We actually left the night of June 30 to take an overnight. I was weary about how taking a almost two-year-old on an overnight would be but it turned out okay. She only slept a little over two hours but was such a little trooper and very much well behaved. She was just excited about all of it. The pictures above are from the drive to SFO and the really neat hands on science playgroup thing that was right near our gate at SFO. (A genius came up with putting playgrounds in the airport!)
Hours and hours, and one layover later we landed in what we determined was the world's friendliest airport - Dayton, OH. A McDonald's breakfast and a quick drive lead us to Mr. 246's hometown and childhood home where this was waiting for Luna:
LUNALAND! My mother-in-law is the queen of details and niceties. They had so much stuff set up for Luna! And enough birthday presents for five children. Not pictured: the full size Christmas tree covered in pictures of Luna and origami ornaments made out of dollar bills (for Luna of course!).
Luna could barely walk right when we got there since she was so sleep deprived. (On her birthday no less!) We laid her down for a nap pronto because had to get rested up - it was the beginning of her unofficial birthday week! Presents were opened wherever she went and there were so many that she ended up opening presents on a daily basis. I joked that she probably thought that's just what strangers did now - meet a "stranger" and they give you a high five and a present to open.
The first night we went to Mr. 246's paternal grandparents. (Luna's GREAT grandparents! I wasn't around my grandparents growing up and I don't recall any great grandparents but now Luna has two sets of grandparents and two sets of great grandparents to spoil her. Hehe. How awesome is it to have that much family?)
An amazing dinner was made with no less than four casseroles....I was in midwest cooking heaven. I had seconds, then I had thirds. (I may or may not have gained five pounds in one week while I was there...)
We had a nice evening walk after dinner. Luna fell in love with this little car my MIL borrowed for her. Check that birthday girl out! Well, maybe not the second picture...
Then there was the house in the country:
She loved every second of it and my heart tugged a bit and began yearning for a house of my own instead of the apartment life. All she wanted to do was play with stone birds, collect rocks, run in the grass and frolic about.
We stayed at my sister-in-law's apartment, stayed up late, played board games, enjoyed each other's company. So much fun. Then the next day was the best part....the zoo!
The weather was perfect for the zoo and Luna had a blast! She quickly became obsessed with the kangaroos and we got the VIP treatment again from an old high school friend of Mr. 246 and his sister. She works at the zoo and got us into a special area to see the giraffes and African savannah area.
Another awesome night of hanging out together at my sister-in-law's apartment and sadly we were onto our last full day. We ordered some pizza and had some campfires and it was the perfect ending to our trip.
Conclusion: This post is greatly lacking in detail and emotions....if I were to include and describe the awesomeness of our trip and my in-laws it would be about five pages long. They are all such wonderful people and I am so blessed to have married into such a loving, fun, and supportive family. I don't know how I got so lucky. So, speaking of which...
Here's my somewhat big (not-so-new news): We're aiming to move back to Ohio toward the end of next year!
Mr. 246 will be finishing up with his masters and I'll have enough money saved up by then. Ever since I had Luna I knew I wanted to move back to the midwest. The west coast has a different vibe and somewhat different values. I want my child(ren) to have a somewhat similar environment to what I had growing up and you can't get that here in California. Plus we have a ton of family and lots of support in Ohio, it'll be fun for Luna to grow up around grandparents and cousins and friends. It's also cheaper to live there - maybe I'll be lucky and we'll be able to afford to homeschool. Hmmm...
Yes, anyway. So I'm super excited. And super motivated to save up my money. I even found my dream home already! Chances are it'll be gone by next year but I can dream. Haha. This seems a bit different then when we moved across country the first time. Anyone ever made a big move with children? How did that go?
Thanks for letting me share!