Last year she made a special trip out from NY with her family to see us while we were home. It took a lot of coordination on her part for what ended up just a few hours of time, and of those few hours, I was entertaining a house full of guests. But it didn't matter. We got to see each other, we got to see each other's kids (some for the first time in person!) and that made all the difference in the world.
When I planned this vacation back in the start of the year, I had no idea I'd be so lucky as to get to see Urs and her family again!! Their vacation on the Cape ended on the night I arrived. So once again, they went out of their way to arrange for a hotel for just one night nearby and we made plans to see each other on our first full day here.
I was a little ambivilent about making plans for too early in the morning with the kids on our first full day in the States, but given their history of getting up at the crack (as in 3AM) of dawn I figured we were safe and we were. They made it til 5AM which was fairly late for them and by 8:30 we were at Target. So to meet at the zoo at 10:30 was a piece of cake.
Southwicks' Zoo is our absolute favorite zoo on earth. When we lived in the States we had three zoos we frequented - Southwicks (the big zoo), Roger Williams (the medium zoo) and Capron Park (the small zoo). We can and did spend the entire day at Southwicks. Now given we had 4 kids with us, we didn't get in as much talking time and many of our conversations were interrupted by "mommy, mommy, mommy" but just getting to have some quality time with one of my closest friends made the interruptions worth it. And to have our kids getting to know each other was priceless. Both Liam and Logan (who happens to be the same age as Liam) hit it off as though they had known each other for years when in fact they've only met each other maybe 3 times in their 5 years on earth. But they are both incredibly social creatures and were BFF's in moments. Aidan was less than thrilled at being the oldest kid but in the end, had a great time.
Waiting for the Merkts to arrive
Who doesn't like to play on giant rocks??
Already bonding with their maps... they acted like they actually knew what the maps said which was super cute!
New BFFs...Logan and Liam
The petting zoo...
Logan and Liam checking out the llamas...
I missed the shot of Aidan actually petting the goat... it was so cute!
Our token picture next to the zebra head... as you can see, Aidan is less than thrilled
The deer ran away the moment he walked up...
Urs and Emi with the deer
Logan and Liam chasing the deer into the woods
Never in a million years would I have pictured Liam doing this - he always ran away from the deer...progress..
He is just the cutest boy on earth!!!
Checking out an antler from a buck. Liam then took said antler and started running around with it on his head. As you can imagine the zoo employee was less than thrilled (as was I)...
Token rock picture
Can't go to the zoo and not go on rides...
He's getting too big for these rides...
Liam puked 11 times on the plane that had no turbulance and yet, was bounced up and down on this ride and was all laughs and smiles... something feels unfair here...
Emi, Urs, me, Aidan, Liam and Logan
Urs and me... sooooo glad we got to see each other!!!!
One of the best parts of coming back to the States is meeting up with all these amazing people in my life, some of which I hadn't seen in years but manage to connect with at some point during my trip. We hung out with Urs and her family til around 4, having 5 precious hours (which is not enough but am so glad that we had) in which to reconnect. Then we met up with Josh whom the kids hadn't seen in over a week.
Josh and I had planned a date night since this was literally the first time we've both been on American soil in over 2 1/2 years...but plans never work out the way we make them and so we decided to take the kids with us and I'm so glad we did. We had the best family dinner that we've had in a long time with everyone in fantastic moods and just high on life from being home. We went to our favorite restaurant, Hemenways, in Providence where the kids had never been...but given what great seafood eaters they are, I think that this will become a family destination when we get back instead of just a date night one.
We met up with Josh at Toys R Us... the boys were beyond in heaven. As you can see, Liam also found his new backpack for the fall (Sonic the Hedgehog in 3D) that he insisted on wearing while he shopped. One of the great things about coming home is that we appreciate things like giant superstores just that much more ;)
Liam at Hemenways
Aidan at Hemenways...notice my new iphone case - I finally can get rid of the Angry Birds one!!
So far vacation is off to a great start with lots more reunions, playdates and events coming up in the next few weeks. I can't wait to share all of our adventures with everyone!!