We started the road trip with our classic self portrait in the driveway before we left. This time, it included Mags!
I participated in a pre-conference workshop that started at 8 AM on Wednesday morning, thus we left after Maggie's dinner on Tuesday night. This worked really well since it was basically her bedtime so she just slept in the car while we made the 3 hour and 45 minute drive.
We checked into our hotel. We debated on whether to get a hotel-issued crib or a bring our pack and play. We decided on the hotel crib so we would have one less thing to pack. BIg mistake - we should have packed the pack and play. The crib was MINI. Mags basically hit a side anytime she moved. She looks happy in this picture, but we're pretty sure she just was hamming it up for the camera.
Mags seemed to like being on vacation. I was sad that i JUST missed her laying in our bed reading her book. When I tried to recreate it, she game me a dirty look:
She also liked jumping on the bed - with some help from me:
Nate did a little photo shoot with her as well:
We found out that it is HARD to share a standard hotel room with a baby. Basically we "parakeeted her" when it was time for naps or bed, meaning we threw a blanket over her crib to make it dark so she wouldn't pay attention to us and go to sleep (we removed the blanket when she was asleep). Luckily for the first two nights, she slept through the night no problem. We pushed her bedtime each night so that we weren't staying in the room from 6:30 onward. Still, there was a lot of time in the hotel room at night! I usually went to bed shortly after her because I was so tired from the conference. (How you get so tired from listening to people talk all day is beyond me!).
I met Nate and Maggie for lunch everyday and then we had dinner together too. Most of the time other colleagues joined us as well. Mags was on her best behavior. People at my conference LOVED her. We even got a family invite to the dinner event on Thursday night at the Brown Deer Golf Club. I think Nate also enjoyed having a lot of alone time with Maggie. They went for walks, swimming, to the mall, played and watched The Masters on TV. He did say that he didn't think that he could ever be a stay at home dad though. :)
Thursday night was a rough one though. Maggie woke up at 1 AM SCREAMING. She would not calm down for anything. I am pretty sure people in tbe surrounding rooms were not happy with us. This was another thing that was difficult about all being in the same room - normally we let Maggie cry a bit as she falls asleep or if she happens to wake up in the middle of the night because she will just go back to sleep. In a hotel room though, you are pretty much not wanting to wake anyone else up so the cry it out method doesn't really work!
We had lunch downtown (The Airliner) before taking a pic in front of the old capitol building.
While in Iowa City, we also ate at The Motley Cow, The Linn Street Cafe and Chick-Fil-A (of course) at the Coralville Mall. (We have a special place in our hearts for Chick-Fil-A from when we lived in the ATL.) We enjoyed walking around by the campus and on the pedestrian mall. I enjoyed Prairie Light Books, but was disappointed they did not have a section on Iowa Writers, given that Iowa City is one of four UNESCO Cities of Literature. Thanks to TV, JH and BK for your Iowa City suggestions!
On the way home, we let Maggie sleep for a long nap and then made a pit stop in Dixon, IL. We took in sights such as Ronald Reagan's childhood home and the fake berlin wall (courtesy of RoadsideAmerica.com). Here we are in front of the Reagan Statue.
We also went to a tractor supply store that had bunnies, baby ducks and baby chicks!!! I think she liked them. Since we didn't really expect to have a menagerie in the tractor supply store, we didn't get any photos of the animals. We did take a spectacular photo of a pretty awesome fe-mullet though (female mullet). Unfortunately, it did not turn out.
So that's the wrap up of Maggie's first out-of-state getaway!