I’ve posted a few photos here and there of our trip to Charlotte last month, but I’m just now getting around to sharing the full summary! We flew Southwest and were literally on the very first Southwest flight from Houston to Charlotte — as soon as they announced last fall that they were going to start flying that route, I bought tickets! I was hoping there might be some sort of fanfare, but alas, it was just a normal flight. Either way, it is SO nice to finally be able to get a direct flight from Hobby (i.e. the close airport) instead of having to drive all the way across town to Intercontinental.
Emma did wonderfully on the plane. It was only about half full, so we were allowed to use a third seat free of charge for Emma and her car seat. We fed her a bottle during takeoff and she fell asleep shortly after. She slept almost the entire way there, and woke up about 20 minutes before landing. Jose and I were pretty excited about how good she was! And we were all super excited to see my parents at the airport. Emma was all smiles for her Gima, but gave her Grandfather a studious look. It was pretty funny.
Early in the week, we spent an evening over at Brian and Cindy’s house — and we met Emma’s cousin Lucas for the first time! He’s a cutie and we enjoyed trying to make them “play” with each other. Unfortunately the evening ended with both babies screaming, but it was still fun.
On Tuesday, my mom took the day off work and we all drove up to Durham to visit my grandmother — and introduce Emma to her GREAT-grandmother! We ate lunch in the cafe, Emma charmed all the old ladies in the place, and we had a lovely visit.
At one point, Emma reached for the joystick on Grandmother’s scooter and started driving away! After that, Grandmother made sure to disable the switch. Ha! We also took a series of family photos while Emma had fun making silly faces:
Emma also got to take her first bath in a big tub! It was time to make this jump anyway, since she had started making a huge mess by splashing water everywhere in her baby-bathtub-on-the-kitchen-counter setup. She gets all her baths in the big tub at home now and it’s more fun for her and less mess for me, even if it is a little more annoying to have to bath her while crouching on my knees. (Side note: My mom’s bathtub does NOT have a ring around it! That’s the water line you’re seeing.)
On Thursday, we left Emma in the capable hands of her grandparents, Uncle Joel and Aunt Katie while Jose and I took a “vacation within a vacation” to Asheville, which is up in the mountains. We stayed at the Biltmore Village Inn and instead of joining the crowds at the Biltmore Estate (the big local tourist attraction), we decided to just enjoy 24 hours of relaxing, eating good food, walking around, and browsing a few antique stores. We always like trying new restaurants, so we ate meals at Cucina 24 and Corner Kitchen and had dessert at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. They were all great, although the service at Corner Kitchen was a little gruff and the air conditioning was unnecessarily blowing cold air right on our heads. We also had an AMAZING breakfast provided by the inn. It involved short ribs and pea puree, which don’t really sound like breakfast items, I know — but it was delicious. The Inn was the perfect place to stay for our one-night getaway. If you’re ever in Asheville, I’d highly recommend it.
We spent the rest of our time just hanging out with family and enjoying being away from work. On Saturday, we had a big family photo session on the front porch! Mom had originally scheduled a photographer to come over for just 30 minutes or so to take the photos but she cancelled, so we just did it ourselves with my brother’s camera, my lens, and a tripod. They turned out pretty well all things considered! Everyone looks happy and the babies are kinda-sorta looking at the camera. Win!
After that, it was basically a photo free-for-all in the front yard!
We ended the day over at Brian and Cindy’s again, enjoying Bojangle’s takeout in the sunshine on their deck. We had great weather almost every day we were there, and April is of course a great time to travel to North Carolina — all of the trees and flowers are beginning to bloom and everything is SO green. It’s funny how something like how “green” a place seems depends on your perspective. When Jose moved to Houston after living in the California desert for a year, he remembers being amazed at how green Houston was. But compared to Charlotte, Houston feels so yellow and scrubby.
We flew back the following Sunday and although we weren’t lucky enough to get Emma to do a repeat performance of her in-flight napping, she still did well overall. It took a lot of effort by Jose and me to keep her entertained, but it was only a 2-hour flight. (The fact that she didn’t scream the entire way became even more impressive when we found out the next day that she had a several-days-old ear infection.)
All in all — a successful trip and I can’t wait to go back home again! I know that the times when my whole family is together will only become fewer and farther between, so I loved every minute.