Friday, August 12, 2011

R&R and a Bit of NewlyWoodwards

We can consider our first Midwest roadtrip with baby a roaring success. We planned to go visit my dad in Illinois, who is 12 hours away, by driving through the night and crossing our fingers that Gabe would sleep through the night. And ya know what? Things went pretty darn well. Sure he woke up and whimpered a few times but he put himself back to sleep within seconds.  When he woke up at about 5:30 for the day, we still had about an hour or so left to drive so we stopped for some truckstop entertainment/people-watching and a Denny's breakfast and let him roam the empty restaurant and entertain the waitresses. It was only then that I hung out in the backseat with him to keep him cheerio'd and happy.

We pulled into my dad's and spent the next few days seriously relaxing...mostly because there ain't shit to do in the middle of Illinois. You are forced to relax.  We swam in his pool, watched movies like Grumpy Old Men and talked about where our next meal was coming from. I managed to fit in some of my old midwest faves like biscuits and gravy for breakfast and Hardee's for lunch. Plus, my dad was great with Gabe, which is always nice to see.

But a few days in, we packed up our bags again and headed four hours northwest to the border of Illinois and Iowa to the Quad Cities. It was here that we planned on meeting one of my favorite bloggers in this here blogosphere, Mrs. Kim Woodward of NewlyWoodwards. We had been planning this for a few months and we decided that we would drive up, meet up with her, stay the night at a local hotel then have her show us the town the next day.

Um, I was kinda nervous. But then we met. And she's the best. She's the bubbliest, friendliest, easiest to talk to gal ever. Of course, we had all sorts of bloggy stuff to talk about but we also talked about everything and anything else. She loved on Gabe, put up with John's blog-stalking confessions and generally showed us the best time ever. If you read her blog than you know that she probably seems like a great hostess, right? Well, you'd be right. I've never been taken care of so well by someone we didn't "know". I'm so glad that we ventured up there. I'm pretty sure I made an awesome real-life friend.

Ok, enough sap. The night we got there, we checked into our hotel and were greeted with a bag of goodies that Kim had left for us. Lots of local delicacies, tourist info, artwork and a bunch of John Deere stuff for Gabe. You see, the John Deere company calls the Quad Cities home. They're headquartered in Kim's town so it's kind of the thing to do around there.  Now I've seen one tractor, I've seen em all. But my boys love that shit.

So after Kim and Ryan (we met him too!) took us out to a fancy schmancy dinner that I'm still kinda drooling about, we headed back to our hotel to get Gabe to bed. We met up the next morning to get started on our day at the John Deere headquarters.

Love this one.

Handsome devils

These things are effing huuuuuge.


Gaber's at headquarters

So after exploring all the giant farm machinery, we headed back to Kim's house. I feel like Kim's houses (both of them) are famous. I literally felt like I was at the White House. Such a dork. But they are just as cute in real life as they are on the blog.

We also got to see the new house too. In fact, we lounged in the new living room. It's a stunner. If you're not in the know, Kim and Ryan have spent the last year completely renovating their new house, from the bottom up. But they dont just slap a coat of paint on things, they add ridiculous details and build crazy shit themselves. I am in constant awe.

Anyway, we also took a walk along the Mississipi and soaked up everything these cute little towns have to offer. They're like mini big cities and ooze charm. I can totally see why Kim fits right in. 

On the Mississippi River in Rock Island, Ill.

So all in all, excellent trip to Illinois and Iowa and to meet up with another awesome blog pal. I could get used to this. Oh wait!! I will be! My Always Bloggy in Philadelphia Meet-up is coming up this October where I'll get to meet a shit-ton of awesome bloggers. This sure is fun.


Much to My Delight said...

What a fun trip! So cool that you were hosted by one of your blog friends (You know I'd host you myself if you ever came to NY). I love the pictures of Gabe and John and the tractors. That there is some quality boy time!! Welcome home; looks like you're happy and well-rested:)

*claire* said...

so fun! two of my fave people, in one place! with a man and a baby! :)

looks like you guys had a blast, and i'm sure kim was an amazing hostess!

very cute pics too!

Jillian said...

What fun!!! PS I love all of the family pictures! You guys are too cute!

momma j lee ♥ said...

Sounds like such a great trip! I love all the photos :) If you ever want to drive a little further up north and come across to Canada/Toronto, we'll love to show you around!!

Whit said...

You were right in my neighborhood. No, really, like a block from me.
I still am in awe of the John Deere stuff around here, and I've been here my entire life and do the Deere stuff all the time. My dad builds the combines, so any combine you saw? Totally his handiwork.
Glad you liked the QC! I love calling it home.

Mandy @ This Girl's Life said...

Looks and sounds like you had a great trip! Love the pics of Gabe...gah I just want to pink those cheeks!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little teary about this post. I miss you guys already. You are the most awesome family and I am seriously so happy you visited us. I'm the luckiest girl. (My phone just autocorrected girl to Joel. I thought you'd think that was funny.). I can't wait to visit you guys someday. Until then, I'm keeping an eye open for an accounting job for the man.

MrsKinne said...

Such great pictures! And, seriously, Gabe's eyelashes? They are getting ridiculously long.

Isrut said...

I love how Gabe has a farm-appropriate outfit on! I cant wait to meet him at his party.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Okay, the pictures in the yellow thing (the scooper?) are PRECIOUS! Love them. I would have taken a hundred. :) I'd like to comment more often but have trouble a lot of the time ... I'm not sure how or why it happens, but a lot of times it won't let me post! At any rate, I enjoy your blog tremendously (I think I just discovered it recently via Jamie's Rabbits).

Leigh said...

How FUN?!?! The photo of Kim and Gabe made me giggle in the huge wheel.

Emily said...

A) I'm so jealous of your get together with Kim. When are you coming to Colorado?

B) Love that umbrella stroller. What is it? We bought a Chicco that's wayyyy to short for B to push.

Erin @ Domestic Adventure said...

It looks like you had such a great trip! I am so jealous of the meet up!! I love the photos of Gabe and the tractors!


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