As you can see from the map, we covered a lot of ground in the last week (about a thousand miles, if you wanna count). Ez and I started our roadtrip on Tuesday, after his Gymboree class, which thankfully wore him out enough that he fell asleep almost as soon as we got on the freeway, and he slept about a hundred miles. We decided to burn off some energy at Target, where I made the huge rookie mistake of simultaneously buying myself a roadtrip CD and Ez the most annoying fire truck toy on earth. One of the ones with three settings for various siren sounds, which effectively drowned out any other sounds, including my CD.
Ez stayed awake and happy for about a hundred miles, playing with his firetruck and eating a quesadilla, then he got super fussy, so we stopped at yet another Target. You can go ahead and add Target to my arsenal of Toddler roadtrip tips. Since I didn't know the areas where we were stopping, I didn't want to stop at any potentially shady parks, so I let Ez run around Target (he loves playing tag in the clothing section - I'm sure the other shoppers/employees loved us.) After Ez was tired enough to want to be carried, we hit the road again, and he almost immediately fell asleep. So it turns out Target has many uses besides just luring me to buy stuff I have to have but don't really need.
We made it to my mom's house after about seven hours on the road. Ez immediately got to work dictating that the uncles and Grampa sit on the floor and play cars. He's very particular about where everyone has to sit while they're playing. He's a natural born leader ;) My mom made an amazing dinner of homemade mac n' cheese, garlic bread, asparagus, and lemon blueberry cake. Of course all Ez wanted to eat was watermelon. Silly boy.
My allergies/sinus infection were still going strong so I didn't try to visit all the friends and family I'd normally want to see while we were there. That left some free time for my mom, my brother, and I to spend a day shopping, eating out, and getting our nails done (just me and my mom, my brother opted out of that one), while Ez spent time with Grampa and my other brother. Win/win for everyone!
On Thursday afternoon Ez and I continued on our way to San Jose, to meet up with Joe who had been at a convention all week. We spent a few days exploring the bay area (more on that to come) before heading back to visit family on Saturday afternoon. Ez got to meet his great-grandparents (Joe's grandpa) for the very first time. After sitting in the car everyday for almost a week, sitting in a restaurant for lunch wasn't high on Ez's agenda, so after throwing a mini tantrum he eventually got out of his high chair and played a rousing game of stealing people's mints (at the end of lunch) and redistributing them around the table. It was actually kind of cute. When we got back to the great-grandparents' house, Ez was much more in his element, scouring the backyard for sticks and rocks and being his general cute self. I'm sure next time we're there Ez will want to bee-line for the backyard to throw rocks in the river, which was probably one of his favorite activities of the entire trip.
After lunch it was time to head back to Modesto for dinner with my friends. It was pretty nice having a child-free evening out, where we could linger over food and conversation instead of cramming a sit-down meal into the timeframe of a toddler's attention span.
The next morning we were on the road again, headed back home. It was such a fun trip, but we crammed a lot into a short amount of time. I'm already looking forward to making at least one more (leisurely) trip back before June so Ez and I can visit more with friends/family. As you can see, Ez was pretty tuckered out by the end of the week: