it has been over three weeks since my parents and brother ventured out for a visit, and i am just now finally posting our photos... talk about a slacker. we loved having them here, and it was really great being able to spend time together, but my mother was sick the entire trip (12 days), so we didn't do nearly as much as we had planned/wanted to. she is still not feeling 100% yet, which is such a shame since we had looked forward to her visit for so long. this was my brothers first time visiting us in raleigh, and i'm glad we were able to show him many of the places we enjoy around our area, i just wish we could have taken a day trip or two to some of the surrounding areas that we love. or to other parts of the state that none of us have been to yet. hopefully on another visit. i should also mention that the weather was brutally hot while brad was here, so it was hard to enjoy any time spent outside. we did our best to plan our activities around the temperature and how my mom was feeling.
brad flew in the evening of june 8th, we took him out to eat at the cosmic cantina and then we all headed back to the airport to pick up mom & dad. that night was spent getting everyone settled and comfortable in our little house.
we went to the nc museum of art on thursday the 9th while alanna was in school. this was all of our first times visiting the new building, and wow was it spectacular. it opened in april of 2010, and danny and i have been meaning to take a date night there (without malcolm). i'm glad i was finally able to go inside. it is beautiful, and there is so much to see. malcolm got a little restless, so the two of us spent some time outside while my mom, dad, and brother explored the museum and admired the artwork.
on friday we went to the nc museum of natural sciences while alanna finished her very last day of school. when the weather is hot out, the best place to spend your time is inside of an air-conditioned museum. plus free admission can't be beat!
brad liked this display of woods that are native to north carolina, since he is a carpenter after all.
brad and malcolm checking out an exact replica of the liberty bell. malcolm loved hanging out with his uncle, and i loved watching them interact with each other.
on saturday morning i found them like this:
yoda was totally hanging out in there too! ha!
brad's hair/face in these next two photos kills me, bwahaha :)
on saturday around noon danny took my mom to urgentcare to see a doctor, and my dad tagged along. i am lucky to have such a patient and thoughtful husband. while they were there, i took brad and the kids to the raleigh flea market at the fairgrounds. my mother was in the office for a few hours, with no exact cause/diagnosis to her illness/symptoms. pretty frustrating for all involved.
later that day we all drove to durham to visit duke gardens. the weather started to turn while we were on the highway, and by the time we had parked, the sky was dark, windy, and ominous.
as we were heading into the gardens, tons of people were leaving. including an entire formal wedding party and one very unhappy bride. so sad.
the gardens were beautiful, the weather was cooler than it had been, and we had fun exploring and showing brad around...
...and then it started to rain. well, pour actually! and we all hid out under a large tree. you can't really tell in this photo, but it was raining at the time, and most of us were already very wet, haha. it was pretty fun being out there all alone in the garden in the rain.
danny ran all the way to the car, and then drove around to the back of the grounds to pick us up so that we didn't have to walk back in the rain. he really is such a great husband. then he drove us around the beautiful duke university campus, and over to see the duke chapel.
alanna at dinner after visiting the gardens.
on sunday we left my parents at home (mom wasn't feeling very good), and we took brad to chapel hill. we had cake & coffee, visited some of our favorite stores, discovered a very cool old used books store -malcolm said it was like on ghostbusters (the library in the beginning of the movie! ha!), and ate veggie burgers. it was a good day.
malcolm playing hide-and-seek with brad.
on monday the 13th brad flew home. we were all very sad to see him go. five days with him was really not nearly enough time. this visit made me realize just how much i miss him, and how i wish he could see the kids more often. they loved having him here. danny did too. that evening after he left, danny said that he already missed brad, and wished he hadn't had to leave so soon. i couldn't have agreed more. it was bittersweet to see him go, but i know that he missed his dogs, and that he was looking forward to getting back to his home and regular life. i am thankful that we have such a good relationship, and i love that no matter how much time goes in-between visits, we can still pick up where we left off. i really hope that he comes back to visit us soon.
before dropping brad off at the airport, we had lunch at the cosmic cantina. alanna could not resist this huge unmarked poster.
we love and miss you brother.
a shorter part two coming soon...