three weeks in the united states!

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we just returned from three weeks in the states! we took four plane rides, drove about twenty five hours in cars, slept in nine different beds, and spent time with sixty eight beloved family members (plus four of our boys' great grandparents)! both our eyre family and our wright family had reunions, and our own little family had lots of fun together before, after and in between. it was an epic trip to the usa.

i have some blog posts planned with photos from the reunions as well as moses's birthday and gabriel's blessing day, both of which happened while we were in the states. this post is for all the good times we had on our trip beside those big events.

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our ten hour flight from london to salt lake city went about as well as it could have with two lap children (we decided to fly to the states three days before mo's second birthday, when we'd have to start paying for him to have a seat on flights). we had several empty seats around us and bassinet for gabriel. moses put his new headphones and sticker books to great use and was really, really good for the first seven hours - at which point he put his hands in the air and declared, "all done plane!" the next three hours were a bit more challenging but really not too bad. gabriel was an angel throughout, wearing the outfit his daddy and his brother both wore on their first airplane rides as babies.
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we got to salt lake in the afternoon and went straight to my parents' condo downtown for moses's nap. it felt so so good to be back in my hometown! we were pretty bleary by the time mo woke up, but we knew we needed to stay awake as long as possible to beat the jet lag! we drove to my parents' house in park city and absolutely loved being up in the mountains.
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one tiny boy fell into a deep sleep pretty quickly in the evening and one little boy woke up at 3am ready to party...!
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we drove down to the provo area to spend some time with ian's grandparents and sisters. we took the scenic route through midway and provo canyon and we were utterly delighted by the alpine scenery we've missed so much over the past year since we were last in utah.
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we had a nice visit with both sets of ian's grandparents. i never met either of my grandfathers, and one of my grandmothers died when i was young - so marrying into four living grandparents was exciting for me! i'm so grateful for these good, good people and the way they have paved for our family.
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gabriel was bursting with smiles for grandpa allred, who is quite ailing. it was so sweet to see our tiny baby cooing and grinning at his great grandpa. we snapped some photos all together before we left ... moses and gabriel's lack of enthusiasm in the four generation picture we snapped with ian's mom (who was in town visiting her parents) cracks me up.
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we stayed at ian's sister's new house south of provo and got to have a little day-early birthday party for moses there (pics of that coming in the next post!). then we went back up to my parents' house in park city to meet two of my best friends and their kids for a little breakfast play date. i love abby and catherine so much and can't believe that we now have eight kids between us!
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and then it was up to bear lake. we spent ten dreamy wonderful days there, five of which were the official eyrealm reunion 2018.
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after the reunion, we came back down to salt lake to see some friends, eat at some of our favourite places, go to the temple, and celebrate ian's dad's sixtieth birthday with him (he had come to utah while we were at bear lake). here's a sunrise i saw from my parents' condo window when i woke up to feed gabriel in the wee hours, and a photo of moses and grandfather - who decided he needed just a little more time with our boys before we left the west so he drove down from bear lake for an overnight with us.
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i also made a run to target and trader joe's - going to both of these stores always makes me really miss living in the usa. and we took another scenic route home from provo (where we had a birthday lunch with dad wright) - just to get a bit more utah mountains in our veins before we flew across the country.
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we flew from salt lake to chicago and chicago to pittsburgh, where ian's brother lives. the wright family reunion was in eastern pennsylvania so we decided to stop by and stay with hyrum and his family in western pennsylvania en route.
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ian's parents rented an awesome big house in a tiny town called allbrightsville in the pocono mountains and we had such a great time all gathered there for a few days.
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our flight home was from boston, where another of ian's brother lives. as we drove from allbrightsville to bean town, we hit toooons of traffic and it was a loooong day! but ian surprised me with a pit stop at my alma mater. when we were planning our trip initially i told ian i didn't feel a huge need to go to wellesley while we were in the boston area, but when we did end up going there i was pretty blown away by how deeply wonderful it was to be there with my kids. my heart was brimming with nostalgia, gratitude and wonder.
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we had just about 24 hours in boston with brigham, lucia and sophie. we spent a few hours in the city, brunching and strolling through the public garden and back bay. man i love boston.
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and then we flew home to london on a red eye flight. woof - the journey was preeeetty awful in some ways, but we made it!

i'm so thankful that we got to spend such a good chunk of time, all four of us together, in the usa and with family this summer. it always feels like going home both ways - when we get to the states and when we get back to london.

3 comments:

  1. "All done plane" is actually hilarious. I feel like I hit those moments as a 29-year-old on long flights - for most of the flight I'm perfectly content watching movies and eating snacks and napping and then I hit a point where I'm OVER IT. This looks like a great trip!!

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  2. LOVE seeing what I missed and feeling what goes on in your mind in beautiful words!

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  3. Are there a few nieces missing from the family photo?

    Too bad Ian’s side is spread out too. Looks like a lot of same age cousins.

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