March 13-16, 2020 - Fort Collins, CO
A long awaited AU girls reunion in Colorado. Ironically the same weekend a pandemic started. Doh!
We had planned this weekend many moons ago and were visiting Colorado because Elizabeth is due with baby #2 in May. And then the week we were supposed to go the coronavirus appeared. We were talking every day and decided to keep with our plans. We were going to be isolated once we arrived so we just had to get through the airport. Ha.
I drove to Raleigh on Thursday morning to drop the twins with my parents for the weekend. And then I headed over to Campbell's for the night as our flight was at 6am Friday morning. I got to see her really cute house, meet Pippa and Potter, and catch up over wine and packing. The next day dawned very early but we made it to the airport with many antibacterial gels in hand, clorox wipes, and keeping at the social distancing. We made it through security and stayed away from everyone til we boarded the plane. Wiping down literally everything, we settled into our seats for the 3hour flight. Luckily when we landed both Cara and Wynsor landed too so we were able to take an Uber all together to Elizabeth's house.
Her house was so nice!! A little ranch style and they had just redone the kitchen. We had a quick breakfast and hung out while Elizabeth went and grabbed the rental car. We were headed to Fort Collins (about an hour North of Denver) for the weekend. After a quick lunch stop at Chickfila, we were on our way!
Fort Collins is so cute! Normally a college town, but since a pandemic had just been declared... no one was in town. ha. Our Airbnb was a fun little condo literally just down the street from New Belgium brewery and very close to downtown. Ironically we tried to visit New Belgium but it had just closed due to coronavirus (cue crying from me haha). So we found another brewery that served primarily sours, Crooked Stave, on the main drag. There were lots of tasting beers, snacking on popcorn, and starting our catchup. And it started to snow!!
Since we weren't sure how the rest of the weekend was going to go we decided to do a little stock up on booze to get us through. :) We picked up mountain pizza for dinner so good! and settled in for the night with lots of games and drinks.
On our second day in town, Wynsor and I were up early to go for a run. We were staying just off the Poudre Trail - so decided to get some miles in. First running at altitude is hard on the lungs, but second the views were amazing! It had snowed the night before so it was like a winter wonderland along the river with mountains in the background.
5 miles later and after showers and breakfast for everybody we decided to venture into town for some lunch and exploring. We had brunch/lunch at Coopersmith's. Delicious pizza and flights of tasty beer! We were the only ones there for most of the time... I think the servers were really glad to see us. Afterwards we walked down their main street, visited some of the kitchey shops, before settling in Nuance Chocolate shop. Chocolate tastings, sipping chocolate, and truffles galore. IT WAS SO GOOD. Then it got crowded so we opted to head next door to the cheese shop. Campbell asked the guy to make us a yummy cheese plate not knowing how long that would take haha. The rest of us ventured out for more shops before settling at Equinox brewing. Another flight of beers, and then Campbell finally joined us! Our final stop of the day was to Ginger and Baker. Such a cute place!! A little shop, bakery classroom, wine bar, and finally a restaurant. We had rolled up for their happy hour - so lots of apps and cheap yummy drinks. We headed back to our condo afterwards for an evening of snacks, booze, and games. :)
Sunday arrived and a 5K run for Wynsor and me. No snowy views this time but still nice despite the lungs burning. We decided to take it easy for the day, and so were lazy with snacks, and hanging out. Lots of games, a trail walk mid-afternoon, enjoying the rest of the day on the deck. Elizabeth made a tasty surf and turf dinner, before we played some final games and tried to make a bigger dent in the remainder of our booze supply.
On Monday we were up early early to get packed up, tidy the condo, and hit the road to the airport. Everyone but me was flying out this morning. So many hugs (little did we know these would be the last once we'd give for awhile) and safe flights! Then Elizabeth and I headed back to her house. I got to hang out with Lilia and Jason for the afternoon and then ended up switching my flight to a 4:30pm as we were afraid domestic flights might get grounded. UGH. So no fun evening but what a wonderful trip.
