We survived our first family vacation!  It wasn’t for long and it wasn’t too far, which is why I think it was successful.  I mean, I packed like we were going away for a month, but I’m pretty sure that’s just par for the course when you have a baby.  Getting out of the house on Thursday morning was a struggle, mostly because Charlotte did not nap at all in the morning and was extra tired and just wanted to snuggle up and sleep.  There was a lot of screaming as we packed the car and strapped her in, but then by some magical force she slept the entire way to Connecticut.  It took us a little over two hours and her eyes did not open until we pulled into the parking lot of the Mystic Aquarium.  It was glorious, and I think the longest nap she had taken in her short life.  We spent Thursday afternoon at the aquarium where Charlotte could not give two shits about anything there, but Eric and I enjoyed it.  She did take the time to look at the penguins, and I even nursed her on a bench near the underwater viewing area.  Breastfeeding while watching penguins swim by is something I never imagined doing in my life, but it was very relaxing.  The aquarium was pretty empty too which was great for us.  After that we walked over to Olde Mistick Village which is just a lot of very cute shops and we spent a couple of hours there going in and out of the stores.  I think our favorite store was the Italian shop, where Eric and I got to taste a bunch of flavored oils and vinegar.  I should clarify this by saying I tasted them, and Eric took them like shots of tequila.  He was coughing and choking and clearing his sinuses with the samples.  I could have spent half a day in there sampling all of the different flavors, but we settled on a bottle of tangerine champagne vinegar and ginger infused olive oil, because when the girl mixed them up for us to taste it was so, so good.  Charlotte took another nap while we were shopping and we went to the hotel to check in and relax a bit.  That night we went to the Mohegan Sun casino for dinner and decided to dine at the Festival Buffet.  Eric and I took turns going up and ate more food than I’d like to admit.  We walked around Mohegan a bit and then Charlotte started throwing her “I am tired and want the boob” fit so we left around 8, even though Eric was this close to crawling on the floor towards a poker table.  Charlie was seriously so well behaved all day that I think sometimes I take for granted what an awesome baby I have.

Charlotte slept until 7 AM on Friday morning so after we got ready we headed to the Mystic Diner for breakfast and had the best home fries we’ve ever had.  Our waitress, Tina, was obsessed with Charlotte.  I’m not exaggerating this at all.  She asked if she could hold her and when I said yes, she then took her on a walk around the restaurant to show her off to other workers and diners.  One woman asked her if she knew the baby and she said “no, but isn’t she the most gorgeous baby ever?”  Yes, Tina, yes she is.  She asked us to come back in to see her whenever we could and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we did not live there.  We drove to Foxwoods which is SO much better than Mohegan and definitely more family friendly.  Charlotte and I headed to the Tanger Outlets that Foxwoods has right off of one of their casinos, and Eric went to play poker for 4 hours.  This was the first time I was doing a big shopping trip with her alone, and while it may not seem like that big of a deal, it was.  Sometimes she hates being in her stroller, so I brought my baby wrap with me and wore my 20 pound child while pushing a stroller full of shopping bags.  We had to take a break a few times for both our mental states, but since it was crowded and the little seating areas are nice, I just spread out her blanket and let her sit on the floor with her toys.  I said I was going to buy things for people for Christmas and I bought approximately two gifts for other people and 12 gifts for me.  Oh well.  I also have never had so many people stop me to come see the baby.  I don’t want to sound like one of those moms that are all like MY BABY IS THE BEST BABY IN AMERICA, but I was stopped by at least 10 people during our shopping trip to come talk to her and look at her in the stroller or on the floor.  One of the security guards came over to me while I had her on the floor and I thought I was going to get in trouble, but he told me that she was the happiest, most gorgeous baby he has ever seen.  It made my heart swell.  When we left the mall to go get Eric from losing all of our money this older woman zipped right up to me in her electric scooter and spent a good 10 minutes talking to me about Charlie and our life.  It was just really nice!

We went back to the hotel after that to take a nap, and we all woke up around 6:15 and decided that none of us wanted to go out to eat.  By that I mean Eric and I had no energy to put the child in her car seat one more time, so we had dinner in the hotel, and it was so much better than we thought.  Charlie girl sat in her high chair and charmed our waitress, had her own dinner and played her new favorite game called “let me throw my toys on the floor over and over while mom and dad pick them up every time.”  After dinner we sat by the fireplace and watched the baseball game on the big screen tv until I brought her back to the room to go to sleep, and she was out in 3 minutes flat.  Eric brought me a glass of wine and we had a drink in bed, and then he went back downstairs to finish the game and I passed out, because I’m a party animal like that.

Saturday morning we went out for breakfast again, and once Charlotte fell asleep at 11 we decided to get on the road because we didn’t think she would nap for the whole car ride again.  The child slept for 3 hours.  She did not wake up one time on the ride home and only opened her eyes the second we pulled into the spot in front of the house.  IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE LIFE GREAT.

Even though it was a short trip with not too much going on, we had the best time.  Like really, the best.  Eric and I were sad to leave because we just had so much fun being away with her.  It makes me so excited for all of the trips to come.  ESPECIALLY DISNEY.

And also, if you’ve made it this far reading, BRAVO TO YOU.  Your special prize is to learn that I have slowly introduced dairy back into my life and HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS.  I even had pizza Saturday night AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.  I bet you’re so happy you kept reading to learn that.  Thanks for reading about my life with my baby.  It’s the best life I’ve lived so far.

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