Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Maui 2012

We just returned from our annual pilgrimage to Maui.

Grace's usual pose for the camera.

Traveling ever-so-lightly (four checked bags, a backpack for Charlotte, a BOB stroller for Grace and a slew of carry-ons) we didn't fit into a typical taxi. Luckily, Chuck Maui came to our rescue with a limo taxi!!

The girls didn't know what to make of no car seats!!

Disregard Charlotte's stained t-shirt...she put it through the ringer on the plane.
But note it says "Aloha" - totally appropriate right?!
It's the same outfit Grace wore to Maui just a few years ago.
It's going by so fast.

Breakfast on the lanai.
Charlotte has picked up Grace's camera habits.

The beach was a BIG hit!

Sand castles were built and destroyed. 

Toes were tickled in the sand.

Doesn't she look all grown up?!

Charlotte's new favorite look...it's kind of like a glare with a little sarcasm.
She's going to be a character!

Talking up a storm, we kept quizzing her with words.
Charlotte, say Hawaii.
Charlotte, say Aloha.
Charlotte, say yes.
NO!! (Followed by laughter, giggles and smiles!)
The ONLY word she won't say or even attempt to say is yes!

Charlotte, say yeah.
Charlotte, say ssssss.
Charlotte, say yes.

We all break into giggles!
Like I said, a character.
It's like her little joke and she thinks it is sooo funny!

Charlotte loved the water. She like the sand too - especially eating it - but the water was where she wanted to be. Whenever she thought we weren't watching, she'd dart into the waves. 

Grace loved jumping in the waves but entertained herself digging too!

Here comes trouble!
This pic cracks me up. Her little tummy hanging out.
Guess I should of tried her swim suit on BEFORE the trip!

We decided to change things up one day and rent a car for a little day trip. To surprise us with something fun and special, Court rented a little red convertible. It was super cute and reminded me our trips to Maui before we had kids.

It was the girls' first time in a convertible and at first they didn't know what to think...

but it quickly turned to dislike.
So much so we had to pull over and put up the roof.
Sad for mom and dad.

Out on a walk with the girls, we stumbled upon a beautiful pond FULL of the brightest, biggest Koi fish you ever did see.
We sat there just mesmerized by them because they came right up to the edge of the pond. If we wanted to we could have pet them!
The "keeper" of the pond noticed us and brought over a bucket of food and Grace got to feed them!
She kept saying...
Look at the fish, Mommy!
They are so cute.
I love them.

We ate at wonderful restaurants, spent lazy afternoons napping and reading.

I read the entire Hunger Games series in the month of January.
So good!

And eating. Did I mention we ate? A lot?
Luckily, we exercised too!
Court went on monster runs every day.
Grace was up before dawn every day so she and I went on runs in the morning to beat the heat and the crowds. I didn't even have to take her out of her pi's because it was so warm!

An obligatory photo at the fountain.

Somehow, we didn't get one of Charlotte. 
I did manage to catch one of her sporting a little flower in her hair. When in Rome...

Our last night...

Dinner, drinks, sweet girls and a sunset.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.
Not gonna lie. I few tears were shed as we departed. Reality can be so harsh.
On our last morning, we went for a walk, played on the beach and wore the girls out in the pool.
When we at last headed to the airport, we thought that they would sleep on the plane.
Charlotte did sleep. But at the airport in the security line.

She didn't sleep a wink on the 5.5 hour flight home and was THAT kid on the plane.
Jumping, screaming....sooooo tired but worked herself up so much she couldn't relax.
And neither could we.
Or anyone sitting within ear shot of us.
Our plane landed at 11:30 at night. As we stood in line, deboarding the plane, I could see people looking at her and saying things like that must've been the baby crying.
I wanted to die.
I think Charlotte was pissed too.
Because every time she saw one of those people looking at her, she started screaming all over again.
Needless to say, I couldn't wait to get off that plane.
Under normal circumstances, we probably would've overnighted in Seattle to drive home the next morning but the thought of loading them in the car, to unload the car to put them to bed only to load everything back up in the morning seemed enough to make us want to pull our hair out.
So we decided to make the 3 hour drive that night.
Luckily, the weather, roads and passes all cooperated and we rolled in at about 4 am.

So yes, we had a wonderful vacation.
But I could definitely use a vacation from the vacation...if you know what I mean!

Aloha and mahalo Maui!
Until next time...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Philly 2012

Philly was full of down time where we could just watch all the girls play together! They haven't been able to do that before so it was fun just to watch them have fun!

Baby June didn't know what to think of all these people in her space...

especially the one who was always attacking her with hugs!

"Thanks for sharing all your toys June!"
I am sure that is what Charlotte is thinking! ;)

And June's like...."Uhhh...the toys are over there." 

They were wonderful. And it was a delight to see them interact. Grace had a great time "leading" the way!

June is a happy-little-camper! A cute one to boot!

Good times. 
The only bummer. I lost my sunglasses while out to lunch. I really loved those sunglasses and they are the first pair I've lost since middle school.
I hate losing things. HATE, HATE, HATE it!
Makes me insane. 
The good news? 
Because I haven't lost a pair since I was 12, I have a few back up options! hahah

Saturday, January 14, 2012

NYC 2012

Like I said, we rolled up to NYC from Boston to break up the loooong train ride to Philly...PLUS who wouldn't want to make a pit stop in the Big Apple?

Charlotte enjoying her first train ride. 

We arrived in New York with just enough day light to take a walk and hit some touristy hot spots. 

