Tuesday, July 9, 2019

NJ Roadtrip

I'm not much of a blogger these days. I am sure I will be again one day, when I need it. I only really write when I need it. But I wanted to document our recent trip to NJ for the 4th of July, and I had too many photos to post on Instagram, so here I am.

We decided to drive up, again, only this time we didn't leave spur of the moment fleeing a Cat 5 hurricane with our life's belongings in a tiny Mazda. It was a lot easier this time around. Atlas and Nym were champs in the car, as usual, and driving made it an experience that is extra special and hard to forget.

The trip was a whirlwind 8 days of seeing as many people as we could and doing as many NJ things as possible. We had to miss going to the Franklin Institute, the shore, and Longwood Gardens, which was a huge bummer, but we got to show Atlas the Philly Zoo, Adventure Aquarium, go to a couple of our favorite restaurants, eat tons of pizza, and spend time with lots of family and friends in our hometowns, which is the most important thing. I wish I had taken more pictures of Atlas with all the people we saw, but we were too busy living in the moment. Tons of home friends, college friends from all around the northeast, family all the way from Utah who met him for the first time, and everywhere in between. Friends and family who just had babies, are pregnant, are traveling, playing music, getting married, working hard at their jobs, making the world a better place. We show Atlas pictures and talk about people all the time, and he was super excited to see everyone. We are sad that we didn't see absolutely EVERYONE we wanted to see. I guess we will just have to come back soon, or you can take us up on our invitation to visit us in paradise!

It is difficult for me to find the words to describe how I feel about this trip, so I will let the pictures do most of the talking.


6am wakeup cuddles in NC. Atlas slept well! He woke up at stops along the way, got out to go potty and stretch, and thought it was hilarious that he was outside with the moon and stars at 3am. He said the moon was going to come down and play with him. Then he went back to sleep!


Red Velvet cupcake from Aunt Linny upon arrival

Soccer with Poppop Deeg

Bedtime stories before his first time sleeping in a BIG bed. He did amazing in it!

Early morning Playdoh
Nym love
Two of the next gen Mint kids, Colin (5 months) and Brayden (4 months). Not pictured: Luca (1 month, being snuggled) and Atlas (a whopping almost 3 years, being crazy). And Katherine, Minty babysitter! And baby toys, feeding gear, and diaper bags. And the lone man, Eric, who is literally not phased at all anymore by postpartum talk and issues! Times sure have changed, but one day we will teach them drinking games so they can go to college together, prepared to work hard and play hard, just like we did! Hahahah.

Ice cream in Pitman
More soccer with the Poppops and Dad.

Petting stingrays at the aquarium! He wanted nothing to do with petting the sharks 😂
He thought they were slimy!

We love penguins. Especially the old, grumpy ones.

Pointing at the playground that was closed... Which made him grumpier than the old grumpy penguins 😑

Shark tunnel! He was a little wary...






Eating a giant braid pretzel I bought from a street vendor in Camden. Oh how I miss getting delicious food on street corners from random dudes in the Northeast. 😂

So happy to see our friends! Uncle Murph brought him ANOTHER Pokemon stuffed animal

Atlas was very concerned that the guitar was too heavy for Uncle Speak to carry alone. He insisted on helping.

Obsessed with Speak's guitar playing abilities, like the rest of us 😂

Jam sesh 💚

Pop Shop pancakes! He ate almost all of them!


Can't leave without getting a sundae!


Atlas loves Emily and Matt


Love driving into that Philly skyline
Philadelphia Zoo
First stop: Fruit bats! I love bats.




He was a bit cranky the whole time, until we saw otters. They are his favorite animal to see at the Palm Beach Zoo and Busch Wildlife as well. They are silly, like him!


Walking with his faves

He finally got happy at the Beer Garden 😂 See those adirondack chairs? It's basically like being at Guanabanas 😂
Atlas made friends and played tag with them while we all drank and ate.

It was the highlight of the zoo trip. He had so much fun.
These little girls were so kind to him. They let him get a head start running away and slowed down to let him tag them.


Playing with my build-your-own knight. My mom got it for me in middle school, but I was always the kind of kid that saved the cool things instead of played with them, because I didn't want them to be done with. Like holographic stickers and Lisa Frank pencils. Never stuck, never sharpened. Anyway, Atlas found this and I let him open it. He decorated his coat of arms and everything. I also let him play with my build-your-own mummy, which in hindsight was not a great idea for a 2 year old, but at least he knows where all the organs in the human body belong now. 🤷

He loves the soft NJ grass and cooler air


Playdoh eyeballs


Seasonal lavender latte and some canned cold brew for Eric. Love Endgrain.

DATE NIGHT AT A REAL ITALIAN RESTAURANT!!! Bistro di Marino, I have missed you and your courtyard oasis and your warm bread and fresh herb olive oil dip.

GNOCCHI AS SOFT AS PILLOWS

PASTA. WINE. EVERYTHING GOOD.

Did we go overboard with the homemade gelato flight? Nahhh. Pistachio, salted caramel, chocolate, vanilla.



Bonesaw Brewery flight and creamsicle ale with an orange sugar rim. NJ has stepped up the brewery game since we moved.

Arya and Atlas are simultaneously the nerdiest and coolest kids ever... just like their parents. Atlas remembers Arya, Dave, and Sunny and everything that has happened during our previous visits with each other in the past couple years, which blows my mind since he isn't even 3 yet. Some friendships just stand the test of time from the very beginning I guess!

4th of July! Almost like the good old days, only all the kids are taller than me now, bringing their boyfriends over, and I am forced to call myself a grown-up, because I need to tell my kid he can only go in the pool with a grown-up, and then he asks if I AM a grown-up, and I have to say YES. The horror 😭

The prettiest house and yard. I love going to Eric's grandmom Mazz's house. This is the side of the pool house.



Not the most flattering picture but he was super excited about his gifts from Mrs. Speak! Thank you 💚 And thanks for cutting Eric's hair, too 😂








Hide and seek with Binx, who finally warmed up to Atlas and Nym just as we were leaving.

My mom does such a nice job with her garden. I miss it.

So happy to be playing with Kadie and Hannah!

The newest chalkboard design by Kelly. Yes, there is a picture of Oscar the Grouch. Friends can call friends trash. 😂

Bakery goodies from Linny

Eating a Jersey tomato like an apple. I do not approve.

Saying goodbye 😢



You know we made a Wawa stop on our way out.

If anyone is wondering how Nym did... This is it. She wasn't knocked out with meds. Just straight chillin' like a good dog, using the door as a headrest 😂 She had a great trip, loved all the attention, and even came with us to the 4th of July party!

Atlas had the best time. He was sad to leave but happy to be back in his own (small) bed with his giant Baymax from Aunt Kelly!