We got back Saturday from a wonderful trip to California for Julia’s wedding and Thanksgiving!
We took an EARLY flight Saturday morning from Baltimore. For this trip, we got Julia her very own suitcase to use as a carry-on so that we could pack it full of toys, books, snacks and other activities for the plane. She loved having her own suitcase and wheeling it through the airport!
Everyone thought she was adorable pulling it along. It did make walking a little slow but she managed to get where we needed to go on time.
The flight to San Francisco was a little rough since there was quite a bit of turbulence so Julia had to stay in her seat and couldn’t nurse to take a nap. She was quite sleepy by the time we arrived and didn’t end up falling asleep until we were in the car on our way to Julia’s wedding. This was our first time flying with Julia over the age of 2 and she had to have her own seat this time. We got a CARES harness for her to keep her safe and to make sure she would stay in her seat. She did surprisingly well with the harness, probably since she’s so used to having a 5-point harness on in her carseat.
As soon as we landed in San Francisco, we had to get our suitcases, get in my parents’ car, go back to their house and change quickly for the wedding. Julia fell asleep in the car on the way there so Jim stayed in the car with her through half of the ceremony and then we woke her up so they could both join us for the second half. I had never met Matt (Julia’s husband) so it was so wonderful to finally meet him. The ceremony was beautiful and very sweet.
Julia and Matt both looked so happy and it seemed like they had a great time! We sat with Amelie during the ceremony and it was really nice to catch up with her.
The reception was also lovely, with many personal touches. There was a photo booth that was a lot of fun, and little Julia had so much fun dancing the night away!
She kept going up to Jim & my mom and saying “Come on Gagee Papa!” then dragging them onto the dance floor. It was adorable! She also didn’t seem to care who she was dancing with; she would dance with anyone willing to dance with her.
After she started to show signs of being sleepy, we all headed back across the Bay Bridge to my parents’ house and went to bed!
The next morning we went to a brunch for out-of-town guests at Julia’s parents’ house. It was nice to see everyone in a less formal setting and to have time to just sit and chat a bit.
I enjoyed meeting Matt’s family and got along really well with his sister-in-law and nieces. It would be fun to go visit Julia & Matt in London while they’re living there… hopefully we can make that happen.
Sunday afternoon we took Julia to a playground to meet up with some friends we had met at Dana’s wedding a few weeks ago, and then in the evening Julia enjoyed having Papa read her a bedtime story!
Jim really loves being a grandpa and that really shows in the amount of patience he has with Julia. He’s so sweet with her and she clearly loves him! He bought her a new book which she just loved… it’s about Elliott the Elephant in the Big City. It was very sweet to hear him read to her.
Monday morning Ken & I had breakfast and got ready then we hit the road for our first ever overnight away from Julia! I had been very nervous about how she would do, but she did great with my parents for the two nights we were away, and we had some much-needed grownup time in Wine Country! We stayed at my mom’s friend Mary’s House in Yountville and did some wine tasting in Napa the first day, and then did a wine tour in Sonoma the second day.
We had some delicious meals–at the Oxbow Market, at the Russian River Brewery, at Wild Goat Bistro, and at Bouchon–and bought some wine to bring home with us. We didn’t sleep as well as we had hoped since Ken was sick with a cough/cold and since we are just so used to waking up at 6 AM every day, but we still had a wonderful three days to ourselves!
When we got back Julia was very excited to see us and immediately asked for “Mommy milk.” She makes the distinction between “Mommy milk” (aka breast milk) and “Julia milk” (aka cow’s milk). Even though she hadn’t napped at all for my mom, she fell asleep within about 2 minutes of starting to nurse and took a nice 2-hour nap in my arms!
The next day was Thanksgiving! My mom’s cooking is the best in the world so it goes without saying that the meal was spectacular. My god-mother Sheila and my mom’s friend Jane joined us for the holiday and it was just lovely. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons but one is that I love the way the house feels so warm and cozy and smells so delicious while the turkey is cooking, everyone is happily drinking wine or beer, the parade is on TV and everyone is happily sitting around the table eating a delicious meal! Jim & Ken toasted to their orange & black teams:
and Julia had fun “helping” Jim sweep the floor:
That evening, my mom got to read Julia her bedtime story before everyone headed off to sleep off the turkey!
Friday we spent the day relaxing at home a bit. Julia fell asleep and took a nice long morning nap while Ken & I got to go have lunch with Julia & Matt in the city for one last goodbye before she moves to London.
I am so happy for her and wish her the best but I am sad she’ll be so far away. London really isn’t that much farther from Baltimore than San Francisco but it feels farther away since it’s another country and we can’t just take a Southwest flight to get there. It requires international travel and passports to visit her now. But they seem so happy together and Matt is a lovely gentleman so I know they will have a wonderful life together.
In the afternoon after lunch, my mom, Ken & I took Julia to a playground to burn off some energy.
Then it was time to head home for dinner and to pack up. It would have been nice if we had had one more day in San Francisco but we really needed Sunday to get ready for the week ahead of us, so we left early on Saturday morning. Julia did spectacularly well on the flight to Chicago, and even took an hour-and-a-half long nap on the plane!
When we got to Chicago, our friend Caitlin (who went to Med School with Ken) texted me asking if we were at Midway (we were!) and said that she had just landed one gate away from us! So we got to visit with her for a few minutes before boarding our second plane to Baltimore.
It was such a nice surprise to see her! We got home before it got dark and then we unpacked and had all day Sunday to settle back in at home. I got some grocery shopping done, Julia took a nice nap and we had some much-needed time to just chill out and do nothing!
It’s hard to believe that today is already December 1st. We’ve got just 4 weeks at home before we hit the road to drive down to Florida for New Years week with Ken’s parents and for two days in Savannah with our friends Evan & Jade! But first, let’s enjoy December here in Baltimore! :)