Namely Rockefeller Plaza.

We saw the ice skaters...

...well most of us did.
Grace finally got that much needed nap during our walk about.

Unfortunately, Charlotte never napped and Grace's brief little stint in the stroller wasn't enough to prevent them from climbing off the walls during our pre-dinner cocktail hour overlooking Central Park. (I didn't get a picture. Shoot!)

During our pre-kid years, Court and I would've holed up at a small restaurant and gorged for hours and then stayed up way too late by going to a bar afterwards.

But the kids had been cooped up for far too long and a meal out at a restaurant would have been brutal for everyone. 

So we had dinner in our hotel room which was a bit of a disappointment for me and Court...I mean we aren't in NYC everyday people - but it actually turned out to be just what the doctor ordered! During dinner, we managed to watch Mr. Popper's Penguins (yep, we did) which was about penguins - obvi - but also family and the crazy lengths you go for those that you love. It helped put our evening in our hotel room in perspective...and then we all sang koom-bye-ya.
Just kidding. 

The next morning, we all felt much better. 
We decided to take the girls for a carriage ride through Central Park.
Horses? Carriages? Central Park?
A real life fairy tale, right?!?!

Let's just say it will always be a "perfect" memory!

When we got on the carriage it was almost 50 degrees. A heat wave by NYC standards in January.
When we got off the carriage it was snowing. Just a bit of a weather change there!

Charlotte was sitting on my lap and we were huddling together to keep warm. All of a sudden I felt something VERY warm coming from the general vicinity of Charlotte's bottom. 
I started to laugh.
"Court, I think Charlotte just wet her pants. I can feel the warmth from her diaper."
A few minutes pass. It is still REALLY warm.
Hmmmm....that seems weird.

Lift up Charlotte and discover she is SOAKING wet....as are my legs. 
Her diaper had exploded and the urine was being sopped up by my jeans.

Being covered in her own urine didn't seem to phase Charlotte, especially since the girls were able to pet and feed the horse when the hour long ride through the park in a snow storm was {finally} over.

And that concludes our very brief stint in NYC.
Very short and very sweet.
Onwards and upwards to Philadelphia.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Boston 2012

Oh Boston! How do I love thee? Even three feet of snow and nor'easter couldn't make me not love you!

Luckily for us, we got to visit Boston AND not have to deal with any bad weather.
In fact, we had sunshine the whole time. Just lovely!

Court had to go back East for a conference so me and the girls decided to tag along. I was a bit nervous about me and the girls being by ourselves in "the big city" as Court had to stay on location of his conference.

But the girls did better than I could have ever imagined!

I could live in Boston in a heart beat. The architecture is totally my style. The people were nothing short of wonderful.
People would randomly start chatting with me. Everyone saw me coming a mile away with my double stroller and stopped to open doors. Even taxi drivers went out of their was to assist me hauling two kids around this foreign city.
Just lovely.
I was blown away really. I can't remember the last time a person started randomly chatting with me or opened a door for me - even as I am fighting with a Double BOB trying to manhandle it through a doorway - on the West coast. 

But I must admit that people weren't particularly going out of their way to help me...they were enamored with Charlotte. She smiled and waved at anyone who would breathe in her direction and I am telling you her infectious smile brought about first class service from any and every passerby. She is a ham...but a particularly useful ham!!

We visited the Boston Commons - Boston's "Central Park" and saw the duckling sculpture.


Then we visited the REAL ducks!
Grace loved the fact that some were "ice skating!"

Needless to say, this book really hits home now!

We went to the New England aquarium! 
So fun!! It was a really great aquarium. 

Grace actually touched the star fish in the tidal area. She's never done that before even though she's had plenty of visits to aquariums. They also had a shark and sting ray touch tank. She put her hands in but didn't actually touch anything. She's much braver than her mother!

Grace was particularly enamored with the lobsters...she called them crabs...but we saw a lot of them and she even talked me into a souvenir from the gift shop!

After the aquarium, I braved lunch out at a restaurant with both girls by myself. 
It went surprisingly well. Both girls ate a HUGE lunch and Grace finally tried corn on the cob!
I think they liked the music playing in the background at the restaurant.

We also hit up the Children's Museum which I was told was one of the best in the country...and it was!
It was HUGE, clean and overlooked the water. They could've stayed all day if they both still didn't need a mid-day nap.

Speaking of naps, I woke both girls up every day from their naps to do a little something for Mom.
We perused Newbury street...hard to do in a stoller. Many stores are not at street level. We hit up Charles street for a little shopping. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Another big event of the trip was that we had to pack very, very lightly for a train ride to visit family in Philadelphia. We planned on taking the train and you are only allowed carry-ons. So dragging around the pak-n-play for Charlotte wasn't an option. So we made Charlotte a make shift bed out of a blow up mattress and blankets.

She was a rock star! Sleeping in a big girl bed at 15 months.
Not going to lie...the first night she was a wreck. We all didn't sleep much. But after that, she figured it out....


Good thing Santa brought her sheets and all the works for a big girl bed! She'll be making the transition after we get home from our travels! 

Our trip to Boston came to an end. So sad! I truly was sad to leave this beautiful city. One last picture of us waiting in the train station to catch the train to New York City!

Our ultimate stop would be Philadelphia but from Boston that is about a 7+ hour train ride. Too much for two little kids and their parents. So we decided to break it up and make a pit stop (less than 24 hours) in NYC.. The Big Apple...to do a little sight seeing!

More to come on our East Coast Bonanza!