August 24, 2021

Our First Vacation

The three of us – Andrew, Holly, me – boarded a plane last week to Georgia, Andrew’s home state. We’d booked a week-long stay at a resort on Lake Oconee, followed by a weekend with Andrew’s family on Lake Hartwell. In preparation, Holly bought her first swimsuit (a pink-and-white gingham one from Ralph Lauren!), I picked up a new bottle of very strong sunscreen, and Andrew handled all the details, from rearranging flights to getting a rental car to hauling our suitcases up from the storage unit below.

This vacation would be our first as a family — just us three. And though I worried about all the what-ifs, it proved to be a sweet, special time away that we really, really needed!

Here are some of my memories…

Holly on the plane. It was a total struggle, but also hilarious in retrospect. Andrew described it as “wrangling a wet noodle.” We packed her new toys, old toys, Gerber puffs, the works — anything to keep her entertained.

Driving down country roads throughout Georgia. It’s wild and free and downright frightening.

Our hotel! We stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. This lush, green, rustic resort is so different from any other place I’ve stayed, but I loved it all the same. I told Andrew it felt like a luxury lake house.

Hanging out with Holly in a new place. We are so used to being home in Lincoln Park. We’ve spent plenty of time at both of our parents’ homes over the past 10+ months, but that’s really it. We needed to get her out and someplace different. She had a blast crawling around the hotel room, exploring the bed, the chair, the cool marble floor in the bathroom.

Swimming with her 🙂

Our “date nights” every night. We would put Holly down around 6 Chicago-time, and then sit on our little front patio with glasses of wine. Our outdoor space overlooked the entire grounds and water beyond, and as the sun set, we saw the sky softly change colors — a showcase of God’s creation! I loved this alone time with Andrew and would give anything for one more room service date night.

Multiple trips to Publix for snacks and baby food.

Walking around the property with Holly in her buggy. It was sweltering and hilly, but worth it.

The one time we tried to dress up and go to dinner… and ended up taking the food back to the room in take-out boxes when Holly went ballistic.

Holly’s “train ride” outside the hotel.

Lunches by the lake. Holly sat in her high chair, alternating between shrieking and laughing (she has a wide range of emotions) and we dined together – real food for Andrew and me, puree for Holly.

The spa, a peaceful retreat tucked away in the tall pine trees.

Watching Maverick City Music videos on YouTube in bed – like this one!

Thank you, God, for the time we got to spend together, just us three. Thank you for the stressful parts that I didn’t write down, and the beautiful parts that I did.