Last week the Llama Papa and I packed everything up and took the Llama back up north to visit family for the Llama's 2 1/2 birthday.
We were a little worried because last year the Llama had trouble staying still for so long in the car (3 1/2 hr drive) and had trouble adjusting to being away from home, but this year he was a total rock star. We burned our They Might Be Giants children's CDs and some Signing Time songs for the car and packed lots of snacks, and the drive was a breeze! When we got there we just chilled out in the hotel room and relaxed.
The Llama is too big for the hotel-provided crib, and they didn't have cots, so my mom lent us a small air mattress. It was a good thing we had him on the floor and not the spare bed. The Llama rolls around A LOT at night, and we found him cuddled in the corner by the door in the morning.
(reading with daddy)
The next day, we were going to go to the Zoo with the Llama Papa's parents before the party, but it ended raining all day, so we just hung out at their house while the Llama charmed their socks off. He ran around and played, played with their cat Jake, and gave them cuddles and was just amazing. After that we headed to my parent's for the party. My mom had a fruit plate and a veggie plate and even cheese and veggie meats for us. The Llama promptly polished off all the strawberries before moving on to the black olives and cherry tomatoes. The party was really fun and low key; we got to see my cousin who lives in SC and her brand new son, Grayson. The Llama got lots of new crayons, a bunch of colored pencils, some drawing pads, some new dinosaurs, new books, and Duplo! He even got some new clothes, but he didn't seem as excited about those. By the end of the party the Llama was VERY tired but he still behaved very well and was sweet with everybody. We headed back to the hotel and, after playing with his new dinosaurs for a while, he asked to go to bed early.
The next day (this morning we found the Llama in the bathroom doorway), we decided to try the zoo again, and it was a beautiful day! Both grandmothers came along as well as my Aunt and cousin with her new little one. We had a wonderful time; the Llama loved the big cats, we saw wolf pups and eagles, and he got down on his hand and knees to pace with the fisher. The wolverines were hiding, but the otters loved him and did all sorts of tricks. The Llama wanted to stay and watch the bear all day (even though it smelled strongly of skunk). He had a blast going through the "bear cave" with cousin Tasha. The Llama was fascinated by the chickens, donkeys, and goats at the petting zoo, but was a bit scared of the pigs. Then we got him to pose on the Dolphin Statue (both the Llama papa and I have pictures of us as children on the same statue).
After the Zoo, we headed back to my parents house and visited with my friend Monica and her new little one, Valerie. The Llama had skipped his nap and was very snoozy, but it was so late in the day that if he napped he wouldn't go to bed, so he cuddled with my mom as she read him stories from old books my grandmother has saved from when my dad was little. Eventually, it was time for us to all say goodbye and head back to the hotel. The Llama once again was VERY tired and had trouble keeping his eyes open, so we had another very early night.
The next morning, it was time to head home (in the night the Llama went from the mattress to the foot of the bed, back to the mattress, and finally in front of the door again--the boy certainly can roll!). We packed everything up, and my parents stopped by to say goodbye before we headed out. The night before, our rear driver's side window had gotten stuck down, but my Uncle Terry came and helped the Llama Papa pull it up. My dad brought duct tape and we secured it closed before we left. Otherwise, the drive home was uneventful, but full of Signing Time sing-alongs. We were all glad to be home. We quickly unpacked and sat back and relaxed.
The Llama is definitely glad to be home and back to his normal routine, but he has already asked if we could go visit cousin Tasha today and recounted many stories of adventures with his grandparents and Jake the orange cat.