This past weekend, Bean and I flew to Virginia to spend the weekend with my sister. I haven’t seen her in forever and since my birthday is coming up in December, she sent me and Bean a plane ticket for a one-day weekend getaway! What a great sister!
Bean and I flew up Friday after work. Flying alone with a toddler while big and pregnant was…well…not ideal. But Bean was actually a pretty good little trooper. He played and sang songs (did I tell you that he’s singing now?) and ate crackers and drank juice on the flight from Orlando to Atlanta. Then from Atlanta to Virginia it was 10:00 at night and so he slept most of the way. But we were both pooped when Gin picked us up at the airport. We came home and finally got in bed by 1:00 in the morning.
The next morning we got up slow and easy. Ginny had a big surprise planned for me that morning (which I’ll tell you about tomorrow – sorry to keep you in suspense, but I have to get my pictures ready…) and after that she took us out to the stable where she rides horses.
Ginny has ridden horses since we were growing up. Since she’s been in Virginia living in the middle of mountains and horses and farms and all that jazz, she has found herself a big ol’ stable where she can go ride once a week. She has always felt at home in a stable, amongst things like…horse ropes…and…horse mouth pieces…and…stuff…
Sorry. I don’t speak the horsey lingo so well.
First, we stopped by to see some of the horses that were in their stables.
And all Bean said was, “Whoa.”
And then he checked to make sure I knew that his Aunt Ginny was feeding him to the horses. When I clapped my hands and said, “Yay, Beanie!” he guessed that if Mom was okay with this giant beast, then he would be okay with him, too. Mom’s have the persuasive power like that until kids turn, like, three. Or so I hear.
Next, Ginny took Bean out to the pasture to let him see more horses. I wondered how Bean would handle this since they seem so much bigger in the pasture. We pass horses on our way home from work everyday and he gets really excited, but seeing them up close is very different.
They walked up to the fence…
…and the horses came to sniff for carrots. They slowly made their way over to check out their visitors.
Bean liked their noses. They were “sawwwffff…sawwwfff…”
Ginny showed Bean how to feed the horses handfuls of grass (because we forgot to bring carrots) and he love it!
In fact, he loved it so much he wanted to get down and go pick some grass himself. But he only picked one single blade. But he was VERY proud of his grass blade.
And then he surprised us by walking right up to the horses and offering his perfect grass blade all by himself. Unfortunately, the horses were not interested in one single blade of grass so they wouldn’t take it from him. But that didn’t stop Bean. He carried that grass blade around for the next half hour, offering it to any horse we met.
Next we moseyed on over to another pasture where there was a Bean-sized pony. And this pony LOVED Bean. He must have smelled like oats.
And when the pony started to walk away, Bean called him back over. Like the cowboy he is.
After the horse barn, we headed out to a good, greasy lunch at this little hamburger joint. It looks like it’s been around since the 50’s and is TINY inside! Just a single counter with stools and two tables.
We got seats at the counter and Bean entertained himself with his dinosaurs that Aunt Ginny had gotten him.
And then Aunt Ginny and I played with the dinosaurs for a little bit…
After lunch, Ginny took us to this old fashioned candy store a couple towns over. I found this bin of candy cigarettes. When Ginny and I were little, we would walk up to the gas station at the front of our neighborhood and buy these exact packs of candy cigarettes. But we weren’t allowed to have them and so we’d have to “smoke” them on our way home and eat them before we got caught by our parents. It was always 15 cents of thrill well spent.
When I wasn’t looking, Aunt Ginny bought Bean rock candy. You know. PURE SUGAR ON A STICK. But they both looked so darn happy I couldn’t take it away from them. So, Bean may or may not have rotted his teeth out this weekend.
But we weren’t there for the candy. We were there because this little candy shop had an area to stuff your own stuffed animal. So, we browsed through the barrels of animal options.
Bean finally chose a monkey…
…and then we headed over to a giant tree that was full of stuffing and together he and Aunt Ginny stuffed his new animal.
But Bean got distracted with all the barrels of candy and Aunt Ginny ended up doing most of the stuffing. She’s a good sport, that Aunt Ginny.
By the time we were ready to leave, Bean was hyped up on sugar and ready to cut loose with his new “Mo Mo,” which is what he called his monkey.
We came home that night, ordered Chinese take out, and fell asleep watching football. All in all, the perfect ending to a perfect day. The next morning, Bean and I caught our flight and were home by 1:30 to see Chris. Remind me to tell you some other time about the AWFUL plane ride home with Bean. It’s too fresh of a memory for me to share it right now. But one day…one day in the far, far future…I’m sure it will be funny.
But not today.
Today I will continue to lay on my couch and recoup while thinking about my amazing sister and her big, fat, full heart that just makes everyone around her happy. She is exactly what I needed. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the surprise she had planned for me. Get ready to cry. And laugh. And then squeal with delight. I know that’s what I did!