Cousins are the Coolest

…so said Reese after this past week’s visit in New York with the Konecni family. Reese was shy for all of 20 minutes and then spent the rest of the visit in all her glory; chasing around the ruff ruff and doing everything the big kids did. I feel like she learned a lot and grew a lot on this visit. And I have to say, she was EXCEPTIONAL from start to finish. I couldn’t have asked for a better behaved toddler on the airplane or a better house guest visiting family.

We flew out from Seattle direct to Newark on Saturday morning, a little later than what we normally have to do. Our flight went without a hitch and we landed on time with bags and Josh was there to drive us to their house. We were greeted by all of the kids and the dog around 7 pm EST and Lori was already making homemade pizzas for everyone. The pizzas were delicious and it Reese’s first chance to sit and eat at the table with the big kids. She took a little time to warm up to Abby, the Konecni’s sweet and gentle dog, but once she did she was a fan. We read some books, watched some wrestling and got ourselves ready for a much needed sleep.

Gianna reading Reese’s book to her

Sunday we had the full day with all eight of us, plus dog, at home. We started off with pancakes and bacon and then let the Konecni family go to Mass. Considering that Reese was going to need to nap before we were out and about later in the day, we stayed home with her to let her do so. Bryan and I took turns going on a 4 mile run around the nearby Kennedy Dells Park that had a great running trail around it.

Pancake breakfast with the big kids

Once home and showered, Reese was awake and we all set out to the kid’s school in Pearl River for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Fest. It was a full room of tons of kids and families, lots of Irish food to purchase, live music and Irish step dancing, and best of all super strong $3 Irish coffees. I’ll take two please! Reese had a great time, again dancing and playing with the big kids and getting right up close and personal with the Irish band. She consumed a fair amount of Irish soda bread and tried to nab a green balloon. We spent the rest of the night relaxing at home by way of playing Red Light, Green Light.

Monday was technically a school day but all three kids played hooky to hang with us. Josh had to work but the rest of the crew was ready for exploring. Our first stop was High Exposure, the Ninja Warrior-like climbing gym that the kids like that was our Christmas Present to the kids this year. It was fun to see them in action and Reese roamed all over, trying to run up the ramps, climbing on the pads, and really just running around. After the workout the kids were pooped and most fell asleep in the car as we drove over to Piermont to walk the pier and then get lunch at a taproom along the Hudson River next to where Lori and Josh’s reception was held. After lunch we returned home and I had to pack my bag to head out for my work portion of the trip. I said my goodbyes and my coworker was there to pick me up a little after 6 pm.

My coworker and I had 45 minutes of a drive to a hotel in Newburgh for the night. We checked into the hotel and I immediately walked next door to the Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee and Munchkins to fuel me for a few hours of much needing study time in the quiet hotel room. I was wired and going strong until about midnight and still wired trying to go to sleep. Whoops! I’m at least proud of myself for being disciplined about getting some studying in.

I had an early wake up call of 7 am which wouldn’t be early if I wasn’t on Pacific Time. I got a surprisingly delicious breakfast in the hotel before setting out for the site. We met one of our coworkers from the Jersey office and a contact from DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) for New York at the site and then rode in their 4-wheeler the 1.5 mile to the location of the project. We spent the next 4+ hours observing the site, walking around, taking notes and watching my coworker repel on ropes. Thankfully it was a beautiful morning and we left the site only about 30 minutes before it started to rain, and rain good it did. We stopped in town, New Paltz, NY, to pick up lunch at a cute deli and then hit the road to first pick up Bryan and Reese and then make it to our next hotel at the Newark Airport.

While I was gallivanting in the woods Bryan and Reese had a difficult night of sleep at the Konecni household and then a nice and quiet morning with the kids in school. They went for a walk around Congers Lake with Lori and Josh and awaited the kids to get home from school which was just shortly before I arrived to pick them up. Our drive to Newark was long thanks to rush hour but we made it and checked into our hotel. Reese especially enjoyed the elevators at the hotel and was especially active on this night. We took her for a swim in the hotel pool while we waited for our delivery of Dinosaur BBQ (remember that one parents?). Our food arrived just as we were finishing post-pool bath time and we enjoyed our brisket sandwich and ribs. I studied for a bit before we were all asleep for our last night in New York.

We awoke again early, for our Pacific folks at least, to get on the 7 am shuttle to the airport. Security was a breeze and Newark had literally zero food options in the airport. We boarded our 9 am flight back to Seattle ready for a long 6 hour flight. And Reese was a fantastic passenger. We landed on time and picked up our bags and car without a hitch. It was a gorgeous and warm day in Seattle so we took the opportunity to pick up Thai food before walking Reese to the park to reunite and play with Lottie and then took Reese on a 5 mile run.

We had a good trip to New York and it was well worth getting to see Reese bond with her cousins. My site visit went as planned and the flight was easier than expected thanks to a great baby girl. It was nice to arrive home in the sunlight and get in some exercise and sunshine after a long flight.

FareStart was worth coming in for this week

Although we arrived home to the chaos of the Coronavirus epidemic here in Seattle. It has definitely effected life here and a hot topic of conversation. We have continued to go to work and go to FareStart like normal but Bryan did stay home today with a cold. He’s thinking he will be feeling back to normal this weekend (all kids had a cold in New York) but no one can show up to work being sick right now without getting extreme backlash. Fingers crossed for sure!


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