Two weeks ago, John, Ellie, my dad and I set off to beautiful Colorado to visit John's family and for John and my dad to play in a golf tournament. I was a little weary taking a 3 month old across country in a car, but ultimately it was a better choice than flying for us at this time in her life.
We had a plan to stop every 3 hours to nurse Ellie and let her stretch her legs. We would split the trip up into 2 days, stopping in Lawrence, KS on the way there (home of the Jayhawks).
We left our house around 6 am and heading to Pontiac to pick up my dad. We let Ellie stretch while we were there and it was there that she discovered her smile. She has been smiling ever since and my gosh my heart could explode. It is the cutest, most heart warming feeling when you pick her up and she is smiling ear to ear.
We got on the road with John driving, my dad in the co-pilot chair and Ellie and I as the backseat drivers(okay, mostly me). I LOVE to tell John to "slow down," "watch out for the truck changing lanes," "the car in front of you is braking. WHY ARE YOU NOT BRAKING?!" Ahhhh. The jitters I get when in a car. It's all good though. John is used to it and calls me out on my craziness. After all, he is a very good driver and I really have no reason to tell him how to drive. Plus, I'm not really the girl who should be giving driving advice. In the 10 years I've been a licensed driver, I have put some "bruises" into my first car I got in high school and I wrecked John's car when I was in PTA school (RIP to the dodge stratus). I know it's been 3 years since I wrecked your car John, but I am still sorry about that little mishap.
Anyway, we made a few stops along the way so that Ellie could have some time out of her car seat. My dad and John thought it was cool to find a Dick's Sporting Goods to stop at every time we stopped. They would go in and check out the golf shop and dream about all of the golf polos they could buy. Yep. These guys were in full golf mode already. So, I would nurse Ellie and play with her while they would go shop. At the first DSG (that's my made up abbreviation for the store), John bought a golf polo that was light blue. My dad was in tow with a matching shirt. We were probably 5 minutes down the road when he realized he already had a polo like that one and it HAD to be returned. So, 3 hours later we ended up at another DSG to exchange it.
The next DSG was in Lawrence, KS where we planned to stay for the night. This time John came out with a grey and salmon colored golf polo. He loved it…..for now. We get to the hotel and it looked pretty run down. I was FREAKED. I told John we couldn't stay there and he told me I was nuts. So, I nursed Ellie and my dad and John went inside to check in. They came back out 15 minutes later and my dad couldn't stop laughing. I knew this wasn't going to be good. My dad doesn't know how to tell someone that it's not great so he waits for me to do it. We all went up to the hotel room. I open up the stairway and BOOM! It hits me like a ton of bricks. Marijuana smells everywhere (okay, let's me honest, it could have been cigarette smoke but either way it was gross and I was literally already checked out of this place). No wonder my dad was laughing. He probably had a damn contact high from the smell (again, another exaggeration on my part I'm sure). We went to the room, I took one look at the water leaking through the ceiling combined with the smoke smells and I had John checking us out of the room within 5 minutes of me being in there. We all knew we couldn't stay there and it was best we find a better establishment down the road. This time I was looking at hotels and taking a good look at reviews and pictures of the place. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but that last hotel fit the part and I wasn't doing that again.
Remember that shirt John bought? As we trekked down the road to Topeka, John decided that the polo he bought this time wouldn't work because he had no shorts that would match it. It had to be returned.
We finally got to Topeka at a beautiful comfort suites that I have nothing but great things to say about. I wish every hotel was like the one we stayed in. No nasty smells and it was so clean.
We finished our trip the next morning and arrived at John's parents house in the afternoon. The 5 days we stayed was so fun and filled with lots of family and friends. We were so glad to spend some time with John's family and for Ellie to meet some more aunts, uncles and to hang with her 2 cousins.
The trip home was much more smooth, but there was still one thing that had to be done. John needed to exchange his golf polo. Again. He chose a yellow one this time that would go perfect with his light grey golf shorts. He finally found the one. It was such a laughter filled trip that I can't wait to tell Eleanor about some day. We miss our Colorado family already.
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