Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Trip to Cleveland to see Grandma & Grandpa Burns

So I'm finally getting around to writing about our trip to see Grandma and Grandpa Burns, Aunt Shana and cousin Zane. Saturday September 16th we went to Cleveland to celebrate Grandpa Burns' birthday on the 15th and Grandma Burns' birthday on the 19th. In addition to spending time with them we also got to hang out with Aunt Shana and Sydney's cousin Zane, who's looking cuter everyday. We had some amazingly good ribs that Grandpa Burns cooked and other goodies including some very delicious Hello Kitty cupcakes. Syd played a lot in Zane's swing and wagon and loved romping around the woods with Daddy and Grandpa. We also played baseball and football. Aunt Shana even pitched to Syd. We topped the night off with a fire and smores. We all had a lot of fun and it was well worth the trip. Syd doesn't get to see either pair of grandparents enough and times spent with them are really cherished. We're planning another trip back to Cleveland soon. I know Syd is looking forward to it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Trip to NY to see Grandma & Grandpa Capwell

My parents' 40th anniversary was September 3rd. Since I couldn't think of a really cool gift to get them and we live to far away to do a surprise party with friends and family I decided the gift they would appreciate the most was a visit from their granddaughter who they only see four times a year. Zack is crazy at work so he couldn't take the time off to go, but Syd and I took a plane thursday August 31st to visit Grandma and Grandpa.

I decided it would be great if we could surprise them. So, through other family members I made sure first that they would absolutely be home that weekend. I found out they were planning on going camping down near Watkins Glen where they and my aunt and uncle permanently set up their campers every summer.

Background: My family has been camping at this campground for 35 years. It hasn't been open to the public for about 20 years, but the former owners and present ownders allow my family and their close friends to continue camping there every summer unofficially. The great part about this is that it's only my family and friends who camp down there, which is a lot of fun.

Airport Adventure:
(I don't think I've ever been on a Northwest plane that left on time out of Detroit.)
Thursday Zack dropped us off at the Detroit airport to fly out. We got there around 3:30 and our flight was scheduled to leave at 5:13. We breezed through checking the bag and security and found Gate B4 (on the other side of the roughly 1/2 mile tunnel at Detroit airport) by 4:00. About 15 minutes later they anounced that the plane was delayed until 6:50, 30 minutes after that they delayed it until 7:20 at Gate C21 (same side of the tunnel), and 15 minutes later changed it to 7:50. At 5:30 they cancelled the filght and announced that they would be re-booking us on the 9:32 flight at Gate A24 (back on the other side of the tunnel). I debated having Zack come back and get us and taking another flight out Friday morning OR taking the airline up on their offer to put us up in a hotel overnight and getting us on the first plane out in the morning, but i didn't want to have to worry about baggage and security again. So, we sat in the airport for another 4 hours (that's a total of 6 hours Syd and I spent in the Detroit airport---yippee). The airline was nice enough to give us $20 in food vouchers so that we could eat there before we took off. And I decided to call my parents to let them know we'd be "surprising" them that night since on the new schedule (landing in Rochester at 10:45 PM, getting off the overbooked plane, getting the checked luggage, picking up the rental car, and driving the more than an hour from the airport to my parents house) we wouldn't be arriving at their house until about 12:30 AM. I was afraid they'd call the police if they woke up hearing strangers coming into their house after midnight. The worst part is that it only takes 7 hours to drive and by flying we spent three times as much and took over 9 hours to get there (including the hour drvie from Toledo to Detroit to catch the plane).

While we were there we had a blast. Friday we hung out with my Dad at their house while my mom was at work all day. We were supposed to go down camping that night, but my parents decided they would enjoy some alone time with us so we stayed home. Saturday morning we awoke to massive rain storms (a true NorEaster - coming from the North East off the Atlantic Ocean). We didn't really feel like going camping and having to sit in the camper all day so instead we went to the Strong National Museum of Play (a kid's museum in Rochester). For more info see Syd had a ball. There's a great Sesame Street section and a lot of other really cool things. When I asked her what her favorite part was she said, "The horses." We rode the merry-go-round for 50 cents before we even got into the actual museum. Her other favorite part was riding the train inside.

While we were deciding whether or not to go down camping Satruday night my aunt and uncle called to say that they had come back up because it was flooding down there. So Syd and I took Mom and Dad out for dinner for their anniversary. Sunday it had finally stopped raining so we all went down camping. We spent the day down there with my aunt and uncle, my cousin Barb, her husband Larry, and their son Andy. We had a lot of fun. We stayed overnight, which Syd was very happy about because she got to sit around the campfire (one of her favorite things). Monday night we came back and hung out and Tuesday morning Syd and I headed back for the Rochester airport. Our Northwest flight was only an hour and a half delayed out of there (because it was coming in from Detroit).

We had a great time and I think my parents were very happy that we had come to visit. Even with the airline problems it was a great trip and Syd was incredibly well behaved. She is really growing up quickly.