Monday, October 06, 2008

Jason and Melinda's Visit

My brother Jason and sister-in-law Melinda recently visited us for a week! After some craziness involving their flights and 24 hours with no sleep, they arrived in Nashville and drove to Knoxville for an University of Tennessee game. They are Penn State Alum, so that's where there hearts lie, but they enjoy the sport in general. After driving down to Chattanooga and getting a night's sleep, the adventurous duo left for a white-water rafting trip about an hour's drive away. My brother has a busy job as a newish lawyer in Philadelphia, working many hours to ensure he gets his quota of billable hours. Because of this, he rarely takes any time off, so we were happy he was able to escape for a vacation and come see us!

Owen enjoyed all the attention from Uncle Jason (who, for some random reason, he chose to just call "Uncle" while he was here) and Aunt Mel and the busyness of their stay. While Roby worked, we piled into their rental car and drove down to Alabama (a two-hour drive, not bad!) to visit with Mel's Aunt, Uncle and cousins. Mel & I took in the nice weather, chatting with her Aunt Janice on the back porch, while Jason channeled his inner child and jumped on the trampoline with Owen. All that activity wore out Owie, who promptly fell asleep at the dinner table as we enjoyed some homemade Italian food! I think Olive had fun on her first little day trip too!

On Melinda's 27th birthday, while Roby worked, we went to the Chattanooga aquarium. Owen continues to be fascinated by marine life, and even witnessed a special treat...We happened to be at the right place at the right time when divers descended to feed the fish and stingrays. In the evening, to celebrate Melinda's special day, Jase took her for some delish eats at Tony's, an Italian restaurant located in the carriage house of a Victorian mansion in Chattanooga's Bluff View art district. Upon their return, we had a little party, that, thanks to Owen, wasn't much of a surprise. While they were enjoying their dinner, Owen, Livy and I shopped for some birthday items. As soon as Melinda stepped in the door, Owie said, "Let's have your birthday cake now!" and "We got party hats!" Thankfully, O's antics amused Mel, and she seemed to enjoy her little birthday party.

The following day, Jason, Mel, the kidlets and I drove down to Dalton, GA, to pick Roby up from work on our way to Atlanta. A rep at work kindly gave Roby tickets to the Phillies vs. Braves game, and we decided to make a little overnight trip out of it. Thanks to hotwire.com, we secured affordable rooms at a posh hotel in Buckhead, a nice part of Atlanta. After arriving at the hotel, we got ready, made sure the kids were fed and took a train to downtown Atlanta to catch a shuttle that took us to Turner field for the game. Owen liked his first train ride. (I love how everyday things fascinate children so much!) We had fourth-row seats in left field. This was Owen's second Phillies game, and he wondered where the Phillies mascot was (the Philly Phanatic). He amused us by clapping whenever anyone else did, including for the other team. ;) He also enjoyed his first little taste of spun-sugar heaven. What would a baseball game for a kid be without some blue and pink cotton candy?! Oh, and it was nice to win, too! Roby also bought a commemorative home team ball, which he does at every stadium he visits. Apparently they will one day be displayed in Owen's room- which I'm fine with as long as we can do so in a cool way. ;)

After a night snoozing in big, comfy beds, we walked to nearby Lennox mall, grabbed breakfast at Panera's, purchased discount tickets, and then were on our way to Zoo Atlanta! This zoo was much bigger than the one that Owen is accustomed to. He just told me his favorite part was seeing "the giraffes...and the zebra by the giraffes." I think we all liked watching the giraffes unfurl their long tongues to grab leaves from the tall trees. Olive slept most of the time either in the stroller or worn by Roby in a sling. Afterwards, we had a little photo shoot by some trees with Jason, Mel and their niece and nephew. I think the pictures turned out spectacular! On the drive home, we stopped at a Crab Shack for some eats, which I think Owen enjoyed because 1. pizza 2. shark toy that came with daddy's drink 3. the waiters and waitresses spontaneously started dancing to loud music every once in awhile...what's not to like?!

After a week filled with hanging out and fun excursions to different places, it was time for Jason and Melinda to drive back to Nashville for their flight home...but not before taking in Owen's first soccer game! (See details a few entries below.) We were so happy that they chose to come visit us, and that they were able to spend some quality time with Owen and meet Olive for the first time! We look forward to seeing them at Christmas time!

1 Comments:

At 1:10 PM , Blogger Steve said...

Love this new post--sounds like you guys had a really great time together. I love the story about Owie giving away Mel's surprise party. And the picture of the four of them is fantastic! I'm a sucker for black and white. Jason and Mel look so good too.

 

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