It may have not been the smartest as for timing, but we were smart about our surroundings and distanced ourselves from others. Plus all the anti-bac and chlorox wipes. So glad we ended up going as this was the last trip I'll get to take for a long time. LOVE THESE LADIES!!!
February 28-March 1, 2020 - Atlanta, GA
WOW. What an incredible weekend.
Starting at the beginning, I left very early on Friday morning and picked up Rachel J and Rachel B before heading south to Charlotte to grab Cessy. She had a yummy breakfast ready for us, which was great for a little sustenance before we continued on to Atlanta. We made a couple of potty breaks, a lunch stop at Chicken Salad Chick (delicious BTW), before finally getting into town. GPS had to take us a different route due to so much traffic on 85 but we did finally make it.
We dropped me off at my Oiselle leader meeting, and they continued on to our AirBnb to drop off luggage and get race packets for Sunday's race.
The leader meeting was great. I'm not new to Oiselle (obviously) but being chosen as a leader this year is awesome. I've been trying for many years but have always lived in an isolated area until now. Thankfully I was selected! I was able to meet Chief Bird, Sally, our leader Leader, Carolyn, as well as many other leaders from states all over. We learned about plans for upcoming large meetups, items we need to accomplish as leaders this year, and brainstormed in small groups about events we can plan in our respective areas.
The two ladies at my table were Cecilia and Jenn, both from TN, who I've followed online for years but had never met in person. SO wonderful to connect. :) I also met Beth (who I've followed forever) and so many other birds, some I had not been following and others I of course had been. It's so great to meet people IRL that you feel you already kind of know thanks to the internet haha.
After the meeting, the TN ladies and I grabbed an Uber to our dinner party location. So so much fun. Lots of beers, hugs, catching up, and delicious bbq and macncheese made for an awesome evening. I met more ladies on the NC team, met ladies I'd followed for years, and caught up with old friends from previous bird camps. I heart this team so much.
Afterwards, we Ubered back to our Airbnb to settle in for the night. Cessy and Joanna hit the sack early, but the Rachels and I sat up and talked for awhile. We all have 2 year olds currently so you can guess the topic of conversation haha.
On Saturday morning there were a bunch of shakeout runs going on all over Atlanta. We opted to run with Clean Sport Co and Kara Goucher. So many people showed up to run I think they were a little overwhelmed. But we got a decent 3 mile run in, as well as some photos with KG. Then Joanna and I headed back to shower and get ready while the other girls finished out a few more miles. After everyone was ready, we tried to pick up lunch at Corner Bakery but it was a nightmare in there so we cancelled our orders and then walked over to the Oiselle Cowbell Corner. It was very cold and windy. I had on so many layers but was staying pretty warm compared to the other girls. It was such an amazing experience. The elite runners passed us 6 times. We got to cheer for the 24 runners from Oiselle and all the other amazing contenders for the Olympics. So much cheering and cowbelling! The Oiselle corner was deafening. It was awesome.
Afterwards we said goodbye to Joanna, as she had to drive back to Charlotte, and then headed to a nearby brewery/restaurant to eat since we skipped lunch. Pizza and beer had never tasted so good. Then showers and relaxing until it was time to head to the party.
Luckily we were staying around the corner from that location so it was an easy walk over! Again more meetups with ladies I hadn't met in person, a few yummy cocktails, and beers, and I got to meet my coach Becki! We've been working together for almost 2 years so it was nice to meet IRL. Then of course there was the fashion show!! So many lovely items that I can't wait to purchase down the road ... and then we danced our hearts out. Even got to dance with Kara Goucher (NBD). It was an amazing evening!
Oh and then we crashed hard because we were running a race the next day haha. Luckily I had only signed up for the 5K so no pressure. I ran hard, but the hills were brutal so my only goal was to finish under 30mins and I accomplished that. I know I've got a lot more in me- but that was good enough for the time being. :)
After the races were complete, it was quick showers, pack up and hit the road back home. This time around we got to drive 85 which was definitely a shorter distance. We ate a quick Mexican lunch along the way and then one by one everyone got dropped off and I was back in time to help with twin dinner.
