Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dear Lily, This is the USA

When Lily was nearly 6 months old we took her on her first big trip to the USA. I (Mary here) did the first leg of the journey by myself with Lily in late June after I was done with school. The 26 hour journey wasn't fun, but we survived. Bangkok-Tokyo-Minneapolis-Cedar Rapids. By the time I saw my dad I wept in exhaustion and joy.

The top left is the only picture I took while we were flying. It was our first flight and everyone was happy! We had a bulkhead seat with a bassinet. Lily didn't sleep in there, but she did enjoy sitting up to watch everyone. When we arrived in Iowa the first few days she fell asleep a bit early and where ever she was laid down. Uncle Zach loved when it happened to be on his shoulder. 
Our trip stateside was great. Lily and I enjoyed the first week and a half in Iowa introducing Lily to lots of new people. Many family members from Michigan, Missouri, and Illinois even made the trip to Iowa to see her.  To our amazement Lily handled the jet lag pretty well, adjusting to the 12 hour time change faster than me. 

In Iowa Lily met so many people for the first time including many of her family! She enjoyed playing in the grass and breathing in the fresh air.  She loved watching her cousin's play soccer out Grandpa Schuett's during a big BBQ.
On 3rd July my dad drove us north to Eau Claire, WI. The drive from Iowa to Wisconsin along the Mississippi is gorgeous and I enjoyed daydreaming out the windows as the cornfields passed by.  I kept an eye out for trains because I knew Greg would ask if we saw any. We did. We stayed with our friends the Fromm's who have become foster parents to four children since we last saw them, so in addition to their two dog's Lily got to experience what a full house feels like. It was great to catch up.

Enjoying some time in the grass out at a really cool pizza place.  
Greg flew into Minneapolis on the 4th of July and came to pick Lily and I up by early evening. We celebrated the Fourth of July with our friends Eric and Melanie at Eric's parents house out in the country. Lily especially enjoyed the labradoodles that were running around. Staying at a house with a cat and a dog enabled us to discover Lily is not allergic to cats and dogs. 
Lily loved the dogs! She would even let them lick her in the face. It was great to hear her laugh!

On the 6th we ran errands all around Eau Claire, which included a drive by our home (looks like the renters are treating it well), getting Lily's picture taken for her visa, a trip to the new post office to drop all the visa things off, a stop at our favorite burger joint, and the DMV to name a few of them. Then we headed up north, to No Manners II- my family's cabin.

Even though Lily didn't sleep well at the cabin, she sure had fun. 

If you know me at all, you know that Atkins Lake is my favorite place on earth. I've been coming since I've been about Lily's age and I hope she's still coming when she's my age. We stayed 17 nights in row, which may be a record for a family member other than my Grandma. We weren't alone for most of them, we had visitors from Iowa, Chicago, Michigan and Washington. Who are we kidding, most of them came just to see Lily.

Lily enjoyed playing with everyone who came to visit us at the cabin.  She had lots of play mates and enjoyed skinny dipping in the lake in lieu of her bath a few times. We didn't get a picture of was Greg's good friends Josh and Bryan who traveled up from Iowa for a quick 2 day visit or our friends Eric and Melanie from Eau Claire. 
Our last night in the US was spent in Minneapolis and we squeezed in one last breakfast with friends before boarding our first flight west. It was an amazing trip back, albeit a bit tiring at times, but a trip to remember for sure. 

Our time at the cabin was filled with good food, good drinks, beautiful nature, and wonderful people. Greg smoked ribs, a turkey, chickens, a variety of vegetables to put food on the table. Everyone caught fish off the docks and enjoyed the loons calling. A few took bike rides and even saw a bear cross the road!  It was what summer at the lake should be; wonderful!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds so equally wonderful and exhausting!! Glad you had tons of time at lake! Love the pic collages!