Kevin Earns His Wings

We took a trip to Pennsylvania this past weekend to see Dave’s family. We got up at 4am on Thursday morning to head to the San Jose airport. We had a two hour layover in Los Angeles, then a 5.5 hour flight to Philadelphia. Then we drove for nearly 2 hours to get to Lebanon, PA (which is near Hershey). It was a long, long day. I think we all earned our wings that day, but Kevin is the only one that got an actual United Airlines pin. Kevin did okay on the trip. He’s a big sleeper, and he was lacking in that department since there are so many people to stare at on the plane. At one point, we improvised and turned his umbrella stroller into a crib.

Enough about the airplane ride. We stayed with Dave’s sister Margot, and her family. We took a trip to the hospital on our first morning, Friday. Dave’s Dad (Papa) volunteers there several days a week and has been bragging to his coworkers about his new and only grandson. So, we had to go prove him right. That was Kevin’s first opportunity, of many, to show off all his new-found tricks. He babbled, he crawled, he pulled himself up (and sat down again) a thousand times. He ate the paperwork, he licked the door hinges, and smiled at all the old ladies. He was a hit. I think Papa was proud of his grandson.

In the afternoon, we visited Dave’s Aunt and Uncle. Again, Kevin was a big hit. Elma Jean had a small barn with doors that opened and closed. Kevin tried to eat those, along with all of Elma Jean’s magazines. People must think we don’t feed him enough. Back at Margot’s, Kevin got to spend some quality time with his cousins, Roxie and Maddie. They watched the Wonder Pets. Side note: I cannot get the Wonder Pets song out of my head. I sing it all the time. I did a triathlon this weekend and I sang that damned song for the entire race. “Linny, Tuck, and Ming Ming too….What’s it gonna take? Team work! What’s it gonna take? Team work!” Argh.

Coach Dave doesn’t let my Ironman training stop just because we’re on vacation. So, I went for a 5 mile run. Margot had the family over for dinner that night – Dave’s Mom (Nanny), Papa, and brother Clint. She made a marvelous meal and Kevin entertained us all while he attempted to eat cheerios and a biscuit in his highchair.

On Saturday, we met Nanny at the Y and did a short swim workout. Then we went to visit a childhood friend of Dave’s, Gordy. Gordy and Sherri have three young boys – very rambunctious. So Kevin had plenty of action to watch during that visit. He tried to eat their dish towels. We went to Nanny’s and Kevin got to swing in their backyard and pet his first rabbit. Margot had some neighbors over for dinner Dave kicked everybody’s tail playing pool while Kevin slept through a huge thunder and lightening storm.

Nanny and Papa took Kevin on Sunday morning while we went for a 13 mile run. There is a railroad bed converted into a nice dirt trail in Mt. Gretna, PA. It is my all-time favorite running trail. It has a canopy of leaves over the top, it is soft under your feet, the elevation is flat, and the trail goes on forever. Dave slowed his pace down considerably and ran with me the first 9 miles, then he took off. I picked up the pace best I could to finish in under 2 hours. It was a fantastic run – we saw very few people and a few horses.

Nanny is really into horses. She has one horse, Marshall, stabled nearby. After our run, we met Nanny and Kevin and Marshall. Kevin was so excited about the horse! He poked at his eyeball, stuck his finger up his nostril, and scratched at his mane. Dave took him for a short walk around the farm and Kevin grinned from ear to ear. Kevin tried to eat Marshall’s carrots.

Here is a short video of Kevin and the horse

That afternoon we visited another childhood friend of Dave’s, Amy. Kevin pet his first guinea pig and watched their hyperactive dog run around in circles chasing his tail. Kevin tried to eat Amy’s bracelet.

That evening, most of the family met at Nanny’s for dinner. Nanny got the Haviland china out for the occasion! Kevin got to swing in the backyard again.

On our final day, we visited Nanny at Royer’s Flowers. Kevin was enamored with the electric carts hauling loads and loads of boxed flowers. Dave’s friend Joan came by to meet Kevin and give us a yummy bowl of peanut butter balls.

Given our long trip out east, we decided to “upgrade” our tickets home to a non-stop flight straight to San Francisco. We had lunch with everyone before we headed to the airport. Kevin slept all the way there, partied at the Philly airport, then slept for the first half of the flight home. He made a lot of friends the second half of the flight, flirting with the ladies. One flight attendant brought a steaming cup of dry ice for Kevin to watch. He tried to eat that too.

We were home by 10pm and in bed by quarter after. Kevin converted to west coast time overnight – he was back on track.

Throughout the trip, we wondered what Kevin was thinking. He was so excited about meeting his first horse. What did he think it was? A big, hairy person with a long face, oversized nostrils, and big teeth? He traveled 3000 miles, spent 5 days at someone else’s house, and flew 3000 miles home. An 8 month old probably just thinks he’s going to a new part of his own house, where different people live. Weird.

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