Ever since Judith was born, we haven't been on a true vacation, and have done staycations instead when John takes time off. The hassle of dragging tons of gear with us while traveling with an infant or young toddler was enough to cause me to say, "Screw it, it's not worth the hassle!" Yes, I realize thousands of people travel with infants and young toddlers, and do just fine. For us, it was a hassle since we would have to try and cram extra equipment into one of our cars (which are both on the small-ish side), and we were content doing day trips instead.
This past weekend, though, we decided to finally do our first hotel stay with Judith instead of spending 8 hours round trip in the car, which was not appealing to us. John's side of the family had the annual reunion in New York, and we knew early on that we wanted to go. John was able to use one of his vacation Sundays so we could spread out some of the travel time and not drive ourselves crazy trying to do everything at once.
The weather was gorgeous, and was unseasonably warm, so that was a pleasant treat. The drive north went smoothly, and Judith was actually really well behaved. We were hoping she would take a nap, but she was way too curious about the passing scenery and too interested in the activities we had in the car for her that sleep was really low on her priority list. John and I were both hoping for some awesome foliage because we knew that the leaves should really be changing a lot, and there were some really gorgeous pops of color, but there were also spots where it was still really, really green.
Our hotel was able to check us in early so we could squeeze in a vest treatment before we went to John's cousin's house. I was trying to figure out when we would be able to do treatments because the schedule was really full, so being able to do it earlier than I thought was a nice bonus. I was also glad that Judith didn't try to fight us when we said it was time to do her treatment, and I think the novelty of being in a new room (and letting her explore a bit before we started) helped.
We had a wonderful time at the reunion, and it was great to see John's side of the family again! We haven't had a chance to see some of his cousins in quite a few years, and most, if not all, of his cousins were meeting Judith for the first time, so catching up was really nice. Judith was able to play with her many cousins and had lots of land to explore. I still have to chuckle at how fast the Philly Pretzel Factory rivets disappeared, and John and I were already talking about what we're going to do next year since we think we're going to have to take more. We intentionally decided to take the pretzels because we knew it was something that most of his family couldn't get where they live, but John didn't think people would go so crazy over them. We were only going to take a box of 50 rivets, but I got 2 boxes for about 100 total instead, and I'm so glad I did because 50 never would've been enough!
Saturday evening we drove around a little bit, and went to the Wegman's grocery store that was nearby. I've been to Wegman's before when John and I camped along Lake Erie before we were married, and I always enjoyed shopping there. We don't have one really close to where we live, so this was a treat, and I knew I wanted to get a couple boxes of their half-size spaghetti that one of my friends posted about on Facebook the other week. I know that sounds like a silly thing to get, but I never saw this before my friend posted about it, and I hate breaking regular spaghetti in half whenever I make it because I always manage to scatter pieces all over the place. I do love my pastas, so I also went nuts over the selection they had, and for a good price! I didn't purchase a lot there, because I didn't want to travel with all of that and risk most of it breaking, but we did decide we're going to bite the bullet and drive to the nearest one to stock up on different types, and to also get some of their other tasty things, like their baked goods.
Sunday morning we had the opportunity to worship at one of the churches John grew up in. Having this opportunity was especially awesome, because it's not something that we can do often, and people were so glad to see John again. One of the members there has an adult son with CF, and she was really excited to meet her in person. After church, we headed home, but we wish we could've spent an extra day there so we could've done some touristy things before leaving.
I was really impressed at how well Judith handled the trip. I was nervous about the whole traveling with CF thing, and figuring out the logistics of getting treatments completed while on the road and in a hotel room. Granted this trip was probably easier than what it could be or what it will be in the future, because we don't have to worry about nebulized treatments. It does, however, make me think about things like using the flutters once she's old enough so we don't have to drag her vest if she doesn't want to, and also about the amount of space we used in the car. It's not something that we're going to jump on at this point, but I think we're going to have to consider getting a slightly bigger vehicle if we do decide to travel more frequently.
Overall, though, things went really well, and went more smoothly than I anticipated. We're fortunate that Judith is usually good in the car under normal circumstances, and I think that, along with new activities and distractions, helped her on this trip. We had such an enjoyable time that we're already looking forward to next year's reunion!