DH got up at 3:00 to go to work an hour early. The Boogie and I got up much later and packed and cleaned so that we would come home to a clean apartment. DH was home by 12:30 and we loaded up the car and took off! The Boogie did great for the whole trip. I just kept handing her toys and food. We took along the portable DVD player for her which was perfect after it got dark and she couldn't see her toys or books and she was getting tired of being in her seat. DH drove the first leg to New Stanton, PA, where we stopped at McDonalds for a much-needed break. After that DH napped and I drove the rest of the way to Reynoldsburg, OH. During my shift I was reminded that I really really really dislike driving on unfamiliar curvy mountainous roads in the dark, especially when signs keep appearing that say "Watch for ice," "Bridge ices before road," and "Road may be icy." Every few minutes I would have to consciously relax my shoulders because they were so tensed up. But we made it safely to Reynoldsburg where we stayed at a lovely Days Inn. We didn't get there until after 11:00 but the Boogie was so tickled to be in a new place (and out of her carseat.) She was laughing and running all over.
Thanksgiving morning we had breakfast at Waffle House. I'd never eaten in one before and I have to say I was slightly disappointed. I guess I thought it would be more like a diner but it was sort of between that and fast-food. It was okay. The weather was beautiful for our drive down to Louisville. We arrived around 1:30. Mom made a HUGE dinner! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, chicken and dumplings, salad, cranberry sauce, pecan and pumpkin pies ... we were stuffed. The Boogie warmed right up to everyone and was lovely and charming and adorable. She especially loved all of the stairs at my grandparents' house. I think she spent hours going up and down them.
We slept in and were lazy for most of the day. Mom's sister and her three youngest kids came over for several hours.
That evening DH and I went to Walmart after the Black Friday craziness had subsided. All we needed were windshield wipers but we wandered around for a while just for the fun of it. I tell you what, there is a type of people who shop at Walmart that you will not find anywhere else. When you are in Kentucky that type of people is taken to the next level. It is amazing. (Please understand that I don't mean that ALL people who shop at Walmart are of that type, only that there IS a type. After all, I shop there too ... when I have to.)
We slowly packed everything up and left after a White Castle lunch. The Boogie conked out within fifteen minutes of leaving. We drove a little more than halfway home and stopped in New Stanton, PA for the night (a word to the wise: don't stay at the Howard Johnson in New Stanton. Dated, kinda smelly, not as clean as I would have liked.) It was sad to say goodbye but we were so happy that we got to go. The Boogie did so well with my family. She loved her Lela:Wasn't scared of Papaw at all, though when prompted to kiss him wouldn't get within a couple of inches of his beard (he did at least get air kisses):Four generations! Mom is the first-born of her siblings, I am her first-born, and the Boogie is my first-born. Cool, huh?I love my grandparents so much. They have been such an integral part of my life.
Breakfast at Cracker Barrel just before the morning rush. There were Steelers ballcaps and sweatshirts everywhere! After some yummy food and a perusal of the country store we hit the PA turnpike. The weather was nasty and traffic was slow for a while. The Boogie was at her whiniest (though not bad) and needed to watch lots of Elmo, Backyardigans, and Curious George. Every rest area was jam-packed full of people. At one of them we found a small room sort of annexed onto the big main room. It was totally empty so we chased the Boogie around for a bit to run off her toddler energy. We made it home by 4:30 which gave us plenty of time to unwind, shower, and do laundry before bed.
It was a wonderful trip. Lord willing it won't be another two years before we do it again.
And now ... Christmastime is here! There is going to be some serious holiday blogging going on over the next month. To kick it off:
A Christmasy munchkin. :)