Checking in

You might have noticed (from the lack of posts) that we’ve had a BUSY summer. I don’t think we’ve ever traveled so much in so little time! The only thing that comes close is when Jarom did two back-to-back summer internships – a month in Korea (by himself), and then a month in North Carolina (Evan and I came; I was pregnant with June).

Since school got out, we have gone to…

  • Cupertino for a niece’s baptism – mid-June
  • Monterey for a week-long family reunion – late July
  • Orlando (sans kids!) for a work trip/mini vacation – early August

We drove out to California both times – although Jarom couldn’t get time off in June, so I did the Cupertino trip with just the kids. The family reunion was awesome. We stayed right by the beach, went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, hit the Mystery Spot and the beach boardwalk, and enjoyed lots of time with family. I started crocheting a baby blanket on the drive out, and managed to get everything except the final edging done while we were there.

This past weekend, Jarom was asked to go on a business trip to Orlando – and his boss offered to have me come, too, if I would help out with a few things. Sold! My in-laws agreed to take Evan, June, and the dog from Friday morning until Tuesday night so that we could have a fun mini-vacation after the work trip was done (THANK YOU!!).

After we got to the hotel Friday evening, we went to Downtown Disney with the rest of our group – Jarom’s boss, the boss’s wife, and another employee. The contrast between the arid heat of Utah and the humid heat of Florida… I think I prefer the drier option. Orlando was so muggy! Yuck. But we did get to eat at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant (most amazing carrot cake, and I’m really picky!) and see some incredible Lego displays. My favorite was Prince Philip on his horse fighting Maleficent in her dragon form.

Saturday was the business portion of our trip. Most of the day was spent in or near the conference room. After our responsibilities there were done, we (as a group) went to a very disappointing dinner. And then I was worn out! Time for tv in the hotel room, one of the things I love most about traveling.

On Sunday the rest of Jarom’s group was leaving, so we went to lunch on the way to the airport. It was an incredible lunch, and if you’re ever near the Orlando airport you should seriously stop at Tony Roma’s. I know the name is generic, but the food was contemporary Southern-inspired and it was so good that Jarom and I went back on Tuesday before our flight out.

Once we got the group dropped off at the airport, we decided to go to the outlet mall. Apparently it was a tax-free weekend? So it was crazy busy. And while we thought that the cars parked on every single grassy curb, divider, or strip was a bizarre response to the weekend traffic, a cashier told us that it’s completely normal behavior there. When Jarom asked hr what was up with everyone parking on the grass, she seemed surprised that things aren’t like that everywhere. “Why wouldn’t you park there?” she responded. I tried saying that it isn’t a real parking space…but I doubt it matters.

Guess what we got to do on Monday?? The Harry Potter parks at Universal! In spite of the crowds (which make me anxious) and the Zoloft I forgot to take that morning, I had a blast. The shops are so fun, and the Escape from Hogwarts ride was amazing. I’m really afraid of heights and I generally hate roller coasters or rides of that nature, but for me, the scariest part of the Hogwarts ride was the sudden appearance of Dementors.

It was, overall, a great day at the parks, but I was so tired by the time we were done. Thankfully we grabbed a few pick-me-up churros on our way back to the car.

And yesterday, we ate lunch, caught a plane, and came home! Now it’s time to start getting ready for Evan to start school in two weeks…


Scratch that

The entire time we were in Greensboro, there was a horrendous heat wave. Heat + humidity = I want to stay inside all day. I was fortunate to have found an apartment that included utilities, so I did my part in ruining the earth by keeping the air conditioning on most of the time. But outside it was usually at least 95°F and often into the 100s.

…Until yesterday. On our last day in Greensboro, the heat wave broke (can you say that? Like a fever breaking?) and it was a comfortable, even pleasant, 80°F. It was also a LOT less humid.

When I woke up yesterday morning, my throat was killing me and my nose was stuffed up. By early afternoon I had a massive headache and (don’t take advantage of this opportunity to tell a joke at my expense) my face hurt. So much. After we left for Raleigh that evening, my ears were starting to ache and I was wishing I could just take a plane back to Utah instead of spending a week on the road.

