The Lonnnnggg Drive to Maryland….for an awesome reason!

ron horse 7.13 ryan kevin 7.13 uncle logan 7.13

Last week, Ryan and I took a mini-vacation to suburban Baltimore,
Maryland to visit my brother Kevin.  Seeing my brother  with the physical distance between us is special enough, but this visit was
extra special.

As is my MO, I listened the to recently released book  “Toughness:
Developing Strength On and Off The Court” by Jay Bilas (kindle version).  Although many references used are basketball-related, the concepts on developing mental toughness can be applied to all areas of life.  College basketball fans  will get tremendous joy and insight about the inside game as well.

Mr. Bilas has great references about his parents and wonderful story about a cancer  survivor at the end of the book related to toughness.  There is no question that toughness is needed to succeed in life, but is not too often defined in such an extraordinary package.

Almost two months ago, Kevin’s girlfriend Tricia gave birth to their first child, Logan Joseph.  He is a handsome fellow!  He’s extra special because he makes me a first-time uncle, Jen a first-time aunt, and Ryan/Sawyer’s 1st first-cousin.  Typical of his age, pretty much all he does is eat, sleep, and poop. But when he smiles at you….you feel like a million bucks.

Ryan was very friendly and gentle with Logan.  He clearly loves his cousin.

Ryan and Logan "cheesing" for the camera

Ryan and Logan “cheesing” for the camera

I shared with Kevin and Tricia my opinion that it is hard to get motivated to do things when you are babysitting because when your child sleeps, you often lay down as well.  They didn’t disagree, but also attributed this “laziness” to the fact this is their summer vacation as well because they work in the school system.

Because of this, Ryan and I were often left to our own devices.  We took walks, visited playgrounds, rode his bicycle, and read books.  Kevin and Tricia were very generous with the food they prepared for us, and we enjoyed our meals.  Uncle Kevin, Ryan, and I went to a park one night and Uncle pushed Ryan on the swings while I got in some pickup basketball games ( I represented myself quite well despite being the oldest player on the court, thank you).

We were able to go to a couple of neat places.  We visited the Howard County Conservancy , which was an old farm preserved for future generations.  We enjoyed a great hike in pastures with some great wildlife, went into the nature center, saw old barns and tractors, and visited the chicken coop and goats.

howard conservancy

On our last day, I tried to play to Ryan’s affinity for trains by visiting the historic http://www.borail.org/Ellicott-City-Station.aspx.  His favorite thing to do was ringing the station bell.

ryan caboose driver ryan in caboosedad ryan 7.13 train

On Thursday night and early Friday morning, we packed up and got on the road for our 9+ return to Ohio.  On the whole, it was a great time.  We can’t wait for our future visits when the boys (Sawyer has yet to meet Logan) can be more interactive in their play.  I also learned some tricks in helping Ryan sleep when we travel to new places.

I am so thankful we got to do this trip.  Tricia and Kevin are doing great as new parents, Logan definitely hit the parent lottery with these two!  This post will help me remember it forever.

Would love to hear about your family road trips!

“Starting is half-finished.” -Robert D Smith author of 20,000 Thousand Days and Counting 

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