WHAT A WEEKEND. One I won't soon forget. <3
November 15-17, 2019 - Richmond, VA
I decided to take the train up to Richmond for my half marathon as the twins car needed to stay with them and I didn't feel confident driving Jon's car up, plus timing wise it was just the best option. I had originally booked an AirBNB for myself but then a few weeks ago JJ decided to come join me for the weekend and registered herself for the 8K.
So Friday morning dawned and Jon's dad brought me to the train station. It's been a minute since I've ridden Amtrak so I wasn't sure how it was going to go. But it was fine- I was able to eat my packed lunch with no issue, worked on my computer the entire time, and relaxed as we slowly crept up from Greensboro to Richmond. I had some interesting neighbors but it was fairly uneventful.
I arrived around 2pm to the Richmond suburbs station and thankfully Wynsor was there to pick me up. First stop was to the expo to grab bibs, t-shirts, and see if there was anything else good to get. It was kind of a disappointment. I really wish they had had more of my favorite vendors... but hey at least it kept me from spending any money. Afterwards we headed back downtown so I could check in to my place. It was super cute, pretty random, but cute. It was a small restored carriage house where they rent out the back unit onto airBnB. I dropped off my stuff and we headed to pick up Wynsor's other friends and meet another person out in the suburbs at the Hardywood Brewery. It was beautiful and as much as I wanted a drink, I had told myself to wait until after the race- it was for either celebrations or drowing sorrows. haha.
Afterwards we drove back into the city and they dropped me off at the Oiselle pizza dinner. I caught up with some of the birds I hadn't seen in awhile, and met others, and ate all the delicious thin crust pizza. Conveniently JJ got to town right as I was finishing up and was able to grab me before we headed back our weekend place. Got all unloaded, took my flat runner picture, and then headed to sleep.
Race morning dawned early, ate my usual race morning food, stretched and foam rolled, and got dressed for the day. Full recap coming tomorrow. Afterwards I celebrated in style with a PR bell ring, a Sierra Nevada beer, and all the food. Also it was freezing so my finisher's blanket came in handy. JJ had come back to meet me at the finish after her 8K so we stumbled back up to our place so I could shower and get warm. Then we went around the corner for brunch/lunch at Parette. It was delightful. I had a mimosa (yay celebrations!) and JJ and I caught up on all the things. We went back to our place for a hot minute before walking to the Oiselle Happy Hour about a mile away. Silly me forgot to pack a coat so it was a little brisk but I made it. Of course a couple of beers later and the walk back was just fine :) We hung out with Wynsor and her buddies at the happy hour. It was a lot of fun.
For dinner that night we had a reservation at Tarrant's Cafe. We both ate our weight in pasta and I had one final celebratory beer. Then back to our place to pass out for the night.
Sunday morning we got to sleep in! I haven't slept in IN AGES. It was so nice. We tidied up the place, showered, packed up our stuff and then headed to Perly's around the corner for lunch. We ate AMAZING potato latkes and then I had a huge breakfast sammy. It was delightful. After lunch we officially checked out, and with some time to kill before my train home, headed to the Virginia Fine Arts Musuem. A little bit of culture on our primarily running filled weekend.
Great time had by all! Thanks for a fun weekend Richmond!
August 30-September 2, 2019 - Waynesville, NC
We drove up to the mountains to see Jon's family for the long weekend. Went for runs/walks at the lake, cooked out on the back deck, had a good time! The twins really liked swinging and running around on the deck. They also got to go to church and played with all the bulletins and hymnals. ha.
And finally the got to apple pick! They didn't know what to make of it but did show off their apples! Always a good time!!
August 5, 2019 - Asheboro, NC
Jon's parents came to town, we celebrated Grammy's birthday, and then we decided to take a morning trip to the zoo!
I went to the Asheboro Zoo a lot as a kid with my grandparents so I was familiar but it had been a long time. We decided to visit Africa on this trip so the boys could see all the animals we'd been reading about in books. They still get in free (until age 2) after which we might get an annual pass if we come a lot- it's only 40mins away!
We saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, and lots of monkeys! Some of Africa is closed while they build an Asia section. And it's funny- what seemed so big as a kid felt a lots smaller as an adult. ha! Both kiddos loved seeing the animals. Graham was content to ride around in the stroller but Luke wanted to walk around on his own- Mr. Independent.
For lunch, we stopped at their chicken restaurant and chowed down. Twins are big fans of chicken nuggets and fries. They got banana and animal crackers too.
All in all a good first (of hopefully many) visits to the zoo!
June 22-29, 2019 - Kitty Hawk, NC
What a week!
Jon's family reserved a week at a beach house in Kitty Hawk. It was Grammy, Pops, Uncle Christopher, Aunt Jordan, the twins, and Jon and myself. Oh and of course all the puppies: Loki, Bama, and Ella.
The house was really nice, had lots of outdoor decks, two living areas, a pool, and fenced in backyard for the dogs to run around. We were about a mile from the beach but needed to drive due to the big highway! Most days started off with a run or walk for everyone (taking turns!), beach in the morning after twins napped and ate, and then pool in the afternoon. We ate out a couple of nights, ordered in a few nights, and had one kid free evening with just Christopher and Jordan. We also ate our weight in Duck Donuts. :D
The twins were hilarious. Luke was not a fan of the beach or sand (in his defense he was cutting his molars at the time) but Graham LOVED it. He wanted to run along the beach by himself, loved when the water rushed in on his feet, and like playing in the sand. They were also big fans of the pool and floating. They liked to relax, eat their snacks, and enjoy the afternoon.
It was trying at times, balancing what we wanted to do with what we needed to do to keep the boys on schedule but all in all it was a great week! Can't wait for next year!
May 24-27, 2019 - Rehoboth Beach, DE
First we drove down to Asheville, NC so Jon would have help with the twins for the weekend. Then I boarded a plane from Asheville to Washington-Dulles. It seemed easier to go this way than figure out driving. Plus this was my first real weekend away by myself with no twins, Jon, puppy, or pumping!!
I decided to go a day early to hang out with JJ :) so when I arrived in DC I got to take the bus from Dulles to the silver line train (one day it'll actually go all the way to Dulles - but that seems to be taking FOREVER). And then I metroed to Ballston where JJ picked me up. I got all turned around with the kiss and ride as they've redone the stop and it had been ages since I'd gotten off in Ballston. We had a fun morning - got our nails done, went to Target for baby gifts for Colleen and Baby Thalia, and after a visit with Colleen we grabbed some lunch at a cut cafe. I was feeling a little queasy so we took it easy at JJs when all of a sudden a crazy storm (complete with tornado warning) appeared just as we needed to head to the metro. The downpour was ridiculous but I ran quick from the car to the station. It was a long ride up to Maryland but I was headed to Cara in College Park.
Of course by the time I got up to CP, it was sunny and not a cloud in the sky. Cara grabbed me from the metro and we headed over to Annapolis (after a quick bathroom break... because that's me ha). I got to meet crazy Waldo and then we went out for dinner at a nearby BBQ place. It was super yummy! I had a sampler plate of goodness and tasted a couple of beers too. Then we watched some tv, relaxed, and called it a night.
Friday morning I got up and went for a run at a nearby park and then Cara picked me up and we headed to the airport to grab Campbell. Then it was time for breakfast where I stuffed my face (after the run), a quick shower back at Cara's, and wait for Wynsor (who was grabbing Elizabeth from the airport). Finally we were all united and it was time to head to the beach!!
We had car snacks, stopped to potty at a cute ice cream place, pulled into the Dogfish brewery and tasted all the samples. Its crazy how crowded it is now compared to what it was like when we start coming 10 years ago. (Although I realize that makes me old!) Finally we were able to check into our weekend condo. It was really cute! About a mile from the beach and boardwalk area. First order of business was to hit up the grocery store for all the food and booze. Gotta enjoy the weekend right?! We ordered in pizza, played games and had a great evening our first night in town.
