We took a big family vacation this summer to Missouri. Our first destination was Jefferson City to visit my 95-year-old Grandma Walquist. We couldn't quite make the drive in one day, so we stopped in a small Oklahoma town on the way up. Papa and Grammy stayed at the same hotel with us. We loved having their help unloading our luggage...
...and enjoyed their company at bedtime, too.
This vacation was Adley's first extended road trip. We realized that the farthest she had ever ridden in the car was on her trip home from the hospital-- a 25 minute drive. Adley is not the biggest fan of being in the car and still cries during most car rides through town, so we were unsure of how she'd do on this 12-hour road trip. Turns out she's a pretty good traveler after all! As long as Adley had a toy in her hand (or mouth), a finger to hold, a parent to make faces with, a song to listen to, or a book to read, she did just fine. It also helped that the trip was mostly interstate driving rather than constant stop-and-go traffic through town. The activity that seemed to hold her attention the longest was looking at these black and white pictures that Mommy spread out in front of her carseat. Adley carefully turned her head around to look at each one and would either reach for or kick at the pictures happily. We were SO thankful that Adley did well in the car!
Once we arrived in Jefferson City, we shared a hotel with Matt and Kim's family, Andrew and Sarah's family, as well as Grammy and Papa. During our downtime at the hotel, the cousins loved jumping on the beds together, watching cartoons, playing games...
...and swimming in the pool. Adley had her first experience with swimming in a big pool. Adley didn't seem to love it, but she didn't cry the whole time either.
Our family took over the hotel's breakfast area for dinner one evening.
On the first evening of our arrival into town, we stopped over to visit Grandma. This was Adley's first time meeting her Great-Grandma Walquist. Their interactions were just so precious!
Each of the other grandkids took a turn on the couch next to their great-grandma and told her a few things about his life.
We were kind of a rowdy crew, but Grandma raised three boys of her own, so she didn't seem too flustered! It also helped that we let the boys play in the basement after their chatting time with Grandma.
Grandma seemed to just love watching each of her great-grandkids during our few days' visit. When I was holding Adley, I would often catch Grandma just smiling or waving at her. I loved seeing the two of them play together!
During our visit, my Uncle Ross and Aunt Jill hosted a few meals at their home for our large crew. Ross and Jill own quite a bit of land where they raise chickens and guineas and have a good-sized garden. It was a fun place to explore! We gathered eggs...
watched and pet the chickens...
...and went for a tractor ride.
Aunt Jill let the kids harvest some vegetables from her garden. Hopefully these eager kiddos didn't pick too many!
In the evening, we did one of my favorite activities in the Midwest-- catching fireflies! I have such good memories of this from my childhood, right here in Missouri. It was so fun watching my boys enjoy this experience too.
|AWESOME photo credit here goes to my sister-in-law Sarah!|
So many fun memories already, and our vacation was just getting started! More to come...