We did it! My toddler son and I traveled across the country by ourselves and lived to tell about it.
We had more people to see than we had days in Michigan. It would have been nice to see some old high school friends, but I really wanted to maximize Quinn and Grandma’s time together. So we mostly hung out at my mom’s apartment.
My mom (who does not enjoy having her picture taken, and is therefore not pictured in this post) absolutely LOVES being a grandma, and it makes me sad that we live so far away. Even though we were there for eight days, it never feels like enough time.
All those toys I packed and even shipped ahead of time, and Quinn wanted to play with my mom’s laundry basket full of plastic hangers. Figures.
I hardly recognize my parents now that they’re grandparents. They’re like different people. Q would start to get into something, and I would say, “No, no. Grandma wouldn’t want you to play with that.” Then my mom would say, “Oh, it’s fine. Quinn can have that.” And then my jaw would hit my chest. What? Is this the same woman that raised me?
Quinn likes to crawl up on the couch at my mom’s house, too. He’s taking a break from the hangers to watch a little Sesame Street before his nap, just like at home.
Q decided he really liked my brother, Aaron. As a joke, we referred to him as Uncle Dude, and whenever Q saw him, he would say “dude.”
My mom’s apartment complex has a small playground, and Quinn loved playing there.
One afternoon, my mom’s whole family got together. We got to meet my cousin’s cute new baby and see everybody. Quinn warmed right up to Aunt Judy, especially after she bribed him with grapes.
When we went to Michigan last year, we didn’t get to see my grandmother because she lived pretty far away. She’s moved closer since then, so we were able to join her, my Aunt Connie and my cousin Megan (check out Meg’s blog here!) for lunch for my grandmother’s birthday. She was thrilled to meet Quinn for the first time.
We went to Cracker Barrel to eat. Could this place be anymore Michigan?
We also met up with my good friend from college and her family at a mall halfway between her house and my mom’s. Every time I see Nicole, my heart aches to live closer.
Her adorable little kiddos loved making Quinn laugh!
You’d be so proud of me! I, a germophobic freak show, allowed my son to crawl around the children’s play area at the mall! Yes, really. Even it though it totally grossed me out, watching Q’s face light up as he crawled all over was so worth it. He’s officially doing more walking than crawling now, and he was so proud of himself as he walked all around the giant ear of corn.
Q had his first carousel ride at the mall, too. I wasn’t sure how he would react, especially since he was so tired and the music was so loud, but he loved it.
After all that, the germophobe in me reemerged, and I took an antibacterial wipe to Quinn’s entire body. Then when we got back to the hotel, he got a good scrub down in the bathtub. But still, that’s good progress for me, right?
On our last day in town, my dad and stepmom drove up from from Chicago for the day to hang out with Quinn and me. We decided to go to Crossroads Village, a town that supposed to represent what life was like in the 1800’s. I hadn’t been there in about twenty years. (I hate that I’m old enough to say that!)
The only other time my dad has met Quinn was when we went back last year when Quinn was just under four months old. Dad was ecstatic to see his little grandson again! Here are some photos of the spoiling in process.
Grandpa Rocky bought Quinn two new toys from the “general store.” (“General store” is in quotation marks because it was just a big toy store, and there was not one single item in there from the 1800’s, least of all Quinn’s new stuffed dinosaur or toy airplane.)
What day with Grandpa doesn’t include ice cream? All of my dietary rules for Quinn pretty much went out the window as I watched Quinn and my dad share a bowl of chocolate yumminess.
Seriously, how cute is this?
Crossroads Village is the home of the antique Huckleberry Railroad. We thought Q might enjoy riding the train, so we hopped aboard. Even though he was exhausted, Q thoroughly enjoyed his first train ride with Grandpa.
Those are just a few highlights from Quinn’s big adventure with the Michigan branch of his family and friends. I could tell you more, but I’m sure it would be like suffering through hours of your neighbors’ vacation photos, so I’ll spare you.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how the actual traveling went with just a toddler and me. I’ll give you more details later this week, but here’s a small spoiler: Quinn was a delightful little travel companion. I did learn a lot though, so I will share all my tips and wisdom on Thursday.