We traveled to Virginia on Monday, May 3 and flew back on Monday, May 10. One week, two children, two parents, and a rental car. And did I mention lots and LOTS of traveling? Oh, and we still managed to eat well, too. Here's the run down, with photos:
Monday--We left at about 8am to drive to the airport. By the time we finally got checked in and at our gate it was about 11:30am. Whew! Flew at 12:30pm to Cleveland, OH for layover, arrived in Norfolk, VA about 5pm. Flight went pretty well, Andrew was a little fussy, and both boys didn't sleep much. I packed a lunch to take on our flight. Some meat and cheese sandwiches, fermented carrot sticks, and some baked oatmeal leftover from our breakfast that morning. No soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup pretzels for us on the plane, no sir!! Aaron and Djem (they were the ones getting married and the reason for our travels to Virginia!) met us in the airport to bring us a carseat for Judah. We checked Andrew's carseat as luggage. Found out we had a schnazzy car (Chevy HHR) to drive for the week! Jeff and Aaron went grocery shopping for our supper... some carrots, potatoes, and ground beef. Jeff cooked, and it was heavenly. Oh, and I forgot to mention... I brought some sourdough starter and coconut oil along! These would prove to be very useful to us.
Here we are in the airport before flying out.
It was 45 degrees when we left Minnesota. It was 90 degrees when we arrived in Virginia!
Here I am with Aaron in front of his townhome. My husband took the picture. He wanted to get the car in the picture...Tuesday--Drove to Arlington in time for lunch with high school friend Sara. Great fun! Left about 2:30pm. Traffic is crazy out here! We arrived about 4-ish in Parkville, MD at my cousin Amy's house. Cousin Will took to playing with Judah immediately. The boys were so happy to get out of the car. Had supper, wonderful conversation, and stayed overnight. At both places, I passed on my food sensitivities, and had fabulous food!
Here we are with Sara and Daniel!
Here's Will and Judah "goin' fishing"!
Will, Madelyn, Andrew, and Judah
Amy and me in front of their beautiful home.Wednesday--Had breakfast (eggs and sourdough bread I brought on the plane) and then drove to western Virginia to see Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm. He wasn't there, but we talked to his wife and walked around the farm for about an hour. Then drove into Staunton, VA about 15 miles away to find a place to stay. The drive this day was beautiful and it was so fun to see all the historic buildings from colonial days. We were looking for a little ice cream shop called Split Banana, that we were told used all natural ingredients. All natural my rear end! They did use natural ingredients, but also used some additives as well, so never mind that ice cream! My husband found some fruit sorbet, and that's what we had for supper. We finally collapsed at a hotel and went to bed early at 8:30 so our boys would sleep. They didn't nap well in the car today.
Judah petting baby chicks at Polyface Farms.
Andrew gets his feet tickled by the kitty. He's sooo happy to not be in his carseat!Thursday--woke up better rested, but early. Our breakfast that morning left something to be desired, but at least it was better than nothing. The continental breakfast at the hotel consisted of boxed cereal, donuts, bagels, and english muffins. We didn't eat those. We did eat some fruit, and some oatmeal... granted, the oatmeal was quick-cooking and didn't soak overnight, but it was either that mixed with some cream cheese or just fruit. Although I had to eat some coconut oil to last me till my next meal. I know that without some decent fat, I'm starving long before my next meal! We got on the road by 7:30 to drive over to Virginia Beach to the beach house!! On the way to the beach house, we stopped at a small organic store and picked up a few items to get us through the week: brown rice, apples, bananas, onions, honey, and oatmeal, those were the main things. We got into the house about 1:00 and got situated in our room and tried to nap the boys with limited success. Our lunch was some potatoes and carrots and beef leftover from when we ate with Aaron on Monday night. We ate supper at Djem's parents' house. I was a little more selective... the meat had been marinated in A1 Steak sauce. That's a surefire way to get my itching. My husband, sweet man that he is, got me a piece and cut off all the outer layer. And I ate some cooked carrots, asparagus, and white rice. I had a little bit of a reaction, but not much.
Judah sitting on the steps of the beach house. That place was huge! It had seven bedrooms, a swimming pool and hot tub, and lots of space!
John, Johnny, Judah and Jeff in the hot tub.
