I’m back with more vacation pictures! Last week I posted all of the pictures from our nice camera and I thought I would just add our cell phone pictures at the bottom. But even after trying to narrow down the pictures to just my favorites, I decided it would be better to just do the phone pictures in a separate post. So here we are! If you missed last week, make sure to go back and scroll through all of those pictures (CLICK HERE!).
We took a week in the middle of August, just before Forest’s LAST semester of grad school started back up, to get away on a kick-our-feet-up, do-nothing, no-schedule vacation to Lake Placid in upstate New York. We stayed in a rustic cottage at a really nice resort – Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club – on Saranac Lake (about 20 minutes from downtown Lake Placid). We had access to paddle boards, kayaks, and paddle boats. They had a dock for boats (both resort members + ones that could be rented) that Forest fished from one day. There was a nightly bonfire that started at 7 every night on the beach and we had front row seats to some of the prettiest sunsets while we were there. (We would highly recommend this place and we’re actually wondering when we’ll make a trip back ourselves!) Aaaaaaand I don’t know if the weather we had was typical for August up in the mountains and right on the lake but the high’s all week hovered right at 79 – absolute perfection!
We took Peyton to the zoo for the first time over July 4th weekend. We went to 1st service at church and headed straight to the zoo right after. The weather was perfect – warm but not miserably hot and cloudy but not rain clouds threatening us constantly. We saw the penguins and bison before we stopped at the picnic area for lunch. Although Peyton was more interested in seeing everything around her than she was her chicken. And then we wandered around to all the different exhibits. Most of the big animals were sleeping so Peyton didn’t know what the heck we were pointing at when we told her “Look Peyton! Do you see the xyz [that’s just sitting there and blending into it’s surroundings]?!” She loved pointing at all the animals that were awake and active. The bison weren’t active but I think they were big enough that she could see them and she kept moo-ing at them! She now knows what sound a cow makes (mmmmmm!) and a horse (na ha ha ha). The seal and sea lions were active and we arrived at their exhibit right as a show was starting. Forest took Peyton up closer to the glass to watch but after a few minutes Peyton was over it, started crying and they made their way back to me. Peyton was asleep in the car before we got out of the parking garage so I think it’s safe to say she had a really good time!
Two weekends ago we had friends visiting from IN. It was a visit that I had been looking forward to because it would be our first time meeting little Aiden! He’s 8 months old and pretty solid (I think he weighs as much if not more than Peyton who is 4 months older) but he has the absolute best smile, the quietest voice and the sweetest giggle. And we were asked at least two different times if Peyton and Aiden were twins. Adorable!
So on Friday we spent the day in Philly. We did lunch at Campo’s for pretty amazing Philly cheesesteaks (and it’s just a few blocks from the Liberty Bell!) and took some pictures in front of Independence Hall. We saw the Liberty Bell up close, walked by Independence Hall and found a shaded spot on the lawn next to the Liberty Bell. Peyton and Aiden spent some time out of the strollers stretching their legs and hugging trees.
Thursday after work last week we packed up the car, dropped Indie off at the vet for boarding (saddest moments for us as fur-parents but Forest said Indie trotted off with the guy like it was the best day ever and didn’t even look back to see if Forest was following!) and headed off to visit our friend Rachele in Charlottesville, VA for the weekend.
Peyton ate dinner on the road (a puree pouch + puffs), we stopped at 7:30 pm (her normal time to nurse and head to bed) and we got to Rachele’s around 12:30 am. Our plan was to pop open the pack-n-play and transfer a SLEEPING Peyton from the car seat to the pack-n-play. Well we all know what happens when you plan for easy transitions like that! Peyton was wide awake when Forest tried to transfer her and all of my attempts to rock her back to sleep were thwarted until she FINALLY gave in around 3:00 am.
Friday morning we were all up and, after Forest made a yummy waffle breakfast, we headed to a peach orchard/strawberry field to pick strawberries. Fresh strawberries taste much better than grocery store strawberries, by the way. Forest picked up a jar of peach butter for us to bring home.
We spent the last week of 2015 in Indiana – visiting, meeting, hugging, relaxing, Christmas-ing, and surprise party-ing.
We started our 2-day journey the day after Christmas. We drove 6 hours from our house to the Pennsylvania/Ohio line and unloaded all the bags and things we would need (in the pouring rain…). Peyton and Indie both did really good overnight. Peyton might have fussed once in the middle of the night and Indie only growled at a noise once or twice.
I’ve already posted about the 3 days we spent in Nashville (here and here) so I’m back to share the last of our week vacation. We spent the end of the week in Louisville, KY for the Louisville Slugger factory and museum and then made our way to the Cincinnati, OH area to visit the Creation Museum.
DAY 4: We left Nashville in the morning and drove 3.5 hours up to Louisville, KY with the only destination being the Louisville Slugger Museum and Bat Factory. We got there easily enough, ate a quick lunch and got started on the Museum. We took at tour of the factory first – no pictures allowed, something about trade secrets… blah blah – but we loved it. We learned about how they used to make bats by hand and it took 30 minutes for someone who had mastered the art and now they can make something like 15 identical bats for a professional player in 7 minutes. There are so many different sizes, weights, paints, stains, burnings, and engravings available and we got to hold several different models. We also picked up some of their trash as a souvenir. It wasn’t actually trash, just the left over spindles on the bats that are cut off at the very end of the process. The Museum itself was interesting to walk through as well. Forest got to hold one of Derek Jeter’s bats (much to the jealousy of his sister) and there were several displays with interesting facts about how bats have changed over the years. We, of course, couldn’t leave without stopping by the gift shop and ordering custom made bats. Forest couldn’t resist getting one with his own signature and it looks pretty cool so I don’t blame him. And I got one engraved with “Johnson Family 2015”. We’ve added both, along with the cutest little ‘baby’s first bat’, to the growing collection we have in the basement. Now we just need to get a rack that holds more than one bat! We left Louisville and drove the 2 extra hours to just-outside-of-Cincinnati so we could spend the next day at the Creation Museum.
DAY 5: We got to The Creation Museum as they were opening in the morning and spent nearly the whole day there. The tickets you purchase are good for 2 days at the museum. We only had 1 day available and that was good enough to see everything inside. We missed out on seeing the gardens, the zip line and the petting zoo but it was raining and cold, the zip lines weren’t open yet, and it wasn’t spring so we didn’t feel like we missed anything. I don’t have any pictures from inside the museum and the only reason I have is that I was too intrigued to read all of the plaques and displays. We saw 2 different planetarium shows (tickets cost extra for those but they were totally worth it). We spent hours checking out fossils and other displays and even more hours walking through the 7 C’s of History (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation) where we got to see the Garden of Eden, Noah and a life-size portion of the Ark, details about the flood, and so much more. It was really cool to walk through the museum and see history come to life. I would absolutely recommend going if you can!
And that wraps up our vacation! We drove back to Indiana after the Creation Museum, spent the next day visiting grandparents and hanging out with our families, packed everything in the Traverse (all of our souvenirs, Indie and all that we took with her, our luggage AND as much of the baby shower gifts that we could fit), and headed back to NJ Sunday morning. It was a whirlwind of a week but we loved it!
Until next time — Cindy Johnson