I'm a little late with this post, as we've been back home for four days since our trip to Peoria. Overall, I would say the trip was a success. I loved getting caught up with family and friends and having some time to relax. Bryn thought that Peoria was one big party, which resulted in her being far too excited to sleep for the duration of our time there. Ben and I both spent a lot of time watching cable tv in the middle of the night while attempting to put Bryn back to sleep (always unsuccessfully, unless our attempt involved putting her in the car and driving around town).
So we were definitely exhausted at the end of the trip, since Bryn seemed to think that 2-3 hours of sleep a night were ample to maintain her party schedule. We left some very tired grandparents and aunts behind when we returned to Indy! But aside from the exhaustion, we had a fantastic time. Bryn loved all her presents and did a pretty good job tearing into the wrapping paper herself. Of course, the oranges were still her favorite (she collected them from all 5 stockings at my mom's house), although she discovered that the skin does not taste very good!
My favorite part of the trip was getting caught up with old friends and old places. Dining out included Italian favorites Aggatucci's and Avanti's, and my Clan of high school friends even managed to make a stop at Panache, a coffeehouse that was our regular hangout during our senior year. Several friends (Derek, Jolyne, and David) came over to my mom's house to recapture our days of hanging out in the basement in front of the Nintendo, and we were so glad to see each other that we immediately began brainstorming future Clan reunions and trips.
On our last day in town, I managed to connect with Melissa, Maria, and David for coffee. It was wonderful to see my friends! Our busy schedules don't permit for visits very often. Jolyne is a doctor in Chicago, David is a grad student in Providence, Maria is a lawyer in Chicago, and Melissa is living on a remote volcanic island in Nicaragua to research monkeys for her Ph.D. Oddly enough, I did not manage to connect with any of my friends that actually live in Peoria, which was disappointing, but there's always next time. At any rate, we are now all safely home, listening to our little evil genius's cackle. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!