We started in PA at my Dad and Cyn’s brand spankin’ new house with a lovely family dinner. Cindy had made everything that I could eat, including gluten-free Pita Bread! I was certainly a happy camper. It was a brilliant chance to catch up with my step brother and step sisters and their spouses and kids. With their new house, we were able to play pool and spread out into a variety of places. Kurt and I had the honor of staying an extra day and using Chez Baird as a work zone… unbelievable place to work! And it was totally amazing to have 1 on 1 time with my dad. I have missed him!
We left on Friday morning for VA to head to our annual DOME trip. It would have been a 6 hour drive if I had been more thoughtful about looking up directions, instead we went about 5 hours out of the way (2.5 each way) and ended up getting into town at 12:15am. The whole day was spent in the car, but we did find a great (and very expensive) Natural Market in Roanoke along with the worst Thai restaurant, ever. It made us laugh. The best part was that I was freaking out about getting a good room, so Holly and Ezgi wrote a note and stuck it on a bed for me. See above (it is certainly not going to work every year)!
Saturday we had the pleasure of waking up to visit with our friends. This is an annual trip that I have been taking with my mates for roughly 5 years (but this was just my 3rd time there) and it is housed in a Geodesic DOME in Western Virginia. People literally come from all over the world to experience the DOME and one of the best surprises was my girlfriend Poonam who joined us for the weekend. It was great to catch up and just hang out, eat and play. We watched stupid 80s movies, played Wii and generally just enjoyed ourselves. It was totally indulgent. Kurt played guitar and made a million fires and we just chilled out and cuddled for 3 hours! I am not sure anyone would have believed it if I said I just chilaxed the whole day, so I am glad all my friends were there to witness.
Sunday morning we made brunch and everyone threw us a little shower. It was the sweetest and most unexpected moment! There is something about knowing that all of these wonderful friends, creatives, colleagues and like-minded people we have in our lives are going to be a part of Iza’s life… means everything to us. Our daughter will grow up with all of their kids and it will be this incredible family that just keeps growing and going. I love it.
Everyone left by mid-day except Poonam and Elaine and we had a chance to really catch up with my girls! All that was missing from our tribal mix was Holly-bear. 🙂 It was wonderful to catch up and see what was going on in their exciting worlds. Man, they really do have the coolest lives! After they headed off into the sunset, we cozied up on the benches by the fire and watched 3 movies straight… ate popcorn and enjoyed every moment of the snow falling. It was heaven.
Monday came and we headed off to visit Kurt’s friend from the East side of Virginia. We packed up and were out by 11… and with just a two hour drive, it was easy peasy! We ended up at a great little respite called Culpeper, not too far from Kevin & Tanya’s house. So much fun to drive through the mountains and stop and have silly moments at the rest stop. I love being on vacation and on road trips with Kurt!
Monday & Tuesday were all about Kevin, Tanya and their two kids Kevin Jr. and Kristin. We had a great time with them and Kevin took a bunch of time off so that he could hang with Kurt. We went out to dinners, engaged with the kids and generally had a great time shooting the shit. I attempted to make Gluten Free Pizza for lunch without the tools I am used to and it was a very entertaining flop. On Tuesday we went through all of Kurt’s art that Kevin had been storing in his basement for the last 9 years. It was truly amazing to go through. We documented and photographed everything that was there and rolled it up nice and neat for storage.
On Wednesday we got up wicked early and headed to Baltimore for the day. We stopped at Amber’s first and picked up bins filled with TILT crap. It was entertaining at best… but we got to catch up with Ambs and her husband Scott and their two absolutely precious boys Gavin & Dirk. Gav and I have a very special relationship because we spent a ton of time on Skype together when he was small. When Ambs would be on every morning, Gavin would come by to say hi. I asked him if he remembered and he said that he did! It was totally a cool moment. Then we headed to my office manager’s house to get all the boxes that we had there. Roughly 7 boxes came home with us and a PC. At this point our car was seriously stuffed. Then onto my office to pick up mail and a package I had. But no visit to Baltimore would be complete without heading to San Sushi, Thai One On in Towson. It was so special to be able to bring Kurt and he had a wonderful meal. 🙂 I think he was really surprised by the incredible flavors and truly the best Sushi we have had in ages!
We headed back on the road, but not before we stopped at a few baby stores on the way out of town. How crazy those places are! We had a few things to return and a gift certificate to spend and we did… it was wonderful and well worth the experience. Our friends really showered us with gifts, literally! Kurt ended up with a Diaper Dude Bag and a sling. I ended up with a belly support and a few other key items.
We ended the day at Dad and Cyn’s house again for our final stop before home. We were hoping to go to my Step-Sister Lauri’s restaurant Lucky Ducks in Elizabethtown for dinner, so we did. It was supposed to be just us, but everyone joined! It was great to see them again and they had a surprise shower for us. UNBELIEVABLE! We had no idea at all and they went crazy with gifts. I couldn’t believe it. Bree, my eldest Step Sister & Cindy are really great with babies and picked out a number of things that really jump started us forward. We have the diaper system now that we will use and every soft and beautiful toy, tool and cloth product that we need for the first 6 months of Iza’s life. We have the special diaper cream and the incredible lotion and the best teething ring, etc. I would never have expected this in a million years and we were so blown away by the whole experience. I think it is especially exciting because all my nieces and nephews are 6-17 (and there are 7 of them) so this is the first baby in a while. Everyone seems like they are looking forward to it and I certainly know that our kid is going to be the best dressed and smelling on the block if my family has anything to do with it! 🙂
On Thursday we woke up and had a great meal with Dad and Cyn and played a round of Pool. Kurt and I headed out with our terribly overstuffed car and headed right to Beacon and to the Storage Unit. I don’t even think we stopped once!
It was an amazing trip… one that was needed, appreciated and that I relished every second of. I got to see so many people that I love and care about and I got to experience moments that are irreplaceable. We feel incredibly loved and energized about the next steps from our baby showers and are so amazed by the generosity that has been given to us. We are so grateful everyone, THANK YOU!