When I think about the things in this stage of life that really bring me joy, having so much of our family living within a short drive is easily at the top of the list.
For most of my life, I lived far away from grandparents and cousins and even my brother, and I was always wishing I could see them more. So getting to see Jameson interact with his grandparents and cousins on a weekly basis warms my heart like nothing else. And the emotional support it lends me and Jordan is pretty immeasurable.
In the midst of busy schedules and a line of work that requires a whole lot of us, time spent with Jordan’s older brother, Jared, his wife, Jasmine, and their kids, Jocelyn and Jayden (are you picking up on our family’s J-name theme??) is always the reset button we need. Not because when we all get together things are calm and restful. Quite the contrary, it’s usually a bit of mayhem and exhaustion. And yet, without fully being able to explain why, we always come away feeling like a deposit has been made in our souls.
This past Saturday, our crew of seven decided to take a day trip to Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, which is about a two-hour drive from NYC.
Getting to New Rochelle, where Jared and Jasmine live, is a short 25-minute ride on the Metro North train from Harlem, and Jameson was quite giddy about the ride. In addition to looking out the window, he spent most of his time trying to get the attention of two ladies sitting across the aisle from us. SMH. My little attention-hungry, social butterfly. I wonder where he could have possibly gotten that from?Once we were in New Rochelle, we piled into the seven-seater SUV and hit the road. If you follow my Instagram Stories, you may have seen that there was lots of excitement in that car. My five-year-old nephew, Jayden, couldn’t wait to get to the aquarium. Jordan couldn’t wait to stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. I couldn’t get over how funny my eight-year-old niece is. And Jameson couldn’t get enough of hanging with his big cousins.
One hour into our drive, Cracker Barrel came through in typical fashion. Rocking chairs and giant checkers. Fried apples, hash brown casserole, and biscuits with apple butter, for the win. This photo looks really sweet, but Jameson definitely got mad and threw that same cup of water on the floor. So there’s that.
One more hour of driving and playing with fidget spinners, and we made it to the aquarium. Our first stop once we were inside was to see and touch the stingrays. Very cool and very stinky. Also, the stingrays were a flashback to that one time I went to Stingray City in Cayman and swam around with those guys…!!!
After the stingrays, it was on to check out the beluga whales. They were really majestic to watch, and all three kids were super into looking at them. Super into it until one of the whales seemed to indicate she thought Jameson might make a good snack…This whole interaction made my nephew very excited in a I’m-freaked-out-but-I-like-it kind of way… Jameson, on the other hand, promptly turned around and ran as far away from the tank as he could! All of us adults were nearly in tears from laughter.
Jameson did the rest of his whale watching from the safety of Daddy’s arms. haha!He kept saying, “Hi whale. Hi whale.”I love how the whale was basically like, “I’m tryna get in this pic too. Catch my good side.” From there we moved on to the sea lion show, and Jameson was no match for the dark auditorium. He was a dead weight in my arms, and Jasmine was nice enough to let me rig up her scarf as a makeshift baby sling so he could get a quick nap.
So quick, the only pic Jordan got was of the post-nap grumpiness look after he woke up. We spent our last hour exploring the galleries that held reptiles, fish, sharks, and sea lions. And we even ended up buying the obligatory photo they take of you when you walk in the park. Love this crew and so grateful for the very, very good day spent with them.
I’m wearing: High-rise black jeans, blue swing t-shirt (similar/same designer), white sneakers, tortoise shell watch (similar), olive green diaper bag.
Jordan’s wearing: Navy shirt, leather backpack
Jameson’s wearing: light green graphic t-shirt and olive jacket (old, H&M), gray pants.
MaRiceMay 29, 2017 at 10:34 am
Ok – I can’t stop; I’ve read this multiple times already! Absolutely love this post – you are an amazing writer and photographer!
Erinn DJune 17, 2017 at 8:31 am
I love your writing, it just flows and I crack up at your jokes. :-) The family photo is too cute, I see why you HAD to buy it. :-)
Jessica RiceJune 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm
Thanks so much, Erinn!