I am so glad to be home after a long day of traveling... we left for the airport this morning at 10 a.m. in San Diego (it was almost 70 degrees there), and arrived home in Chicago at 9 p.m. (currently it's 10 degrees with a wind chill of -7 degrees - BRRR!!!!).
Eli was so so so wonderful on the plane, both going there and coming back - while our flights were pretty full, there was at least one empty seat each time, so we were able to bring his car seat on and this totally saved us - he took long naps on each flight. If he had been in my arms instead, there is no way he would have slept even an hour. The most interesting part of our flights was as we were waiting on the runway to fly home, the pilot announced we would be delayed due to a hole in the runway at Midway!! Now that filled us with great confidence... but we landed safely, despite a snowy, icy, holey runway.
Midway was mayhem, especially in the baggage claim area... after we got our MOUNDS of stuff (3 large suitcases, 3 carry ons, stroller, car seat) and headed over to the doors to watch for our cab, they automatically opened and the freezing cold air took poor Eli's breath away!
Thankfully though, we spent the last 10 days in a much warmer place - San Diego! We stayed at Ben's brother Matt's house (we had 8 adults and 10 kids sleeping there) and the rest of Ben's immediate family stayed at Matt's wife's parents' (following this?) house just a few minutes away (with 8 adults and 4 kids sleeping there). In the group picture below, you'll see that Eli is crying because I set the timer for the picture and then ran over to be in it - which upset him since I ran past him really fast - I think he felt miffed!!
Christmas morning was the craziest of days since we were all at Matt's house, all day long - 30 people in one place! Holy moly it was a tad overwhelming but lots of fun. Eli was so entertained by his zillions of cousins and it was fun to be together with everyone. Ben's youngest sister Danielle (who wasn't with us) even had her baby on Christmas Day!
Here are some highlights from our trip:
- Walking 4.5 miles up and down steep hills in Matt and JoAnne's neighborhood with JoAnn, the drill sargeant :) and other sister-in-laws (and my father-in-law on one of the walks!). My tush was SORE!
- Going to Sea World
- Seeing Eli interact with his cousins
- Basking in the bright sun and going outside without a coat or shoes
- Having our luggage lost on the way to San Diego... but getting it delivered by 11 p.m. that night (thank goodness - I was starting to get grumpy about it!)
- Realizing Eli doesn't do well when he sleeps in the same room as us (most nights he woke up screaming every 3 hours - stressful when there are people sleeping around us... we were exhausted by the end), but the last two nights we were able to sleep in a different room and he slept mostly through the night
- Taking pictures of this cute family, enjoying my new camera lens
- Playing Wii with our nieces and nephews (it was so cute - they even made a player that resembled Eli - blonde, chubby, and short :)
- Going to the beach
- Seeing my old roommate Gwendolyn and meeting her husband Nate (they were married in May)
Happy New Year!
Pictures from Christmas Day:
Playing at the house and the beach:
Sea World (our niece Amanda was chosen to be in one of the shows, as you can see her on the big screen there!):
Visit from Gwendolyn and Nate:
More Beach Fun (and Flying Kites):
(Collages were made in Google's free software, Picasa - yes, I'm copying you, Ashley - she has beautiful photographs on her blog!!:)