Wow! Things have been more than a bit of a whirlwind around here. You'll understand why I haven't posted by the time you get to the last of my (most likely) 5 posts today!
Every year since we've been married, Brad and I have a scuba trip for our anniversary (we postponed last year's to Thanksgiving due to Quinn's birth) and decided that this year would be no different. I think it's crucial for couples to have time without their children so thanks our our fabulous mothers (Gigi and Grandma Kristie), we were able to leave Quinn in Chicago for 6 days in order for us to get away. (More on that to come in a later post). Before we could leave though, we had to get Quinn up to Chicago so here's where the blog really starts.
On Tuesday, July 13th, Quinn and I loaded up our stuff and headed out to St. Louis, our halfway point. I cannot brag enough about what a good traveler he is. I kept a bag of sippy cups, cups of food, and toys on the front seat next to me and just kept handing things back to him. He was so happy and was even happier when we stopped at our favorite Mc Donalds in Rolla, MO to play in their playland. (On a side note, those places gross me out so much, but kids LOVE them.) We got to The Grand Hyatt at the Arch and ran around for over an hour. Escalators are most definitely Quinn's favorite thing to do. They sure are cheaper than admission to Disney too so I'm not complaining. Quinn smiled from ear to ear and played "A-Boo" (aka Peek A Boo) with everyone who would engage him. After wearing him out, he slept like a rock as I sprawled out across my king sized bed all by myself (HEAVEN!).
The next morning, it was time to load up again and finish our trip to Grandpa Cotton's house in Mendota, about 4 hours away. Before going though, I took Quinn over to The Arch and let him run around, chase birds and dogs, and climb steps for over an hour. As soon as he laid down on the ground, I knew we were ready to travel again!
Now for those of you who don't know my history, you won't know much about Mendota, but that's quite alright. You really don't need to know anything about the town except for the fact that it's a farm town where Del Monte sweet corn is processed and they have a Sweet Corn Festival every year where the most beautiful (snicker snicker) farm girls can become the Sweet Corn Queen. If you're lucky, the mayor may get on stage drunk, at the festival, make a speech and wet himself in front of the entire town. There is one main breakfast establishment called Ziggy's where all the farmers gather for breakfast and project the price of corn. They are very cliquey and will not let just anyone sit with them (we therefore sit at a table by ourselves). My dad was born and raised in this town and to him, the whole world should want to move to Mendota. My brother, sisters, and I have assured him that when his time to leave this earth arrives (and hopefully it's not for a long long time), we will NOT
be continuing on with the family tradition and relocating our families there. All that said, Quinn and I were both really excited to arrive in Mendota and to get to spend a few days with Grandpa Cotton.
Quinn really enjoyed Grandpa Cotton because Grandpa does some crazy stuff that most sane people would never think about doing (like swimming in the koi pond...no seriously...Quinn ended up in the koi pond with Grandpa). We went to the park and climbed the WW1 German canon that I used to climb as a child, went to the park to ride on the swings and feed the ducks, played with Uncle Bob's dog, and ate. Yes...my dad LOVES to eat. I think it's best for me to just show you all our visit:
When we first arrived we headed to the park to climb for a bit
The old WWI canon I used to climb as a child
Grandpa Cotton, Quinn, and me at dinner
Grandpa pushing Quinn (notice Grandpa on the phone...classic)
Grandpa and Quinn in the FREEZING Koi Pond
(Uncle Bob was in the background yelling "Watch Out for his Wee!
You don't want those koi to think it's a worm!")
Did I mention how bad it smelled?!?!?
No matter how nasty I thought the koi pond was, Quinn had a blast. He and Grandpa Cotton bonded so much that Quinn cried and kept reaching back for Grandpa when we were ready to leave. Was it the fact Grandpa would save him from going to bed by getting him up to go play with the dog and eat cherry pie at 9:30 at night, or perhaps it was that Grandpa didn't make Quinn wear clothes, or maybe it was just that Quinn loves his Grandpa Cotton? No matter what it was, we made some great memories and enjoyed our short stay in the country.