Pooping, some Cheerios, and Sesame Street seems to have Cole right back on routine after travel. This post may have to be divided into a couple parts given the variety of topics so let's just get started.
But first, a few housekeeping notes...
But first, a few housekeeping notes...
There's a new layout to the blog that you may have noticed. Rather than all the "extras" running down the right side in one long section, I've split them up with the main body in the center. To the right are more profile-ish pieces of info while on the left are the more practical blog-related tools. You'll notice along with a more streamlined archives is a label tool that will allow readers to more easily find related topics. I had originally intended to create 3 separate areas for parenting, coffee, and running but, alas, Blogger doesn't appear to support this concept. So if you want to read all my posts on marathons or brewing techniques just click whatever's over there.
Now, back to the show.
This part of things will focus on parenting on the road and travel. So if you want to hear about the race just stay tuned.
We had a few things to finish up on Friday morning so our 6am departure time was a bit optimistic. Really more like 7am. But Cole ended up being a good road trip kid until the very end of our return trip home. It may have been more by default, however, as he realized he was stuck. Nothing to do but either sleep, eat, or stare at whichever parent was in the backseat with him.
The first rest area we stopped at we got some approving nods from hunters with game-flushing dogs in the backs of pickups.
Yes, we have a hound capable of chasing down prey at 30 mph and killing it for easy claim, but the trick would be getting her off the couch. lol
This was the scene in northern Wisconsin (in addition to the Recall Walker signs and bumper stickers!).
When we stop it usually is a full-family affair unless everyone is sleeping. So that means food, everybody including dog gets to stretch legs, go to the bathroom, and we don't drive more than a couple hours in a row...especially with a pregnant lady onboard.
So we arrived in Twin Cities mid-afternoon and found where we were staying in the suburbs--convenient to the downtowns of both St. Paul and Minneapolis. After unpacking the car and dropping the dog off, we pretty much turned right back around to go to the convention center in St. Paul where packet pickup was located.
Their whole setup was narrow aisles, too small a space for the number of booths, and tons of people so it was hard to get a stroller around. Free greek yogurt in any flavor helped get everybody through until dinner though.
We ate a wonderful meal with the whole extended family at Buca di Beppo then went back to Fred's to try to settle in. Which was where Cole proved the old "difficult to travel with kids" thing. Too much new stuff to see and play with (spoons from Grandma!), too many people he doesn't usually see, not his own crib. Really the only night he did ok was the last night we were there. The first night he ended up with both of us in bed. Then Saturday night he ended up sleeping in the reclining chair with his mom so I could prepare for the race.
Saturday was a lowkey day with driving some of the marathon course, watching sports on tv, and finding a neighborhood playground for awhile. Had a wonderful chicken and rice dinner cooked by Grandma Diane then early to bed for race morning.
Monday we hadn't decided whether or not to stay another night, come straight home, or stop by Grandma's house downriver. In the end, we figured getting back on schedule at home was better for everybody but a quick stop at Grandma's was ok. Plus, it ends up being a beautiful drive with the leaves starting to change color and a road that follows the Mississippi River on the Minnesota side until we hit I-90 in Wisconsin to come back home.
Along the way, we even stopped at Lock and Dam #5 and got to see some coal barges get pushed through. Everybody found that fascinating including Cole. Cole with coal! Ha!
In other news, yesterday evening I turned on the child safety locks on the back car doors. And I installed the 2nd carseat for the new baby. It's almost time. And Cole is now officially on his own in the back without a parent. Ever since he was born we've always had one person in the back with him if there are 2 parents in the car. We'll see how this goes.