Tylenol helped some, and we had some children’s Benadryl that I took to help me sleep. It worked until about 3am when I woke up with (possibly) the worst headache of my life. More Tylenol, a few more hours of sleep, and my favorite little boy was woken up by a door slamming down the hall at 6:30. Sigh.

When I brought the Bwun into bed with me, hoping he’d go back to sleep, the Romgi woke up and said now he was feeling miserable too. We talked about what to do, since neither of us wanted to try spending hours in the car and then being tourist-y in Washington DC when we felt like this. The Romgi suggested waiting until after breakfast and then seeing if we could stay another night in Raleigh (and cancel our reservation in DC). And, you guessed it, we weren’t any better when we finished eating, so the Romgi booked us for another night here while I canceled the hotel in DC. Then we all went back to sleep.

Instead of taking 7-8 days to travel up through Washington DC to where the Romgi’s dad grew up in New York, and then to Palmyra, Nauvoo, and finally back to Provo…it looks like we’ll spend today resting and then go back the way we came, through Colorado and all those boring states in the middle of the US. It will be shorter and we’ll probably drive longer every day.

Update: another day in Raleigh. I eventually got a good night’s sleep, and felt ok when I woke up just before noon (the Bwun was still asleep too, so it was fine to sleep in so much), but the Romgi felt worse. He seems to be a day behind me with this cold, so with any luck we’ll all be doing better tomorrow and ready to head home. Maybe we’ll do 3 12-hour days. Not fun, but at least we’d get home quickly!

Life in North Carolina

A few updates on what we’ve been up to lately, including our beach trip…

There's a little cupboard in the kitchen and it is perfectly Bwun-sized. He spends a lot of time in there - we sometimes refer to it as his office, since he likes to put cell phones, keys, watches, iPods, etc. in there.

The Romgi brought back this little backpack for the Bwun from Korea. Usually the Bwun tries to put one strap over his arm like a purse and then gets mad that it doesn't work. This time, he let us put it on before we tried going to a restaurant for my birthday. He looked so big! P.S. Please ignore the Bwun's mess. I didn't feel like spending all day cleaning up after him on my birthday.

One day when the Romgi came home for lunch, he brought this swallowtail butterfly with him. It turns out I am a little bit afraid of large bugs flying at me, even if they're pretty. Luckily the Romgi took it back outside when he left.

Also, the Bwun wanted to wear the Romgi's socks. So I let him.

Last night we stayed in a hotel in Jacksonville, NC so we could head to the beach this morning (Greensboro is about 4 hours from the coast). Thanks to the Bwun and his anti-sleep habits, we didn’t get to leave as early today as we wanted, but we did get to a little place called Swansboro just before lunchtime. It has a historic district with lots of little shops and restaurants.

First glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean! Actually, second - the first picture that the Romgi took was right after we got out of the car, and the camera lens fogged up from the humidity.

The beach we went to was in Emerald Isle. No, I don't know why I'm in this picture.

It was definitely crowded. But colorful. Someday we'll have a beach umbrella, too...

The Bwun and I took a swimming class in Utah while the Romgi was in Korea, so the Bwun knew what it meant that I put on his swim diaper and trunks. But he was a little hesitant when he saw the ocean.

We showed the Bwun that he could play in the sand, and that's what he did for about two hours. Yes, we drove 2000 miles so the Bwun could have more dirt to play in.

To be fair, it was two hours where we didn't really have to DO much except enjoy the salty ocean breeze. The Bwun took care of himself.

Eventually I got the Bwun to come in the water with me. The water was perfectly warm, and shallow enough that I could sit while the Bwun stood. We did get knocked down once, but I think he at least had some fun!

After we played in the water, I started to get hungry (thank you, jr). We packed up and found a nearby restaurant called Flipperz. In general I am morally opposed to any business that uses a Z in place of an S in their name; however, this turned out to be a good choice. The Romgi has been wanting to try soft-shelled crab, and they had a special soft-shelled crab sandwich today that he says was perfect (as was his seafood bisque). I had a blackened mahi sandwich that may be the first meal I’ve really enjoyed since we left Utah (I’m really picky lately). I liked it so much that we bought a jar of the dry rub seasoning they used on the fish, so we can bring a little taste of the coast back with us.

Only one week left in North Carolina! We drive to Washington DC next Saturday.