Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pilgrimage to McAdenville ...

This past week, I did what most sane smart parents would never do- I took a solo car trip with my infant, back west to visit my family.
Uh, let's get this show on the road

The drive went surprisingly well, considering Beatrice Kate normally acts like she's being burned alive when placed in her car seat. We only had to stop twice and I'll admit that it was once for her and once for me. Driving with an infant by yourself greatly reduces the number of pit stops you're willing to make. It's a lot of work to maneuver that car seat in and out of a bathroom stall, carefully navigating anything deemed germy and disgusting (which is basically everything if your infant happens to be a former preemie). So, we gooped up with a lot of antibacterial and got back on the road.

Three hours later, we were back in the land of Christmastown, USA, McAdenville, NC. For those not familiar with the town's moniker, McAdenville is known throughout the state Southeastern, US as the place to be from Dec. 1 to Dec. 26. The entire town puts on a display of tinsel and twinkling lights, and thus, more electricity use than most small countries can consume in a year. It's a town that in all seriousness, actually does only have one stop light and one restaurant. It's a healthy dose of nostalgia and small-town feelings that everyone needs once in a while.

Our trip to McAdenville had one purpose this time: holiday-free visitation. Normally, we only travel west for major holidays and are so busy schlepping around the state visiting all four sets of parents, that we never get in any actual "quality time". This visit was much different. I got to relax (as much as possible with an 11 month old), eat a more than one meal at one house and catch up on my cable television viewing (don't judge, my husband is cheap and we don't have cable at our house).

Bea got to spend an entire afternoon (and later in the week, an entire evening) with Nana (my grandma):
If anyone tells Nana this picture is up, I'll kill you

Similar to Christmas, Bea turned on and up the charm. May-jah. She smiled and laughed out loud on cue, batted those impossibly long eye lashes and sputtered out a few "Mama, Dada"s just for good measure. Once again, she made Casey and I look like rock star parents.

We also spent a lot of time with my dad, and yes, he really does want to be called, "Mandrake". Beatrice Kate and Mandrake initially got off to a rough start, but after a nap and lunch (for both of them), they reconnected later that evening and were fast friends once again.

First, they dined together at the town's only spot to eat, The Village Restaurant.
Do they serve Puffs at this place?
All she needs a mustache and they'll be twinsies.
Kissy Kissy

She also got to see her Number Two Favorite Person: Auntie CoCo (my sister, Courtney):
Ride me around like a horse, Minion.
You look familiar...
 We think that Bea loves Courtney so much because she looks so much like me:
Birthday Girl

Bea additionally spent some quality time with her cousin, Ava, who is almost one month exactly older than she is. Ava is already walking and trotting around quite well, so Bea quickly capitalized on this opportunity to utilize her mobility. Bea would sit in the walker, allowing Ava to push her to and fro around the shellacked floors of Stately Rankin Manor. Bea even started to pick up her feet to speed up the process! It was hysterical.
Bea isn't very well socialized. We didn't know how that would turn out
Seems to be off to a good start ...
Beep Beep

There's no I in Team.
And finally, Bea got in a visit with Grammy Kate so that I could accompany my sister out to dinner for her birthday without fighting a sleepy baby in public:

As great of a time as we had in SmallTown, USA, it was really great to finally get back home to Raleigh on Saturday. Afterall, Casey and I had big date night plans to keep and Beatrice Kate was going to have a girls night with her Aunt Meg.

What were those big plans? Dinner and a show at the DPAC. "In the Heights" to be exact, and it was FABULOUS. Seriously, it was such an amazing production both visually and musically. I highly recommend you go to see it, if you should get the chance!

Anyway, the rest of the pictures are posted in our Picasa album; which you can access by clicking on the box of "rotating" pictures on the right.

The one snippet of this story that I left out was  Beatrice Kate's full-out tantrum in IKEA, which I'm intentionally saving for a post all to it's own. It was that bad.

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