24 July 2010

We're in al-ban-y...

...ive got lots of family with me.

lucky for us and X, daves sister (megan) lives in albany, ny. just a little over 2 hours from where amy lives. so, we were able to participate in a great wedding and have an extended visit with family all in the same trip. such efficiency!

after leaving the wedding breakfast, we made our way from rye up to albany. we had thought we could time a X car break in the town of beacon to visit an art foundation there called the "dia." that was a no go. X fussed before we got to beacon (so we had to pull over) and then started dozing after that (do not stop driving when she finally settles!!). but, the important part was that we made it relatively easily to albany and got X a nap before megan and courtney got home from work.

we had a nice relaxing night with them and we were able to catch up, have them meet X, and begin our string of pampered meals a la megan. she loves to cook. like her dad. and its where dave got his desire as well. and theyre all good at it. and they all seem to have different approaches. i benefit from it all though. :) megan made us grilled pizza this first night. pretty simple concept, but id never had it before. yum!

daves parents arrived (drove from buffalo that morning) and we all ventured in to the town of schenectady. loved the name, had never been there. there is a nice historic city center, though its had a rough time economically since GE left some years ago. we decided to eat at a burrito joint called "bombers" on the main street of town. very much a hip, post-bar type place. my tacos were very ho hum, but the food everyone else got looked tasty.

after lunch we walked around the corner to stroll down jay street, a neat pedestrian area lined with unique shops (no starbucks here). we decided to pop in to a few. we nabbed some books for X at the "open door book store": we bought this awesome book called "slugs" by david greenberg (HIGHLY recommend. absolutely hilarious. fantastic, gruesome rhymes) and the grandparents purchased the classics "goodnight moon," "runaway bunny," and "pat the bunny." thanks. :) and our final stop was to the "skinny n sweet" shop for some gelato. mmm.

back at "home" i got X a nap while the rest of the crew hung out and prepared dinner. little did i know X was ready for bed and turned this "nap" into hours upon hours of sleeping. so, i missed dinner, which woulda tasted better warm (hot dogs, homemade baked beans, homemade coleslaw). :(

(papa and X in schenectady; grandma and X; uncle courtney and X)
(pulling up her dress, ready for a diaper change!)

my mom and her boyfriend al arrived (they were on an extended road trip and had come from syracuse this morning). they were able to meet X for the first time and get to know her a little. of course, naptime came all too soon, so they went to get some sushi with dave before heading out to find a hotel.

later, everyone got back together at megans for a great homemade meal. apparently, in NY there is this famous marinade called "spiedies." it comes in a bottle that i assume you can find in many grocery stores. typically (it is my understanding) it is used for chicken kebabs, and the best is to have the chicken marinate for 24+ hours. and its definitely good stuff. really flavorful, juicy meat without being overly salty or sweet, yummy yum. to pair with it, megan made corn on the cob with lime-cilantro butter to brush on. SO freakin good! and to send me to food heaven, she made some AMAZING strawberry shortcakes for dessert. hot out of the oven with warm berries and homemade whipped cream. i died. havent had a party in my stomach like that in a while. :)

(marmie and X shortly after meeting for the first time)

(the grandmas, me and X; aunt megan, grandma and X; pal [the pa in grandpa mixed with al], marmie, me and X)

our last full day with family started off with a knock-out breakfast (that i again was unable to enjoy warm. ah well.) from megan of eggs, bacon, toast, fruit salad, and fresh squeezed orange juice. afterward, daves parents drove to kingston, ny for a boat tour on the hudson river. and to aide in digestion, dave and i, my mom and al, and courtney (and their dog yogi) went on a walk in the pinebush park (which, conveniently butts right up to their condo communitys property. sweet!). the walk was great and an added bonus of fun was that X got hungry early on in the walk. i was able to cradle her in a way that i nursed her while walking. it was so easy and it was nice not to miss out on the walk to have to feed her.

later that day we all regrouped at the nice greek restaurant called athos. the manager (owner?) spotted X right away and came over to google at her and tickle her feet. it was very nice to see him approving of having a baby in his restaurant, lowered my stress. we were able to pass her around during dinner and entertain her so she stayed quiet. at one point i was holding her and swaying and she fell asleep! never ceases to amaze.

so the restaurant was a success and then we headed back "home" where megan had engineered an inside-out german chocolate cake to celebrate mary anns birthday. how nice? and while i normally dont care for that kind of cake, it was really delicious. proving once again that megan is a whiz in the kitchen.

(dave and X; grandpa and naked X before bed)

departure day. we were able to coordinate Xs first wake up time with a farewell send off for the grandparents. it was short and bittersweet but at least they were able to see her. everyone got their final hugs and kisses in. :) then we loaded up the car and headed back down to jersey...

and the car was more full than when we arrived, again, on account of all the lovely gifts X had received from family. from aunt megan: an awesome bumbo seat with a tray (have you seen these? never knew they existed until i was pregnant. its for helping them learn to sit.), a onesie and socks, some teething keys (yum), and the sweet book called "on the night you were born." from grandma mary ann: a new stack of clothes, a caterpillar rattle, and a glittery flexiball.

and marmie and al brought some interesting things: the t-shirt received from the 5K they ran on the day X was born (neat!) and the first book in the dexter series (didnt know the Showtime series "Dexter" started from a book). for me, she kindly brought some Lush body wash and passed along a book set on guernsey island (one of the channel islands. near jersey island, where we went while in france). for dave, they brought a six pack of beer from the "florida brewery" in melbourne. they also passed along some pictures of me as a baby my grandma had dug out (yup, Xs looks a lot like me...) and some baby clothes my aunt had sent along.

so yeah, lots of goodies, lots of love, lots of fun. glad we could make the trip work. thank you for hosting megan and courtney! and thanks for traveling grandparents! also, for more pictures of the visit, you can visit mary anns blog.

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