Last year, as Erin and I were talking with our friends and family about moving to Taiwan, many of them were talking about having kids for the first time. We noted that the life change they were expecting (like most major life changes) was similar to moving to a new country. The language they would use would change to incorporate child-related terms, they may find themselves eating different foods, and they would be spending more time with other parents in a similar situation. We called this new place, "Babyland".
Fast-forward to this summer and now all of those expectant parents are actual parents. Erin and I planned our summer vacation to visit each of the new baby families over the month of June. After leaving California our first stop on the Babyland tour was Georgia to see some of my friends from the Army, Brian and Steve. Both of them had their first kid about six months ago so we were going to meet them and their families at Steve's house in Savannah.
We spent Thursday just getting out to Atlanta. It was not a good day. A bad omen was when we showed up at the airport and our shuttle got scraped by another shuttle backing up. LAX was packed as usual, but the next irritation came when Erin was patted down twice (including once in a little frost-glassed room) even after going through the new x-ray machine. It didn't help later when I accidentally spilled my frappucino on her. We then sat on our plane at the gate for an hour because they had to fix a door before we could leave. When we finally got to our hotel our room wasn't made up. We got through the day with a great deal of patience, but it was very taxing.
Friday morning we were reminded why we endure the travel as we got to do some sight-seeing in Atlanta. We started with a tour of the CNN headquarters which was very enlightening to how the shows are produced. We then had lunch at the Sun Dial restaurant at the top of the Hampden hotel. The great part about that was that the whole restaurant slowly rotates so that we got a wonderful view of the entire city while we ate. We finished our tour at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. It was interesting to see where he grew up and lived, but it seemed like it could use some better care. We finally left the city, got a rental car, and made it out to Steve's and Adriennes's place that night. Brian and Cassie got there later that night.
On Saturday we were all pretty tired (either from travelling, tending to babies, or both). Fortunately Steve and Adrienne have access to a pool, so we spent much of our day there.
It was great to just relax and not have to worry about being anywhere. We really enjoyed catching up and reminiscing with everyone. The babies of course took center stage with lots of adoring to be done. There was often something that needed to be done to take care of them as well. Erin and I were thoroughly impressed at the amount of work that went in to taking care of the babies and the apparent ease with which the parents completed that work. Since both babies were almost six months old I imagine they all had a fair amount of practice.
After spending time at the pool we went with Brian, Cassie, and their daughter to downtown Savannah for dinner. While we didn't see much of the city, the part we saw looked very nice. We ended up having dinner on the rooftop of a pub while we discussed life and having kids. Our discussions continued late into the night back at Steve's and Adrienne's place as we watched a lightning storm roll through.
After breakfast on Sunday it was time for us to pack up and head back to Atlanta. It was unfortunate that we couldn't spend more time, but I know we'll meet up again in the future. Even though our friends are at a different place in their lives (full of feedings, diaper changes, car seats, and strollers), it doesn't mean that they're any less our friends. Erin and I haven't made a final decision on whether to have kids sometime in the future, but whatever we decide, it's good to know that our friends in Babyland will continue to be our friends - just as we'll continue to be their's.