Eight days, 3ish hours in the car, and many miles later, the Rauch fam has finally returned from our vacation.
I have not been out to visit my New York (upstate, not the city) side of the family since the weekend after Joel and I met.... that would be September, 2012. Needless to say, a lot has changed since then and it was high time I finally made it back and showed Joel and the girls what it's all about.
We split our road trip into two days there and back, guessing pretty accurately that the girls would not be able to handle much longer than a day in the car at a time. We stopped every few hours and rotated drivers, as true road-trip veterans should. It was a long haul, but we finally rolled in Saturday night, about half an hour before the town fireworks display. We didn't go (for pretty obvious reasons... if it's not that obvious, take a two day road trip with a toddler and a baby, then take them out to a new place past their bedtime with bright lights and loud noises. Let me know how it goes).
We kicked off the week with mass on Sunday, followed by the traditional Italian Sunday dinner around 1:00 PM. We hosted the local priest (who is BFF's with my dad and a super cool guy), a couple of old friends, and a couple of new.
Monday was of course the fourth, and the whole slew of LaBruzzo's came to celebrate with copious amounts of food. I think we counted at least 25 different dishes that were prepared, most of them in a quantity large enough to feed half the party with that dish alone. It was all delicious and we spent the whole day pigging out, passing around the kiddos, playing games, and of course, the family fireworks grand finale.
During the week we toured Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, gave the girls authentic New York pizza, and watched movies almost every night.
I had to immortalize the girls' first trip to swim at the lake... Celine is NOT a fan of new situations, and the sand and waves were no exception. Monica, on the other hand, is typically more open-minded and loved every part of being out, including the taste of the wet sand (gross).
Like it or not, the experience wiped them out. This pretty much sums up our recovery from the trip:
Most of the rest of the trip was spent with quality time and catching up with loved ones we don't see near enough. I didn't take near as many pictures as I intended, but I loved soaking up every minute with those very special people. <3
After lots of goodbyes and two more days in the car, we rolled back into town yesterday afternoon. We're taking the day to get back into some semblance of a routine and hopefully regroup enough to be somewhat back on track for the rest of the week.
I hope you enjoyed your holiday week! I'll be back with more after the girls and I crash for yet another nap ;)