Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vacation With the Marcs

As promised, here is a post recapping our West Virginia vacation with our dear friends Kris, Jess, and Jack Marcantonio. I'll try to be brief (I know, I'm so good at that!) and focus mostly on the pictures.

We left on Monday, June 25--in two separate cars, which was not part of the original plan. In the initial excitement of planning this trip, Jessica and I pictured both families all packed into one minivan, but fortunately, wisdom (and baby gear) prevailed.

Our first stop was Middletown, Maryland, where we spent part of the afternoon at the home of Kris's parents, the Marcantonios Sr. The big attraction there (besides Maryann Marcantonio and her always gracious hospitality) was a beautiful, blue swimming pool. The water was a bit chilly, but most of us braved it anyway. This was only Meg's second pool experience, and the first was almost a year ago.

Here's Meg and Mommy in the water...
Vacation 1

...and out of the water. (Don't I look nice when I'm all wet?)
Vacation 2

And here's Jack and his mommy playing poolside:
Vacation 4

Holy moley, just look at that cute chunker!
Vacation 3

Later that day we made the rest of our short journey to West Virginia. That evening we unpacked quickly, then headed back out for a quick Chick Fil A dinner and some grocery shopping. Kris and Dave kept the kiddos in the restaurant play area while Jess and I did a marathon shopping trip. Seriously. I think we were in that store for over two hours. That's what you get when you have two very different girls picking out food together, without a grocery list, in an unfamiliar store. Fortunately, our husbands and our little ones all handled it heroically.

The rest of the week was wonderfully low-key and unhurried. Honestly, we just really didn't plan much. With two kids on opposite nap schedules, one still nursing frequently, there's just not a lot of free daylight for exploring and adventuring. But the unwinding time was welcome to Dave and me. Besides, there was quite a bit to do at the house: play with Meg and Jack, explore the property, prepare and eat meals together, play games, watch one of the house's five TV's, talk and laugh, read, etc., etc. And both couples took turns babysitting so that we could get out for date nights. Kris and Jess had a fancy dinner in honor of their second anniversary. Dave and I had dinner and went outlet shopping to pick up a few things for Baby Boy! Having a bit of a layette for him makes me feel so much more ready to welcome him!)

We did make it out for two half-day trips. The first was to Antietam, a Civil War battlefield where North and South met to fight the war's bloodiest single day. We did a little car-tour and just barely skimmed the surface of the site's history before the kids started to lose it. We also enjoyed the absolutely beautiful country side. It was a hazy, hot day, so the air quality didn't make for great photography, but these will give you some idea of what we saw:

Vacation 5

Vacation 6

Vacation 7

Dave and Meg after a little bit of leg-stretching:
Vacation 8

A shot taken from the car:
Vacation 10

In the minivan, when we piled in together for a trip or errands, the car seats occupied the middle row while Dave and I took the back seats. This made for a great view for me:
Vacation 9

Our other little adventure was a walk down the C&O Canal--actually, we walked right in between the old canal path and the Potomac River. The path was beautifully shady and green and quiet:
Vacation 12

Our baby girl, loaded into her "all-terrain" stroller, which was perfect for this bumpy ride:
Vacation 11

Our view of the river as we strolled along:
Vacation 13

Meg and Daddy spotted a bunny just off the main trail and went to introduce themselves:
Vacation 18
(After this, when the bunny hopped off and we continued on our previous route, Meg refused to keep walking with us--she wanted to go back to that other trail and find that bunny!)

A little hole through the trees--Kris led us from here on an off-road visit to the river bank:
Vacation 16

A lovely, serene spot on the water:
Vacation 14

Mommy and Aunt Jessie playing, "One, two, three... wheeeee!" with Megger:
Vacation 19

Our men-folk pushing the strollers:
Vacation 17

My two sweetie-sweeties:
Vacation 15

The last thing we did together before the Wilcoxes headed back to Gaithersburg for church prep was a meal at a local Uno's Chicago Pizzeria--yum! (This was a fittingly subdued finale to our quiet vacation, don't you think?) The only reason I mention this is that our waitress was a girl with whom I went to school all the way from elementary through high school graduation. It was so funny to look up from my menu and see this vaguely familiar face in a completely unexpected setting!

That about wraps up our time with the Marcantonios! Over lunch at Uno's, we started planning next year's trip, so I guess I could end this post by saying, "Vacation countdown, three-hundred and fifty-some days to go..."

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