Saturday dawned with a cardio workout for me, Wynsor, and Cara. Gotta get the workouts in even while on vacay! Then we munched on breakfast while waiting for Campbell and Elizabeth to wake. We headed to down to Dewey Beach and Dewey Beer Co for a late lunch. Delicious sour beers - PERFECT for me - and I had an amazing lunch of chicken and waffles. Then we briefly walked down to the beach (it was a little chilly out) before heading back to our condo for more games and fun. Cara had brought 'Tiny Hands' which turned out to be HILARIOUS. Really hard to do some of the tricks with tiny and tinier hands. We cooked a yummy dinner and at all the snacks and leftovers before calling it a night.
Sunday - Wynsor and I got up early to get in a long run (8 miles) along the beach. We started pretty early but it was already hot and got even hotter along the way. So pretty though! Then we headed to the beach! It was a beautiful day and perfect for enjoying the sun, sand, and waves. That evening we took on the new Dogfish restaurant. It is huge! And so different than the older one. It doesn't feel quite as homey but the beers and food were still just as good. We wandered the boulevard afterwards with another beach stop before taking an uber back to our condo. What a day!
Finally on Monday, Wynsor and I went out for a much shorter run before heading back, finishing up lots of the food, cleaning the condo, showering and packing up to head back to DC.
It was a fantastic girls weekend, it had been two years since our last trip (hey babies) but we always catch up where we left off. It was also a much needed break for me - but I was still happy to see my babies when I got back. Mamas need self-care too. :)
December 15,2018 - January 2, 2019 --- Wilmington, Raleigh, Waynesville, NC
What a whirlwind holiday this year!! As it was the twins first Christmas we had to make stops at all locations.
So first up was Wilmington Christmas. It is normally on the Saturday prior to the holiday and this year was a little earlier since Christmas was on a Tuesday. We drove down from Blacksburg on Friday to Raleigh and then headed to Wilmington Saturday morning. Honestly it was a blur. We arrived just in time for lunch - ate quickly and fed the twins. Then they took a nap while some of the presents took place. Then once they were up we opened all of their presents (which was entertaining - have you tried to get a 10 month old to rip wrapping paper?? haha) Anyway they got some fun toys and then everyone slowly trickled out as we got into the evening. What a day! The twins had a good time and then we all went to sleeeeeep.
Jon and I got the luxury of going for a run together on Sunday morning - YES! And my parents watched the twins for us. :) Then we loaded back up the car for the drive back to Raleigh. Jon was headed back out of town the following Monday to go to Midwest in Chicago. So babies and I stayed in Raleigh with my parents for extra help. It's always nice to have extra sets of hands - plus then I get a break some times!!
We got to see Santa! We all headed over to Bass Pro Shops (because hello free Santa photos!) and got some pictures with Santa. The boys didn't know what to make of him- but they didn't cry - just stared at him and I think they wanted to touch his beard. It was cute and of course I took a ton of photos. Good first Santa visit!
The twins also had their first play date with Kristi's little girl, Lily. Sharing toys is hard but I think everyone had a good time!! Lily is the first other baby they've interacted with and no tears! I'm calling it a win.
We had official Raleigh Christmas on Xmas eve- so my aunt, uncle, cousin Caroline, and Grandmother came over to celebrate and hang out with the boys. And bonus we finally got Graham to crawl!! Now he will be able to escape Luke's tackles. We had a yummy lunch, opened gifts, and then watched the twins play with all their new toys. After they were asleep that night- I got everything ready for Christmas morning and we also started packing up the car since we had to get on the road pretty early to stay sort of within their schedule and get to Waynesville with time for everyone to see them.
Christmas morning arose, and we packed up more stuff while the twins napped and then it was time to see what Santa brought! Some O balls, donut ring toy, and stacking cups! Thanks Santa! Graham and Luke also got name puzzles from Mommy and Daddy, fun clothes and squishy blocks from Gammy and Granddaddy, and a Beatbo play mat from Uncle Jeremy. It was a good first Christmas morning!!
Then we loaded up and headed out! On to Waynesville and our third Christmas celebration!
We got there right after lunch - so first up was feeding the boys and then they went down for naps while we got the rest of the car unloaded. Then Uncle Christopher and Aunt Jordan joined in and we did some presents then, followed by everyone else heading over that evening just in time for a quick visit with the twins and some present opening before they took baths, ate dinner, and went to sleep for the night.
And then began the many nights of no sleep. Luke caught a head cold (either from Jon from his flight or from Lily because germs) - anyway he did not feel good and his poor nose ran like a faucet. We talked to our pediatrician, they said to monitor him, give him some tylenol if he gets a slight fever. And we thought we were over the hump until he spiked one night. So off to urgent care we went! Turns out poor Luke had an ear infection. :( So a few days of antibiotics and tylenol was prescribed. Boy what a difference in his personality once he felt better!! Jon and I were supposed to spend a few nights in Asheville for New Years. We postponed by a day to make sure Luke was feeling ok before we headed off.
We had a wonderful break - eating on our own time, exploring more of Asheville's breweries and tasty restaurants. As much as we love the little guys it was nice to have some time to ourselves. And of course after all the fun and festivity we had seen over the last few weeks, we had to get the car loaded :( It was time to make the drive back home with all the new toys. The car was packed to the brim!! Not sure how Jon got it all in but we made it home and whew gotta relax from our time away.
Wonderful first Christmas and a big thank you to everyone who made it so special for Graham and Luke!
December 6-8, 2018 - Washington, DC
It is weird to put a travel header on a DC post but it's also crazy to me that it's been 5 years since I lived in the city!!! It's insane sometimes how fast time travels by.
Anyway, Jon had to be at University of Maryland for a concert - so we loaded up the whole gang (Jon's parents included) and headed up to the DMV. Even Loki came along.
It was a quick trip- we arrived on Thursday with enough time to feed the babies and then Jon left for rehearsal. His parents arrived around the same time we did (thankfully helped with unloading and the twins) and then we all went for a walk in the nearby park. We spent awhile out there before it was time to stop by UMD for a quick visit and meet Jon's colleagues and then head back to the hotel to get the twins ready for bed. We just ordered from a nearby spot for dinner and relaxed the rest of the evening.
Friday morning we headed back to the park- Jon's mom pushed the stroller, while the rest of us went for a run. I'm still turtle pacing over here so the guys left me behind but overall a nice run in the park! After that we headed back to the hotel to let the twins rest while we got ready. Then it was lunch time at Lauriol Plaza!! We brought the babies food so they got to eat and then play while we ate. It was super yummy as always. Really miss living around the corner from a place like this.
After we finished up lunch we loaded back into the car to head to the DC holiday market downtown. They have lots of cute vendors and what we were really there for: MINI DONUTS. YES!!!! So good. We also took a couple of pictures with the fun toy soldiers out on display.
Our last stop was the National Portrait Gallery to see the Obama portraits. They had been installed after I moved away so it was really nice to see those in person. :) Then we jumped back in the car and headed back to our hotel so Jon could change and head to his concert. We fed the babies dinner, did bathtime and got them asleep (phew) and then relaxed until Jon came home late from his concert.
Saturday morning we got on the road pretty early to get back as bad weather was expected. It was a really quick trip but despite all the crazy schedule maneuvers we still had a good time and got to experience a little bit of the city at the holidays.
Thanks DC for the whirlwind weekend!
November 22, 2018 - NC Mountains
I just love first holidays for babies. Can't wait til we get to xmas but first Thanksgiving!
Now we're only starting on the solids game so the twins didn't get to have any turkey day goodies but they did get to meet a lot of family! We were staying at Jon's parents (since that was easiest) but we spent part of Wednesday and Thursday over at the Christmount retreat where my mom's side of the family has a reunion every other year. The twins got to meet lots of 2nd and 3rd cousins and Luke even did a little crawling for everyone.
We ate Thanksgiving lunch in shifts so they could eat and then we could. They had sweet potatoes and apples - close as I could get to a Thanksgiving meal haha. After a little more visiting we said goodbye and headed back to Waynesville for Thanksgiving #2!
More cousins galore to play with before some photos and then dinner. Similar to lunch but still keeping to the theme. :) And then a little bedtime story and these kiddos were out cold.
Another solid holiday this year!