Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Yesterday, I was in Ohio.  As I'm back in Raleigh today, doing laundry and reflecting on our trip, I'm simply amazed at modern day travel.  We didn't even fly and, yet, I still find myself in awe that we can be three states away from home at breakfast time, and be back in North Carolina for dinner.

Obviously, I don't get out much.

In fact, Cleveland is the second-most Northern city I've been to.  It follows behind Portland, Oregon and just beats Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for that #2 spot.  Those three cities form the extent of my Northern-knowing ways, and except for wanting to visit a few other cities up there (and more return trips to Ohio), I think I'm OK with staying below the Mason-Dixon!

Jeramie, Ethan, and myself headed out of North Carolina around 6:00 on Thursday evening.  Our destination was the home of some very good friends of ours who moved back to Ohio almost a year ago.  We hadn't seen Mike and Amanda since April and, since then, they've moved into an awesome home and added a sweet baby boy to their family.  A drive up north to celebrate this new time in their lives has been a long time coming.

The trip up there was much easier than I anticipated.  (Coming back was a different story, though, thanks to four states worth of rain and fog too thick to see through.)  I had no idea what to expect from a two year old in the wee hours of the morning, but I prayed and God was faithful.  Ethan behaved beautifully, slept 5 of the 9 hours, and was easily entertained with DVDs, snacks, and new games.  Jeramie and I remained awake and alert (even well after arriving in Cleveland), and our little-car-that-could chugged up the West Virginia mountains with the best of them.  We encountered toll booths (a first), tunnels (Ethan's favorite), and turnpikes (what's up with those roads being so bad?!).  Jeramie and I passed the time with conversation starters, spotted 24 out of the 50 state license plates, and only had to make one call to AAA.  It was such a fun adventure!

Beautiful sky somewhere in northern North Carolina/southwest Virginia

Rolling clouds as we were leaving Ohio

Play-Doh, a muffin pan, and golf tees = endless possibilities!

Napping in North Carolina

Of course, the best part of the trip was spending time with our precious friends.  Just to be face-to-face with them again, having the opportunity to talk about the highs and the lows, and to live life together - even for a moment, was what I needed.  I'm glad that drive is pretty easy; I see us making it multiple times over the years.

Love her.

And him.

And them.

Family Zoo trip!

Silly boys.

Melts my heart.

Ethan had a blast with Uncle Mike.

Aside from all the baby-snuggling, meal-sharing, game-playing, smore-making, conversation-having fun, we got to do a little sight-seeing, too.  On Friday, we found our way to Lake Erie/Huntington Beach, Saturday carried us to the Cleveland Zoo, and we were blessed by attending Mike and Amanda's local church with them on Sunday.

Family fun at the beach.

He did this a lot.

And this.

Anderson wasn't quite as impressed.

Going to take a dip in Lake Erie.

Ready for the zoo!

Feeding Travis the giraffe.

Checking out the sea lions.

This goat was all about some human interaction.

Y'all, I can't even tell you what a long weekend away from the routine of home, and in the presence of such great friends, did for this Mama's soul.  I'm sure you get the idea.


Ohio, we will be back.  Take care of our friends in the meantime, and work on cooler temperatures for the next go 'round, would ya?

Love you guys!!


Finding Balance with the Baumann's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda Baumann said...

Joye- thanks for such a sweet post, I love all the pictures and we feel so honored to be your friends. I feel like a new woman after having a few days with you. Thank you for your amazing friendship and godly advice and wisdom. We definitively got blessed by your visit in so many ways. Looking forward to the next trip! Love you guys so much!!

Hope's Blog said...

Ohhh...you should definitely let me know when you are in Ohio again. There are a bunch of us heart moms that would love to meet you too! It is now in the 60s in Cleveland...what a difference a day makes!

I am glad you enjoyed our beautiful state!

Jen said...

What a fun trip! Love the muffin pan and play doh idea! :) And in your last post... I am just catching up, but why are you getting out baby gear?? :) Do you have something to tell us??? ;)

Anonymous said...

What an awesome post. I am so glad the trip was such a huge success. I enjoyed reading about all of the fun you guys had. Friends are so very important. I have always liked Mike and Amanda. Anderson is absolutely adorable!

Thanks for sharing the pictures. I am so glad you guys had such an awesome time.

Love Grandma A.

Stefenie said...

You were only a few states away from me!!!

Glad you had a wonderful road trip and that Ethan was easily entertained while in the car. Love the play-doh and golf tee idea!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...