladenboro.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip when we hit the beach!

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