Our trip to the states: Week 1

Phew! We made it there, we had fun, and we made it back! This may have been our one and only trip to the states while we are living in Germany, but it was most definitely worth it. We were SO lucky to be able to see so many relatives during our two-week vacation. We spent the first week with Charlie’s parents and his sister Michelle, her husband Wayne, and their two teenage-boys Garrett and Eric in Bumpass, VA. They just moved into their beautiful custom-built home on about 40 acres of land. The second week was spent at Sandbridge Beach, VA with my dad, stepmom, and extended family.

We had a surprisingly smooth trip to start our vacation. The only small bumps were a TSA pat-down for Charlie in Charlotte (courtesy of Connor’s suspicious fruit purée pouch), a short delay on our connecting flight from Charlotte to Richmond, and having to wait an extra hour for one of our bags to arrive in Richmond. Connor napped at the beginning and end of the long overseas flight (an 8’40” flight), and during the middle hours we kept busy with books, toys, snacks, and walking up and down the aisle while Connor excitedly signed “hat” and “glasses” as he looked at the people and their accessories. By the time we arrived at Michelle’s house around 11:00pm, we were all exhausted, and promptly crashed in bed.

Jetlag certainly took its toll over the next several days. The roughest patch was our first full day when Connor decided that 1:30pm-11:30pm was bedtime. Couldn’t blame him…that was his exact bedtime in Germany time! Charlie’s parents arrived from Texas that day and didn’t get to see much of the sleeping little man. Thankfully they stayed all week, so they were able to spend a lot of time with their favorite “German” grandson.

Jetlag: July 2013 vs. August 2012
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On Sunday, we had a cookout with Charlie’s cousin Terry and his wife Stephanie, and his Aunt Shirley. They all drove from Maryland to see us for the day! (They also visited us at the Baltimore airport last summer while we waited for our flight to Germany.) Connor was still pretty shy with everyone, but he was finally ready to run around like a wild man and play, followed by a 5:15pm bedtime. My brother Jason and his wife Kelly arrived that evening to visit! They happened to be driving home from New York to Atlanta that weekend, so they planned to stop and see us. Charlie and I had a nice evening catching up with them while Connor slept, and in the morning they were able to have some fun playtime with Connor.

Jason and Kelly left on Monday morning, and Charlie did some errands with his dad: a trip to Whole Foods to pick up a few things for the week, lunch, and an unsuccessful stop at the Apple store to replace my iPad. (I dropped it right before our trip, and thankfully we have the replacement plan. The store was too busy, so they told Charlie to come back on Friday.) By the time they got home, Connor and I had hit the wall. We were both tired and cranky, and poor Connor was just DYING for a pot with a lid. His own personal drawer filled with Tupperware just wasn’t quite enough. He was so frustrated that he couldn’t have a pot like he is used to having at home. On top of jetlag, new people, and a new house, he has also been busy teething. There were many tears shed by both of us that afternoon, but by that night we were at least into a somewhat normal sleep routine (early bedtime and wake-up time, plus two naps). Monday was also Charlie’s birthday! His mom made lasagna and his favorite cake: yellow cake with chocolate icing.

On Tuesday, our nephew Garrett had a dive meet. We had all planned to go, but it was just so unbearably hot that we decided it wouldn’t be good to take Connor out there. So, Connor and I stayed home with Charlie’s mom while Charlie, his dad, and our nephew Eric went to watch the meet. Charlie videotaped it so that I could watch! Tuesday’s angst for Connor was the crockpot that was cooking our dinner all day. He constantly wanted to be picked up to look at it and take the lid off, making “tssss!” sounds because it was hot.

Wednesday brought more visitors: longtime friends of the family John and Dianne. We hadn’t seen them since our wedding! They drove from West Virginia to visit for two days. Connor was going nuts all afternoon over the tea kettle and the big pot of chili cooking on the stove. Poor guy just wants everything in the kitchen! He was super clingy all week, and I could hardly leave to go to the bathroom without him melting down. The evening wrapped up with a rousing game of Mexican-Train Dominoes (a Brokovich family favorite) after Connor went to bed.

The next day, Connor continued to go crazy for pots and lids while Charlie cooked a fantastic German meal for everyone (chicken Jaegerschnitzel with spätzle). Meanwhile, Connor was able to have some fun in a “play nook” that his cousin Eric made for him with blankets and pillows. Every time Connor got in and messed it up, Eric happily rebuilt it for him. Eric and his brother Garrett absolutely loved playing with Connor! That evening, I had luck on my side as we played another game of dominoes. Those of you who know my usual losing streak with games will be shocked to hear that I won by a huge point-spread!

Friday brought another trip to the Apple store so that Charlie could replace my iPad. He and his parents enjoyed the afternoon out together while Connor and I had a blast playing at home with his cousins!

On Saturday morning, we took some family pictures. My dad and stepmom arrived mid-morning, and after an early lunch we loaded up the car to head to Sandbridge Beach. It was sad to say goodbye to Charlie’s family, but we knew we would be back for one more night after our week at the beach. The drive to the beach took a lot longer than it should have due to traffic (4 hours), but after Connor’s I’m-sleepy-meltdown, he managed to take a good nap in the car. (Seriously…the two biggest meltdowns of the entire vacation were during the drive to and from the beach.) We arrived at our beach house and reunited with my relatives, many of whom we hadn’t seen since our last beach vacation 2 years ago. (My dad is the oldest of 9 children, and almost everyone gets together every other summer for a beach vacation. I have always loved seeing all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and it was even more special this year because most of them were meeting Connor for the first time!) After getting settled in our room, we took a walk across two streets to the beach to give Connor his first view of the ocean. Once we returned, he immediately made himself at home and had fun with anyone and everyone who was around him!

Stay tuned for the next post about our week at the beach!

We didn’t take many pictures the first week, but Charlie got a few shots of our little musician:
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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elfriedè Repp
    Aug 05, 2013 @ 21:12:36

    Love reading your adventure! Heard every one had a good time. Charlie, the picture of all of you at the water was GREAT. I remember when you shopped for the camera in Atlanta. Always great to hear from you and what is going on in your lives. Give Connor a hug for me? Great Aunt Elfriede

    Reply

    • Ashley Brokovich
      Aug 05, 2013 @ 21:26:12

      So glad you liked the post! Connor and I spent a while looking at his Raggedy Andy doll today…he likes to point out his hat, nose, shirt, pants, etc. Every time we see Raggedy Andy, we think of you!

      Sent from my iPad

      Reply

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