Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Great Summer Road Trip 2012: Leg 2-- Evanston to Minneapolis

We had quite a successful drive up to Minneapolis!  I got very spoiled by being able to ride in my dad’s car for a large portion of the drive…  We left around 7am, and drove in our respective cars for the first hour and a half or so.  We stopped at a McDonald’s and everyone went in to eat while I fed Graham.  Once we were all finished, Jackson, Graham, and I got into the car with Mom and Dad.  Dad drives a Pathfinder, so there was room for the two carseats they keep at their house, the stroller and Pack-n-Play that also live at their house, their luggage for the trip, two sets of golf clubs, and a bunch of other stuff that I stowed in their car!  It has been a LONG time since my parents did a road trip with  kids—I didn’t want them to completely forget what that entails… ;)  Anyways, the reason I wanted to all ride in Dad’s car was to be able to sit between the boys.  With just Jackson, I used to ride in the backseat with him for long rides like this.  I was MUCH more patient with keeping him entertained if I wasn’t turning around constantly from the front seat.  We would sit and read books and play with small toys.  There is just not enough room between the two carseats for me to ride for this long.  But, in Dad’s car, there is!  So, I took the opportunity to sit with Jackson and color, read, and do some sticker activities.  I also was able to give Graham his paci easily, shush him if he fussed, and just feel like I could do more for him in general before he got super upset in his carseat.  This arrangement worked out really well, and we made it until lunch.  We ate at Culver’s, and again Graham conveniently ate while we would have been stopped anyways.  After lunch, Jackson got back in our car with Josh and napped while Graham and I stayed with Mom and Dad.  I kept Graham and me in their car so I could do my best to get us all the way to Larry’s without stopping again.  I felt like I could do that better if I was sitting next to him J  An added perk was spending some extra time chatting with my parents.

We got to Minneapolis right at 3:30pm (our projected arrival time), and Josh, Larry, and Jackson took Pax for a nice, long walk.  After that Josh left to go check into our hotel with Pax while I tried Jackson’s tux on him.  It fit perfectly, except for the shoes-- they were a bit tight.  

Insta-family!  Just kidding :P  Around 5, we headed down the hall in Larry’s building to an apartment unit that is available to rent for get togethers.  Larry and Michelle, her parents, her sister and her family, her brother-in-laws parents, Mom and Dad, and our family hung out in that room for the evening and had pizza while we all get to meet.  Mom and Dad have met Michelle’s family, but Josh, Jackson, Graham, and I haven’t. 

Aunt Michelle meets Nephew Graham!
There was a HUGE platter full of berries--Jackson was in HEAVEN!
A little dinner date between Flower Girl, Bella, and Ring Bearer, Jackson :)
Aren't we cute in our coordinating outfits???

 It was a nice, casual way to enjoy the evening.  After that was over, Josh put Jackson to bed in my parent’s “suite” (Larry’s building also has a guest apartment that rents out—it is just a one bedroom apartment that is fully furnished and includes a full kitchen and laundry for out of town guests).  Graham and I joined Larry, Michelle, Mom and Dad for a little dessert  at a cute restaurant nearby.

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