We weren't actually planning a trip to Evanston this summer, but Brandi was going to be in IL for about a month with her kids, and she proposed that if the boys and I could get THERE, she would drive us all back to Virginia AND then stay for a few days! Well...! A couple of reasonably priced plane tickets later, we managed to sneak in a little extra visit with Mimi and Bampa! This was well-timed since Dad had just officially retired less than two weeks ago! As much as I've flown, I was actually pretty nervous about this flight. Graham is much more wiggly, and he's at an age where not much entertains him in the way of toys. He pretty much only nurses in his room before sleeping, so I didn't think that would be a good distraction either. Plus, he started getting pretty antsy BEFORE we even got on the plane :/ I forgot that flying out of Dulles gives us more bang for our buck since you have to take a little tram to get to the gates. Jackson thought that was FANTASTIC! PLUS, they have it set up so if you have a stroller or a wheelchair, you must constantly go up and then down and then up and then down to get where you eventually want to go. So, there was lots of elevator button pushing too :) We made friends with another mom traveling by herself with her two boys! They were almost identical in ages too! That was a wonderful distraction for Jackson to play for a bit and for me to get to chat :) Once we boarded the completely full flight (so there was no hope of an extra seat for Graham, but that didn't matter a ton since he didn't have a car seat), Graham settled on my lap, nursed under the cover, and promptly slept for most of the flight! I was SO thrilled! I read my book and it was glorious!!! Thanks goodness for small favors :) Bampa met us at the airport, and then it was straight to Herms for lunch! In the afternoon, we hit the library and then went to Hackney's on Harms to eat outside, and we got the best seat right by the playhouse--Jackson was in heaven! Fantastic first day!!!
This afternoon, we met the Masnato gals at the Botanic Garden! It was a beautiful afternoon, and Jackson had a ball with Christina and Laura! Christina knows a ton about growing things, so Jackson made sure she ready EVERY sign to him as we wandered through the gardens ;) The first thing we saw, though, was the huge pond with some swans and ducks! Jackson LOVES watching them all! They even swam right up to the edge to say, "Hi!"
Maria getting in some squeezes :)
I posed this picture, and then...
...Jackson wanted his picture in front of the huge pumpkin, but he wanted the girls in it too! LOL He whispered that to me, and it was so sweet :) We always have such a good time with these ladies--I can't believe Laura just turned 16!!! She was in my THIRD grade class... Time, how it flies!