It's now Monday - I've caught up on the housecleaning, the laundry from our time away, and the rest we all needed. We're back in the routine and I have a few minutes before tennis to blog about our time in "the D." The kids were AMAZING, sleeping in the hotel. Kayleigh took a little longer than normal to fall asleep (Mom and Dad watching tv and packing for the next day didn't help), but once she was out, she slept soundly. She managed to not fall out of the bed (my biggest worry) despite sleeping without bed rails for the first time in her little life. I think it helped that she had her own double bed to thrash around in. Benjamin, slept like a champ in... the CLOSET. The room had a large, walk in closet that housed his pack n play perfectly. He had a cozy little "room" all to himself and he rarely woke (even to find his pacifier). As a result, Mommy and Daddy had VERY restful evenings, despite sharing a hotel room with 4. The kids and I ate breakfast and lunches in the room to save $. So, they ate while watching a few extra episodes of Disney Channel television. Before morning nap we would stroll around the Renaissance Center, people watching, site seeing (Kayleigh LOVED watching the "choo choo train!" (aka people mover) go in its loops), and making friends. Kayleigh had no shame and approached many VERY well dressed businessmen and said, "Hi... what YOU do today?" Then she would listen politely as they listed their day's activities. She'd smile and say "Ohhh that's nice." When some adventures men returned the question, she would say, (with SO MUCH excitement) "I sleepin' in my HOTEL BED!!!! It was SO SO SO nice." And with that she'd run along to the next waiting person or curious object, leaving me to simply smile at the man, and push my son along after her. It was QUITE the adventure. I had several people say that it was so nice to have a little girl brighten their day. If they were too busy to stop, Kayleigh was unconcerned and simply moved right along (but those were VERY rare.) Almost everyone she approached engaged her in conversation. Benjamin was not without his OWN adventure ... he made it a point to smile and wave at nearly every woman he could find. He'd flash his dimple and they'd light up ... commenting on what a sweet, handsome man I had. It truly was nice to have no particular place to go. Kayleigh and I shared coffee (she had the kids hot chocolate) each morning during our "visit downstairs." Afterwards we'd return to the room for an hour and a half nap.
On Thursday, we ventured out to the Detroit Children's Museum. Kayleigh absolutely adored it. There was almost no one else there (one other family was there for a bit while we were), so Kayleigh had the staff to herself. She talked and charmed her way through each location, and as is typical, we ran out of time before she was done doing all that she wanted to do. I took lots of pictures and will post them below. In the evening, we met two of our friends from KCSA for dinner. At first, Kayleigh was a little shy, but after her dinner with Mr. Chuck and Mr. Ivan she warmed quickly. The trip out of the restaurant, back through the people mover and up to the room was as though Mom, Dad, and Benjamin didn't exist. She only had eyes and ears for her two new friends. We love how she makes friends so easily (and that our adult friends are willing to "fall prey" to her charms). The kids went down easily for bed (quite an exhausting day) and slept well. The next morning was very similar to the first and we were on the road by 12.
We tried to stop at Ikea on the way home, but after the kids ate their cheap hot dogs, they had had enough of being good sports. We ran out of patience somewhere in the kitchen section and abandoned our search for a new dining room table. They both slept like champions on the way home ... not really waking until Battle Creek for a snack. After all was unpacked, unwound and tucked in for the night, Steve said, "you know, we really do have great kids." I have to agree .. they went through a lot this week with tennis starting and being gone in Detroit ... but no one melted down ... sigh ... it was delightful.
As promised, here are some photo highlights of our trip:
That pretty much concludes the picture highlights :) ... We had a blast. I'm so glad we could join Daddy on his conference trip. It was great to have that extra time with him in a different location.