Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yay! Traveling with a Toddler!

Lily Ruth and I took a trip this past week. We flew to Wisconsin to see Kittyn and her daughter. They crossed the pond for a visit, and we all decided that there were more kid-friendly options in Madison (where Kittyn grew up - and where her parents still reside) than there are here... also, we were hoping for (and got!) a break from the heat.

Lily is now a traveling pro. The first leg of our three-legged flight was full, so I had to contain my baby pretty tightly. Luckily for us, she was still pretty tired from waking up four full hours before she normally does, so she was content. The second leg was mostly empty, so we spread out and got acquainted with our surroundings:

She happily played with her toys, watched The Wiggles and Elmo on my laptop and talked to every passenger in a 2 row radius. She fell asleep just before we landed for a quick stop in Kansas City and slept through that break and the final leg of our trip.

Arriving in Wisconsin was a delight. Small, quiet airport. Favorite Kittyn waiting for us. Beautiful SEVENTY (not 100) degree day... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. We had some lunch then went to the playground. In the middle of the afternoon! I think it would be impossible to impress on you how amazing it was to be outside and comfortable. I can hardly wait for November... that's right - November. That's when it will cool off here...

Our first full day there involved a trip to the zoo, yummy lunch out and new shoes for Lily Ruth on a whim (and on sale :-P). Then there was the accidental 2 1/2 hour nap. I laid down with my baby girl in order to calm her down for her nap, and woke up to evening sun streaming through the windows. Wow. Talk about relaxed!

Wait, let me back up. The zoo in Madison is wonderful. Even with a good portion of it closed for renovation, we still had a great time. They have a fantastic children's play area. Maddie threw herself into the fray immediately. Lily Ruth was cautiously optimistic, but wanted my hand in hers. We climbed the stairs of the play structure and watched bigger kids adventurously climb, run and slide. She decided that we could go down the big slide together, so we did. Then she wanted to go back up, and indicated that she wanted to slide again. I got Kittyn to wait for her at the bottom, and sent her down. Then, um, this happened...

Yep, that's Lily Ruth stuck gecko-style in a giant slide. Giving Mama the 'you had BETTER get me out of here' glare. Kittyn had to climb up and dislodge her. It was hilarious.

The next day was our trip to the Madison Children's Museum. That place is AMAZING. They just re-opened in a brand new building. The photos in the link look like they were taken before the exhibits were finished. The space looks much different, and absolutely blew us away. It was packed in there, so I didn't take many pictures - I was too busy watching out for my baby in the throng of childhood that surged around us :-) I did get a few...

stacking translucent magnet blocks on a light board:

a bit giddy about the sandbox:

and 'I know I'm not supposed to put crayons in my mouth - what are you gonna do about it?':

and a few of the structure itself...

rooftop retreat with grass, gardens, chickens and glass overlook of the state capitol:

amazing mosaic pillar in the art area:

incredible mosaic floor in the toddler area:

Don't even get me started on how awesome it was in there. I'd never stop talking. Oi, then there was the snack we had at the Bean Sprouts Cafe in the lobby... oh, the injustice of living in this non-kid-friendly town!

This was such a lovely trip! From the gracious accommodations at Chez Luttig to the fantastic activities to the made to order weather. YAY! I could go on and on, but you won't find it as awesomely interesting as I do... so I'll leave you with this view of Lily Ruth LOVING herself some swing time:

SO, when are you going to come over? We really should visit more...

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