Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Maryland trip

I'm back from a trip to Maryland. Contrary to popular belief, there is a difference between a "trip" and a "vacation". A trip is simply time spent away from home, and a vacation is a relaxing time away from daily activities. So, because our adventure took us away from home in an airplane it definitely was a trip. But there was no relaxing to be found. We did manage to have some fun times though and I'm glad we went.

The girls did great on the plane ride out there for the first three hours - we had lots of snacks and treats. Unfortunately, the ride was 4 hours long - and that last hour was B-A-D. The lady direcly behind Bryn actually moved to another seat. The girls were so tired of sitting still, and they had energy to release. They were so noisy, but at least not whiny/crying.

The main purpose of our trip was to visit my grandparents. My grandfather is suffering from Parkinson's and recently broke his hip. He's been recovering in a care center, and a couple of weeks ago took another fall - this last time the fall caused a stress fracture. I really wanted to see him and for him to have the chance to spend time with my girls. I know that at his age and with his health conditions, that he probably won't be around much longer.

Because his Parkinson's is so advanced, he has a difficult time smiling. So, he has a smile mask that he can hold up to show that he's happy. The girls and I had lots of fun playing with it.

This is such a great picture, because my grandpa is smiling. Bryn was so wonderful with him. I was worried the kids would be scared of him (and G was), but Bryn loved him. She would offer hugs and kisses, and even let him tickle her. She seems to have a natural gift of unconditional love, as she would walk down the halls of the center making friends. At the end of our 5 days there, several people knew her by name. She just seemed to know what people needed to make them feel better. She's such a sweetie.
G loved the smile mask because some of the teeth had been blacked out. One afternoon, we were getting into the car after catching a bite at the grossest McD's in the world (and that is saying a lot). A woman came over to our car asking if we could spare some change. She was missing the exact same teeth as the smile mask. G thought it was hilarous.
The kids had a blast meeting all the relatives that they never knew they had. One afternoon, my "sort of" cousin (its a long story) and his wife brought over their kids to play. They instantly hit it off with my kids. The girls loved them.
G and S hit it off instantly. I overheard them trying to one-up each other's gross out stories, and I knew they were kindred spirits.
The girls also loved meeting my uncle Roger. He's such a goof, and my girls thought he was the best. Here he is playing in Grandpa's wheel chair while the kids run around like crazies.
More of the girls with their long, lost friend.

One afternoon, we headed to the outlets. No trip would be complete without some shopping, and thankfully the deals were easily found. I got the girls tights from TCP for 19 cents a piece. And I got 2 shirts from the Gap for only $8 - total. Bryn found a pair of movie star glasses and thought she was the cutest girl on the planet.
G got a pair of new glasses too, only was "too cool" to actually wear them on her face. She had to use them to hold her hair back, which is apparently much more stylish.
The girls were little paths of distruction around my grandparents'. The house is full of antiques, and I think I lost 2 years of my life from the blood pressure spikes they caused me. In 5 days, they broke a picture, an antique chair, and I caught them playing with an antique tea set. G also wet the bed one night and Bryn puked once from coughing (I think she may have allergies). My grandma seemed patient, but I'm sure it was hard on her too.
They are seriously like wild little monkies.I love Maryland. Everything is so green and pretty, but the best thing about my grandparents' yard are the flowers - they always have the most amazing flower gardens. My girls loved being outside - the green is hard to beat. They also loved chasing the fireflies, and we went out at dusk every night to see how many of them we could catch.

Off the back of the back deck, is the forest - complete with cute and fuzzy woodland creatures. We saw squirrels, deer, birds, and even a turtle. It was like having a zoo right in the backyard. My girls loved it.
Of course, the yard comes complete with antiques as well.

The ride home on the plane was nice - both girls slept the entire flight. We'd had to get up at 4 am (2 am our time) to catch our flight, and the girls were exhasted. We landed in SLC at only 10 am, but it felt like we'd put in a full day already. The girls though, having just woken up from 4 hour naps, were ready to go. Poor mommy needed a 24 hour nap (which is why she took the next day off of work to recover).
I'm actually pretty proud of myself for surviving.


Lynita said...

Sounds like you did a great job in Maryland! I am totally with you on the definition of trip and vacation, I have been on a lot of trips! The girls are so cute, and you are lucky they got the chance to spend time with your grandparents. I hope you are fully recovered from your trip!

Kristine said...

Wow! I would love to see your grandparents house!

I love that B was so kind to the people in the center. I bet that made their week! And it can be a little scary for kids.

I'm glad you made it! You are so brave!

Mindi said...

what a great trip and what beautiful photos of the girls and their great grands and those adorable smile masks--i would never have thought of that.

glad you are back and the "trip" had some "vacay" aspects!!!

carrie said...

What a neat trip!! I love that you wanted your girls to be with your grandfather like that. I would have been the same way. I miss my Grandpa EVERY single I would take any opportunity to spend time with him, if he were still here. I love Maryland, too. I think the East coast is so beautiful. Your grandparent's yard is gorgeous. I love all the trees. Your girls are adorable....and they seem to be SO FULL OF LIFE. That is wonderful....and I'm sure your grandmother loved being around them. Just because they aren't "used to it" doesn't mean they don't love it. :o) Little kids are just full of love and have so much to give. I think it's an awesome thing you that gift to your grandfather. It honestly made me smile!! I'm glad you had fun....and I'm glad you made it back safe and sound....AND got some rest and a day off when you got home. :o) Have a good week!!

Misty said...

There are so many comments I could make about the pictures, but I don't want to leave a novel so, in short: love the flower picture, little girl sunglasses, the face mask and your awesome post!

Julia said...

Oh i love your grandparents yard. I think I may need to move there. I keep trying to get Jeff to buy a farm (he won't) but maybe he'll move to a lush yard.

I don't know how you did a plane trip with two kids. I'm terrified to take landon anywhere (even in our own car by ourselves).

I love the smile mask. But...why did they black out some of the teeth?

I wish Landon was good with grand and great-grandparents. He is terrified. I'm sure your grandpa was so happy you were there.

(long comment, sorry...but my boy tries to break EVERYTHING in my mom's house AND kill her fish every time we go there, so I'm sure your g-ma was okay with a few broken things)

Omgirl said...

Um, she IS the cutest thing on the planet with those movie star glasses on! I'm glad you had a good trip. The planes are stressful, but it was worth it for the memories you and your girls will have.