I know, this post is quite late in arriving. I got very little sleep the night before last, thanks to not being wise and drinking a large coke with a late night meal. I was so tired yesterday (and yet still drove back from Atlanta) that I fell UP two flights of stairs in two different cities. That’s right. I’m just THAT graceful.
When telling my friends Ashley and Lydia on Sunday night about my upcoming trip to Atlanta, I think I stunned them both when they realized that I had never driven anywhere over an hour away by myself. It’s just that Chris and I have always traveled together since we got married, and before that I was a child (nearly), so it’s just never happened.
So, mine and Ali’s two-and-a-half hour trip to Atlanta was destined to be a fun adventure, even though that’s really not that far away. Unless you get to experience Atlanta traffic.
I set out with many, many things to keep Ali occupied. Here you can see her modeling many of them all at once in an extremely tacky fashion:
She always wears her bracelets like that. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just more comfortable.
Barkley was coming from Charleston to meet us there for our fun girlfriend+babies trip, so she had her own travel adventures with a seven month old. One of them being trying out those nifty new seats in a Wendy’s bathroom:Of course, he promptly fell OUT of the nifty new seat right after she took that picture. Gotta love technology.
Once we got to Atlanta, there was no longer any need for entertainment. Ali has never been to Atlanta (or, come to think of it, any city bigger than Birmingham), so driving in was amazing to her. She experienced tunnels for the first time and saw trains (and even “VEWY VEWY FAST trains, Mommy!!!” – thanks, MARTA), she saw tall, tall buildings, lots of Cranky the Cranes, and got very excited when she saw LOTS AND LOTS OF BABY CARS!! (Thanks to a “Smart Car” dealership that we passed).
I tried to explain to her that we were in Atlanta. But I don’t quite think she got the concept. She kept pointing to all of the highrises saying, “There’s an Atlanta! There’s another Atlanta! There’s a tall, tall Atlanta!!”
I got to the hotel before Barkley, so I went up to the swanky front desk to check in. And then I realized that I was not going to like how this made me look. You see, Barkley’s husband made our reservations, because this trip was a gift from him to Barkley (and I got to benefit too!). So our conversation went as follows:
Front Desk Man: “What name is the room under?”
Me: “Jeremy (G). But my name is on the room also.”
Front Desk Man: “And what is your name?”
Me (as I stand there WITH MY TWO YEAR OLD and feel like a very bad person): “Rachel (C).”
Thinking quickly to save my reputation, I manage to think to say: “Please also have a set of keys for Barkley (G). SHE will be here soon, and SHE will need keys as well.”
When we got to our room on the sixteenth floor, my-oh-my was Ali back to being thrilled with The Big City. After checking out the view for a while,
She kicked back and enjoyed the comfy chair.
And, for the first time that I remember, when I suggested it was time to take a nap, she said “stay up and play in the hotel house, please!!”
Yes, I’m lucky. She usually is quite agreeable and ready for her naps.
Then Barkley and Woods arrived, and I got to meet my adorable Godchild for the first time!! He LOVED all of Ali’s big-girl toys:
And, of course, Ali LOVED all of his toys.
They got to know each other somewhat trepidatiously. . .
But had many good bonding moments.
We shopped while we visited. The great thing about shopping with toddlers (at least mine) is that they are completely self-entertained.
One of Ali’s favorite places in the world to go is the mall. In fact, yesterday, she told me, “I NEED to go to the mall, Mommy.”
What have I done to my child??
Oh – and the great thing about shopping with babies? They are completely self-comforted:
That night, we took our kiddos to my favorite Greek Restaurant in Atlanta, Taverna Plaka, in hopes of letting them enjoy the bellydancing.
However, there is no bellydancing on Monday nights. But, of course, the food was delectable. Ali quite enjoyed hers:
And even Woods got to sample the Hummous dip:
Barkley and I then took the kids back the the hotel, put them to bed, and relaxed and talked for hours on end. We fully intended to have a picture to illustrate this. However, after many re-settings of the self-timer, running to get into position, and giggling and grimacing at the photos taken, we decided that past midnight was no time to try and get a decent picture that didn’t show greasy faces or double chins.
Not that we have double chins. It just looks like we do after midnight.
By the next morning, the kids were much more comfortable with each other, discussing the pros and cons of Pampers:
Ali enjoyed some reading and eating time by the window before Woods came and joined her for my attempted photo shoot:
And then did a bit of swirling in front of mirrors.
As I told you yesterday, we ended up staying an extra day after finding out that Chris had to come to Atlanta for a business meeting. So we got another hotel, of which I have already shared our adventures.
However, as I mentioned in that post, Ali got her nap really late, which was in part on purpose so that we could eat with Daddy when he arrived. She actually didn’t wake up from her nap until 7:30 pm (Atlanta time), and Daddy arrived at 9:00pm Atlanta time. We went to our favorite wing place that is no longer in Birmingham, Wing Stop. What time did Ali get to bed, you ask? Latest ever, by far (unless Gramamma and Pop have kept her up later and I just don’t know): 11:00pm.
And since she only slept till 9am, she was pretty dazed on the way home. In fact, I think she might have been seeing things when we were almost home. She kept pointing at cars and saying, “There’s Gramamma, Mommy! There’s Nick and Papa and Nana, Mommy! There’s Pop and JC, Mommy!.”
So I’m going to try and get her back to normal schedule over the next couple of days. We’ll see how that goes.
Speaking of which, since it’s almost 6pm as I write this, I should probably go wake her from her nap.
So I leave you with these:
Most odd “the next new thing” I saw being hocked in Atlanta: Electric Cigarettes. I have no idea what these are supposed to be.
Most ridiculous price tag I saw in Atlanta: Has to go to a baby dress. Because baby dresses should NEVER EVER have this price on them: