When I told people that I planned to drive from North Carolina to Ohio with my girls — solo — I got a lot of blank stares, some sympathetic hugs and even a couple of grimaces.
But you guys, it was amazing. I knew it would be.
I’ve always wanted to hit the open road by myself, and taking my girls along for the ride just seemed like too much fun not to try. I eliminated expectations before they even entered my brain: We will not be on any sort of schedule. We will stop often. We will smell all the roses.
There were moments that sucked. Like when Sophie required four potty breaks over the course of a single hour. Or when I got mad at Google Maps and went, shall we say, off course for a little while. But mostly, we had a big time. We ate ice cream on the North Carolina/Virginia state line. We met the nicest grandmotherly bikers (!) at a gas station in West Virginia. We drove in tunnels “right through the mountain!” as Lily would exclaim. And we swam in the hotel pool AFTER BEDTIME.
So proud of my little road dawgs.
The reason for our adventure? Those two sweet faces up there. My best friend had her first baby in May, and I was determined to hold him (and hug her!) before he started walking and talking. Because it happens that fast.
And when we arrived and I caught my first glance of Julie as a mother, walking down her front porch steps carrying baby Levi, tears popped into my eyes.
We spent a lot of time relaxing and playing on the farm, with corn stalks and rows of soybeans as far as the eye could see. We also went to the zoo, fished in the pond across the street from Julie’s cottage and made a surprise visit to the local ER (strep throat/vomiting/yuck).
And we ate. And ate and ate and ate. I consumed my weight in homemade ice cream, in flavors like black raspberry chocolate, made with fresh berries grown on the farm.
It goes without saying that we had a ball.
This is Noah. Levi’s cousin and Lily’s BFF for the week. Lily took this shot of him (along with about 600 others) and I love it.
I didn’t take many pictures with my real camera (shocker, seriously) because I was too busy wrangling children and snuggling Levi. But I did burn it up attempting a little mama/baby photo shoot.
Just love these two.
I had the best fun documenting our adventure on Instagram (how I adore you, Instagram), and although it hasn’t happened yet, I fully intend to make memory books for the girls. It’s been on my list since July. With about a million other things.
Here are highlights of my stream from that week. They tell the story best …