In the best way to start a new chapter in our story, I received two early father’s day gifts this year. No it was not a new 3D big screen TV and super deluxe grill combo, but simply the news that my dad is continuing to improve at an amazing rate and then to have Jenn and Nolin finally return Saturday night from their trip to Pennsylvania.
This was Nolin’s longest road trip to date. From Florida to Pennsylvania to drive Teresa back home for her summer vacation. Jenn the adventurer broke the trip into 2.5 days with stops the first night around Savannah and then the next day to his future college Virginia Tech.
Jenn figured that leaving at night would be easier because Nolin would sleep for most of the car ride and they could get a few hours in to the trip, what she didn’t count on was that Nolin would sleep for most of the car trip, consider that an awesome nap and then be ready to party until 2am…and although they were planning a stop at Virginia Tech, Jenn wasn’t exactly ready to relive the college days. Finally they all got some sleep and took off the next morning, for one of the most magical places on Earth, no not Disney…Blacksburg, Virginia.
Unfortunately it was raining a little bit, but nonetheless Nolin had his first of hopefully many trips to Virginia Tech. They went to one of my favorite restaurants Boudreaux’s and apparently Nolin flirted with the entire staff. The next day before they started on the final leg of their journey Jenn, Nolin & Teresa took time to explore Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns. Poor Teresa, thought she was going on a simple trip home and didn’t realize she was in the car with Jenn the explorer, but all in all I think they had a great time. I was disappointed to not be able to go with Nolin for his first Virginia Tech experience, so I made sure before he left when you asked where he wanted to go to school he replied “VT” (to be fair he only said it when I was around, but I swear that he was saying it).
While the three amigos made their way up North, I was stuck at home in a very quite house. Luckily I had a huge project for work that would take me to Vegas and kept me very busy while they were gone. I also had a whole library of Netflix & dollar movie theater horror flicks to watch since I don’t typically get to watch those when Jenn is around. Some of them were good (Scream 4, Zombieland) and many of them not so good (Day of the Dead remake). I am not sure if I was more disappointed in the fact that I saw two movies with cast from the 90210 remake or the fact that I knew who the cast from the new 90210 actually are.
After dumbing down slightly from bad movies, I left for 4 days in Vegas for a work conference. It was pretty much Vegas and besides staying in probably the nicest hotel I have every stayed in (The Palazzo), I was ready to start making my way home. And that pretty much sums up my entire week and half away from Jenn and Nolin.
Luckily I was able to live vicariously through Jenn’s stories of Pennsylvania adventures. It seems that Nolin is now a full fledge walker. No more of this 10-12 steps and sit (or fall) down. He is walking all over the place now and doesn’t want to sit down at all. Jenn said that parenting is getting much more interesting. And now that Nolin has discovered his new-found freedom, he has also discovered new words and an enhanced personality.
He had a great time on his day trip to State College (don’t worry, its ok that he liked it because his dad was a huge Penn State fan as a child although I have never actually been there, but I think he still liked VT better). Although he didn’t get to meet JoePa, he did realize that he could get people’s attention by saying “hi” to them. So no matter if you were right next to him or across the street, you were still going to get a friendly greeting from Nolin.
He also discovered his love of flowers in his grandfather’s flower garden. He likes to say “Flower”, point at them, and them pull them out of the ground to bring over to you. He’s already learning the way to woo the ladies and upset gardeners around the world.
As Jenn and I sat on the phone recounting his daily adventures, she gave me the best laugh of my time away when she told me about Nolin’s new favorite word…”poop”. Apparently a healthy dose of fresh berries has kept everything very regular, and Nolin started saying poop during the several times that Jenn would have to change him. The first thought was that he was simply repeating what Jenn was saying.
That is until Jenn went in to get him up from his nap and was greeted with Nolin standing up and a room that smelled like…you guessed it poop. As soon as Nolin saw Jenn, he spit out his pacifier, looked at her with a matter-of-fact look on his face and simply said “poop”. I guess this was his way of saying, “lady, you got some cleaning to do”.
As I laughed at the mental picture that this story created, all I could think to myself is….and so this is how the next chapter will begin!