image source: Orange You Lucky
…but this time headed to the The Tar Heel State! We're visiting friends Will and Kendra, along with their two darling boys, in Wake Forest, NC. Our flight leaves tomorrow at 7:00 pm!
I've always loved North Carolina. My family and I lived in Charlotte for a spell… and it'll always be my favorite place ever. We lived in a small, close-knit community where my sister and I biked outside most days, had a makeshift little "club house" that was a paved hideaway just adjacent to the house, had slumber parties on weekends with our friends down the road, and could hear our dad calling our names, from just about anywhere in the neighborhood, when dusk fell. We spent some real formative years there. Good times! I'd love to move back one day, over the rainbow. I think it'd be a lovely place to raise Chase and his (future) siblings.
Have you ever noticed that life just seems to slow down the farther south you go? I hear folks talk about "that warm southern hospitality." It really does exist, you know. If you've never had the opportunity to experience it you've missed out on one of life's real pleasures. However, for some unknown reason, I just never seem to be able to replicate that exact same atmosphere of southern hospitality here in the city. I try and try, always offering warmth and gentility in my home, but it's just not the same. I'm the same person here that I was there, but the pace is so much faster here. Have you ever tried to really relax, and enjoy the company and conversation, when folks have to rush somewhere? It just can't be done. I miss the fellow-shipping with like souls. In a way, this blog is my attempt to capture some of that down home charm for my readers who appreciate manners, politeness, making others feel welcome, serving home cooked food in a gracious atmosphere, laughter, and the ability to relax and really enjoy the day.
Derek and I have been out there to visit the Monden family on several occasions and, with each visit stayed, at the Umstead Hotel and Spa. Oh, it's the ultimate indulgence! It's the first (and only) Five Diamond resort I've ever stayed at and I swear each time we've gone they treated us like hand-spun silk! Seriously… from the moment we roll into that driveway and relinquish our luggage to the eager, beaming bellman, I feel like Shug Avery a'coming to town! And although Will and Kendra have always graciously opened their home to us, we preferred to stay at the resort for that extra little bit of pampering and frou frou. You know what I mean?
Well, this is the first time we're going as a family… and also the first time we'll be taking the Mondens up on their offer to stay with them. We've talked and come to the realization that… the Umstead (and Umstead prices!) are absolutely no place to bring a 6-month old. And that's perfectly okay. I'm excited about this trip for a different reason now… the boys will get to play together, and we'll enjoy some adult time once they're asleep–just talking and drinking and laughing and kickin it! I haven't done that in a while, and definitely miss it! Let's see… so last time we saw them was Easter and Chase was around 3 months… so he wasn't as "into" the boys as he will surely be now. It's so crazy, but once they hit that 6-month mark it's like they become these independent little people… sitting up, with a sense of humor, being silly, trying to hold their own bottle and putting their pacifier in, super curious and interested in everything around them, and just babbling up a storm (stringing together consonants that are almost recognizable). Chase tends to enjoy other small children, so I'm looking forward to him interacting with the boys a bit more, and I'll be taking pics and videos galore!
Oh, and on the subject of videos… I finally had a chance to upload some of the Disney videos. Please visit my channel on YouTube when you get a chance! Some of the footage is hilarious, while the rest just plain cute. *smile* I tried to upload the videos in order, so you could get a feel of the sequence of the trip and how events played out! Start with the Just Arriving in Disney With Chase, and just enjoy from there!
Finally, while I'm away, do check out my feature at The Young Mommy Life. Created in 2008 to address the serious lack of attention paid to 20-something moms in mainstream media, this awesome blogging young mama of two takes on everything from finding a family-friendly workplaces to the fine art of keeping house. I love her blog for its candor and down-to-earth vibe, and I have a feeling you will too!
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