10 November 2009


We're back from our 6 week journey across the United States. Whew! I need a nap.

First stop: Los Angeles
I (Liz) flew with Stella into LA on the 24th of September. My dad met me there and we stayed a few nights with my Auntie Norma and Uncle Steve and their dog Chloe. Stella was scared of the dog at first but she grew to love her quickly. So much so that she said her first word (besides "mama" and "dada") in LA: "puh-puh" or puppy.
I got to visit with all of my Aunties on my mom's side, a few of my cousins and my grandma. Stella is her first great grandchild, so she was thrilled!

Stella was great on the plane. She only slept for about 5 hours so she was understandably exhausted when we arrived. She slept for 15 hours a night for about a week!

Next stop: Phoenix
Next we headed to my dad's house in Phoenix. Loads of people were there to meet us. Stella was super excited to meet her second cousins Emily, Catilin, Aiden, Toby, and little Miller who was just a few weeks old. Pete met us in Phoenix on the 29th of September.
Stella turned 1 year old and we had a birthday party for her, it was really something special. We got her beautiful cupcakes with flowers and butterflies on them, which she thought were very tasty!
About a week before her birthday she started walking. One day she was hanging on to furniture, the next she took a few steps on her own, the next day a few more, and after that there was no stopping her.
We had loads of fun in Phoenix. We went to the zoo and the Children's Museum. At the zoo Stella really loved the tiny monkeys that were running around their cages. And the Children's Museum had this, sort of sea of those foam pool noodles (that you use to float) hanging from the ceiling (like thousands of them) and Stella absolutely loved running through them (see photos). She also loved planting and picking the make-believe flower beds.

Next stop: San Diego
Our next destination was San Diego, where I (Liz) grew up. We stayed with my friends Sam and Dan who have a beautiful english bulldog named Fat Mann who Stella immediately befriended. We visited with friends, had a picnic on the beach, and spent a day in Balboa Park. The weather was of course perfect San Diego weather the entire time, the city did not disappoint.

Next stop: Oklahoma City
We went to Oklahoma City for a few days to visit my great grandmother, Stella's great-great grandmother! She was thrilled to meet Stella and we had a really lovely visit.

Final stop: Southampton, NY
Our last stop was Pete's hometown in New York just in time to see the leaves change. It was absolutely stunning. We spent a couple of days in Southampton and were able to visit with Peter's Aunts and Uncles for an afternoon. Then we went in to the City for a few days with Louise (Pete's mom, aka "Mamere"). I think New York City was Stella's favorite place. She loved all of the things to look at, see, and do. We took her to FAO Schwartz and she went nuts (see video!). She was running around the store, trembling with excitement, touching all of the toys. She also loved the horses and ducks in Central Park. While we were in the city, we had lunch with all of the cousins there. I won't mention where we ate, but the catch phrase was "Put some south in yo mouth". Stella rode back to Southampton on the Jitney carrying a balloon bearing that slogan, very classy.
We got back to Southampton and spent time with Peter's mom, two sisters Mary and Jen and Jen's three-year-old son Patrick. Jen and Patrick came all the way over from Paris to meet Stella! We had some beautiful autumn weather and were able to take some really nice walks through the little town, down to the park to see the ducks, and to the beach. We were there for Halloween and I have never seen a Halloween like this before! There were thousands of trick-or-treaters. Literally! Peter's mom had 1200 pieces of candy, and it was all gone by 8pm. Completely insane! It was great though, Stella had a blast. She was a kitty cat - the cutest kitty cat you've ever seen.

We left the day after Halloween and were traveling for 32 hours before we arrived home, exhausted. We had such a lovely time. Thanks to everyone who let us stay and who entertained, transported and fed us!

Here are the photos (there are lots!) and we've strung all of the videos together. The video is about 6 minutes long and shows Stella's first wobbly steps, talking, trip to the zoo, and lots more!


Courtney said...

So much fun. I am now very bummed I missed FAO, she was in heaven!

Les huhus said...

Great videos, guys!
She has grown so much, we need to have a play date soon.