Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meeting the Booths!

I know I've written about my friend Carrie several times throughout this blog. She gave birth to baby Mallory on January 15th - the same day that my friend Kelly gave birth to baby Addison. The thing that makes the friendship between Carrie and I so unique is that we had never met, but we had this incredible friendship bond that drove each of us to make the other one of the very first people aware when our babies were born ... and even when we discovered we were pregnant!

As fate would have it, we both had joined a message board on Babycenter when trying to get pregnant. We quickly recognized all of our similarities and formed a frienship through emails, text messages, and the occassional phone call. An actual phone call was something that was reserved only for the "big news" that one of us were pregnant. That way, if we saw one another's phone number on caller ID, we'd know something big had happened!

Mind you, we first over two years ago and have since then talked almost daily. The one thing that was missing was actually meeting one another in person. Not only did our husbands share the same passion for golf and sports, our baby girls were just 6 weeks apart in age! That was it - we HAD to meet. We all looked at our calendars and decided on the weekend of May 15th. The weather should be good for travel at that time and the girls would be at a cute age (Mal at 4 mos, Rye at 5 1/2 mos) to interact with each other. The plans were made, the hotels were booked, it was a done deal. The Balabans and Booths were going to meet at last!

On Thursday morning (May 14th) we left the house and set out for Gaithersburg, Maryland. Mom took Oliver and Wendell home with her that morning to keep them while we were gone. Kevin spent quite a bit of time out in the driveway as the rain poured down, trying to squeeze the 500 bags into the car that are necessary when you travel with a baby. One thing was sure, though - Riley was very excited for her first out of state trip and in a very good mood!

The drive went well. It only took 30 minutes of Baby Einstein to put Riley into a baby coma that lasted 3 hours! This is what I had the pleasure of looking at for that entire time:

She woke up with perfect timing, just as we were about to exit in Breezewood, PA for a quick stretch of the legs, coffee refill, and much-needed diaper change. We gave Riley a bottle before hitting the road again. At this point we had about 2 1/2 hours remaining in the trip - not bad! Riley stayed awake the rest of the ride and talked to her toys and bunny for the majority of that time. Not once did she get overly fussy; we were very impressed!

I have no idea how people without GPS do it these days. That little piece of technology was our life saver this entire trip. LOVE IT. Thanks to it and "Samantha's" calming voice, we easily found our hotel. Carrie had suggested this particular hotel - the Marriott Courtyard - noting that there was a lot to do in the immediate area. She was so right! It was such an adorable area with lots of restaurants and shopping. We checked in, got the bags up to the room, and Riley quickly checked out her first-ever comfy hotel bed! She approved.

That evening we headed over to Carrie and Travis' house. The plan to was meet there and order in some Chinese. Perfect. We arrived at their house (in an ADORABLE neighborhood) and rounded the corner - I was so excited to finally meet! It went just as I had expected - Carrie and I both shrieked at a ridiculously high pitch as we hugged and showed the girls to one another. It was as though we'd all known one another for years and had visited before - we felt so welcomed. Riley and Mal hit it off really well, too! This picture is from the following day:

Travis and Kevin golfed on Friday and Saturday while Carrie and I hung out with the girls. We took them for a nice walk and watched our favorite TV shows. It was so nice and relaxing and much needed!

The early tee times took a toll on Kevin, though. On Saturday I asked him to give Riley a bottle while I showered and got ready to head to their house for dinner. When I came out of the bathroom, I found them just like this. I literally had to remove the bottle from Kevin's hand. I love the milk moustache on Riley and how Kevin's hand still looks like it could be holding a bottle.

One of the main highlights of the trip was the much-anticipated "Balaban/Booth Friends Challenge". We had basically scheduled Saturday's activities around it. Up for grabs was ownership of the finely crafted, well replicated "Geller Cup". I am proud to announce that after two back-to-back Friends Scene-It wins, the Geller Cup returned to it's rightful place in the Balaban basement. The picture here was taken as we drove away from their house that night ... giving the Booth's one last glimpse of what could have been theirs!

The trip was awesome and we are so happy that we finally found a time to make it happen! Here are a few more pictures from the weekend!
Kev, Meg, Riley, Carrie, Mal and Travis

Riley allowing Mallory to taste her hand.

On the drive home we stopped at the outlet malls and came across this pony that Riley rode.
Another picture of the happy girl, enjoying her hotel room.

Pool time! Riley tried out the hotel pools two times ... and cried both times. The water was too cold, even for an indoor pool! Regardless, she looked adorable in her bathing suit!

Tuesday morning. Time for Riley to be away from Mommy and Daddy while they return to work. She looks a LOT happier than either of us did.

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