Baby On The Go!

Madelyn gets around. We have always been the type of parents to say that a newborn baby won’t keep us jailed in at home, and we’ve definitely stood by that mantra. Restaurants, friends’ houses, the mall: we have been brave enough to bring a baby out in the great, big world beyond our cozy little condo and so far, so good!

So we decided to really test the waters last month and brought Madelyn along for her first road trip to Las Vegas. Before you gawk at me for allowing Madelyn to vacation in Sin City, you should know she never danced in a club or gambled at the tables.

During daylight hours.

No no, I kid. We didn’t even make it to The Strip! We visited with friends, my best friends/sorority sisters from college and their men, in the suburbs of Vegas to attend Harmony’s surprise 30th birthday party! The drive to Vegas was uneventful. Madelyn slept the whole time and didn’t even have to endure the “beauty” that is a gas station in Baker. We had a sweet suite at the JW Marriott in Summerlin and set up shop with her tropical playmat and the Pack N Play. Best. Inventions. Ever.

We had lunch with friends at a new shopping center on Saturday and Madelyn was happily passed around among the girls. We walked around and spent some time at the hotel before getting ready for Harmony’s big bash that her fiance, Conor, had planned for her. She had zero idea that any of us were in town.

We gathered at Harmony’s favorite restaurant and when we yelled “Surprise!” when she walked in, she was definitely shocked to see all of us. I was so glad that we had decided to come. Her face was worth the drive and short trip!

The party was a lot of fun! Conor did a great job organizing the event. And because Harmony is a style inspiration, her cake was a Chanel bag, courtesy of her equally stylish mom (Hi, Marla!). Amazing. Madelyn hung in there and was a social butterfly for a good chunk of the party, but got sleepy halfway through, so we put her down to sleep in her stroller and she passed out like a champ. As much as I love holding my little mini, it was nice to be able to put her down so I could drink my wine socialize and eat.

In the morning, we all met for brunch at the JW and rehashed the night. The trip was too short, but oh so special! And when we said our (Jewish) goodbyes, we knew we’d be seeing each other in a few weeks for Nicole’s 30th birthday in Lake Tahoe!

Yes, we went to Tahoe this past weekend. I’d never been and obviously Madelyn was a Tahoe rookie as well. But Nicole and Michael are Tahoe lovers and have a family friend who owns a glorious cabin-mansion in Truckee that we all thoroughly enjoyed. We joked that we felt like we were on The Real World, exploring the house and shrieking “OHMYGOSH” as we got acquainted with all of its splendor.

The drive to Tahoe really wasn’t that bad because we broke it up. We stayed in Monterey on Thursday night and woke up on Friday to drive to Sacramento where we met the rest of the party who’d flown in from L.A. and Vegas. After a quick lunch, we caravanned up the mountain to Truckee.

We ran through the grocery store to collect nosh for the weekend and then spent some time in the great living room of the house to relax before going to Nicole’s favorite restaurant, Cottonwood, for dinner. We had a yummy meal — who knew a simple hamburger could be so heavenly? — and spent the rest of the night at home with some great wine, laughter, and conversation.

Saturday morning was yummy as we all made breakfast in the big kitchen. Michael is the master of eggs and Jordan makes a mean bacon — extra crispy! Some of the gang went skiing at Northstar while the rest of us took our time to get ready before heading to the village to walk around. We also took the big gondola up the mountain and enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the Ritz Carlton where we met Top Chef Masters contestant, Traci De Jardins who is a consulting executive chef there and happens to visit once a month! Good timing gang! She was so nice! All of us foodies were impressed.

Harmony, Nicole, and I went to the candle shop toward the end of the day to make our own candles. It was a relaxing craft with good conversation and pretty results. Madelyn slept through the whole thing, but I think in the future, she’ll enjoy arts and crafts, too!

The sun went down, we all reunited in the village, and took some photos before heading back to the cabin-mansion for a team-cooked meal. Lots of specialties graced the table like Nicole’s eggplant parm, Harmony’s baked tomato and feta asparagus, my spring-even-though-it’s-winter-salad, Bryan’s vegetables and pasta, and Madelyn’s formula. Oh wait, she didn’t share that with the group. We were okay with that. Lots of champagne toasts and great conversation made the dinner one of the most memorable meals we’ve ever enjoyed together. So fun!

After dinner, we played a white elephant gift exchange and then showered Nicole with some presents. We played some fun board games and got silly while Baby Madelyn slept for the night. It was like our late nights in the sorority house… except with boys in our group and a baby upstairs. And Albert didn’t make our food and Kristy didn’t shake the trees. But still! It was a Phi-tastic night!

Sunday morning was our dreaded wake-up where we had to clean up and anticipate saying our goodbyes. Once the cabin-mansion was in order, we drove to the lake to have brunch and then exchanged hugs before going our separate ways. It’s always sad when we leave each other. Madelyn loved being with all her Auntie AEPhis; Love you, Auntie Nicole, Auntie Harmony, Auntie Alison, and Auntie Lindsey (and we missed you Auntie Erin!).

Before heading to Paso Robles for the night to sleep, Bryan and I decided to swing by San Francisco for a couple hours to see his friends from college, Brian and Anna and their two adorable ones. Their daughter, Adie, is two weeks older than Madelyn and it was so fun to see them together and analyze their similarities and differences. What cuties!

Our big road trip ended in San Luis Obispo with a quick trip to eat at Bryan’s favorite college grubber, Firestone Bar & Grill. We enjoyed yummy pork and tri tip sandwiches before heading back home.

I think that’s it for our big road trips for a while. We definitely put the miles on the Jetta before turning in the lease, and it was fun to spend so much time as a family with some of Madelyn’s biggest fans!

Where should our next road trip be?

  1. mystery hawaiian hotel god
    12/16/2011 8:38 AM

    When would you want that to be? The sooner the better.

  2. Bryan
    12/16/2011 8:19 AM

    Our next road trip should be to Hawaii. We can drive there, right?