Friday--I made sourdough pancakes this morning. Turned out great! I also attempted to make a loaf of sourdough bread. I say attempted, because it started cooking prematurely since I had left it in the oven, and the oven got turned on. Whoops. Oh well. Naps didn't go too well. But I don't know what I expected when any semblance of a schedule flew out the window on this trip. Did a little swimming. Drove to church for rehearsal, practiced with organist, as I was to sing the Lord's Prayer for the wedding. Back to beach house for groom's dinner. This really is a great big place for having a ton of people over! Oh, we went to the farmer's market after the rehearsal. It's a bunch of permanent structures for farmer's market every day of the week for most of the day. We got a few things, like some eggs and hotdogs from Polyface Farms (yummy!) and some hamburgers from somewhere else, and some fresh strawberries. They were red red red and had actual flavor! We also got some pricey tomatoes, but they were good. Also got some non-homogenized milk, but it is pasteurized... illegal here to sell unpasteurized milk.
The boys playing
Our family in the hot tub... it wasn't THAT hot, and was a lot more comfy than the ice cold swimming pool.
Judah hamming it up in the hot tub. He loved "schwimming" as he called it. :-)
Saturday--We woke up to another gloriously sunny day. I think we had soaked oatmeal for breakfast. I used the sourdough starter as the soaking medium. I also tried making another loaf of sourdough. Soaked in some rays, but I didn't want to burn, so I was only out there for about 20 minutes! Thankfully the boys got some good naps, as it was a late night ahead of us. We were at church by 3:45 to practice with organist, wedding at 4:30. Social hour 6-7pm, supper finally at 7:30. The most awesome thing of the whole trip was that I could eat the supper at the reception!!!!! The chefs at the Marriott in Chesapeake, VA kicked some major butt. The social hour had aged cheese, like seriously good cheese. And for supper, they used real butter, no MSG or soybean oil or margarine. I ate the real mashed potatoes which had gobs of butter, some beef that was still pink and tender, and some sauteed veggies. And had NO reactions. It was so good, I was in ecstasy! YUM! We went back to the beach house pretty much as soon as supper was over. The music was so loud, I couldn't get Andrew to fall asleep, even though he was exhausted. The crazy thing is, it takes like an hour to drive a distance of about 20 miles. Did I mention I wasn't a fan of the traffic?
Waiting for supper to start.
There's Andrew with his little tongue sticking out. That's one of his traits.
A good picture of Jeff and me.
A decent picture of our family!
A picture of our family with the wedding couple. Judah is deadpan, Andrew is smiling. You can't win 'em all.Sunday--Mother's Day. There was a brunch at the hotel hosted by the bride's parents. I wasn't expecting to be able to eat much... it was a buffet, after all. But I was beyond pleasantly surprised. They did made-to-order omelets cooked in olive oil! And cinnamon pancakes smothered with REAL maple syrup and butter! Granted, they weren't made with soaked flour, but I didn't care! This was close enough, and totally worth a few anti-nutrients. And fresh fruit. I wish I had taken a picture of it. But I was too busy gobbling it down. Oh man, it was sooooo good. I'm still salivating as I write this a week later! I baked my 2nd loaf of sourdough, it turned out okay, just really dense, but it sure smelled good. We also went to the beach, which was about a block away from the beach house. It was a beautiful day, not too hot, and Judah loved playing in the sand. The day was nice and relaxing, we played some games, had some naps, a very good day!
Johnny and Judah playing with their father's phones while we waited to have brunch.
Family picture on Mother's Day. Nice smile, Judah. "Cheeeese!"
Me and my boys. I don't think one of us is actually looking at the camera.
Our family on the beach by the ocean!
Judah playing with one beach toy I found at the house. He loved the sandy beach!Monday--Got things packed up to go. We didn't fly out until about 5:30, so we had a leisurely morning of visiting and playing and swimming. For the flight home, we were nourished with some boiled eggs, cheese, apples, and carrot sticks. It got late for the boys. On the final flight, Andrew did not want to be comforted, so he screamed for a bit before he finally konked out. Judah did too, and so did I. It was 9:30pm when we got to the MSP airport, and then we still had another 2+ hours of travel time ahead of us. It was a miracle we got home in one piece. Both Jeff and I were exhausted, and for the last leg on the trip, I had completely passed out. Poor Jeff! But we made it and we were soooo glad to see our own beds!
Me and my two boys on the airplane on the way home.
Andrew laying on the floor at the Cleveland airport. He was happily rolling around.
Judah was looking out the window at the Cleveland airport, watching all the activity. One of the workers was playing peek-a-boo with him.
All in all, an awesome trip. We had safe travels, saw great sights, had great visits, and ate extremely well... oh, and Jeff and I both managed to LOSE weight, too! I'm serious, it was all that butter and coconut oil we ate. We did eat ice cream on a few occasions, but I think the key thing was that we didn't snack. If we did, it was a chunk of coconut oil.
And now it's back to real life. But THAT'S for another post.