Last week, the kids and I took a last-minute trip down to Maryland to visit family and friends. I realized it was the only free week we had left before school started and therefore our last chance to make a visit before much later in the fall. We left Jeremy behind and drove the 8 hours to my mom’s house. The kids were great on the drive down, and I was so relieved. I stayed awake and, except for one moment of frustration in New Jersey, kept my cool. My sister and adorable nephew happened to be visiting my mom at the same time, so we got in some extra special family time and were even able to celebrate an early birthday for my mom. We also got a little playdate in with my oldest and dearest friend, Annie. Then we traveled south to hang out with Aunt Kristin at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. What a hit! It was unexpectedly hot, and there were definitely some stinky barns, but the kids, myself and Kristin all had a blast. Then off to Clarksville to visit our dear friends, the Niles. Between a bouncy in the basement, singing video games, tacos, and bedtime stories together, the kids were beyond thrilled. Even better is that I got some one-on-one time with my BFF! (Are you keeping up?) The next morning, it was time for even more visiting. A couple of hours with Mason’s BFF, then a quick stop at Cooper’s old school where all the kids were surprised and over the moon to see him (his teacher and I had planned the surprise.) Finally, we started heading north again to Towson to stay our last night with Nana and Papa. We even got a visit from another of my favorite friends, Shana, and her two kids. (Can you tell we were packing it in?) After an amazing week, we were all tired and ready to head back home to Rhode Island. Unfortunately the drive north was not as easy as the drive south. I lost my cool, the kids got bored, and it took 9 hours! Luckily I have some great pictures from the week to remind us of all the great memories we made.
That’s the end of our photo tour. What a week! I am so grateful that we got that last trip in before school started. I think it gave the kids and I some closure and will allow us to head into the fall with a new sense of confidence and adventure. We miss our friends and family down south, but when you have experiences and memories like the ones above, distance doesn’t matter. We will always have them in our lives, and us in theirs.