All the luggage has been unpacked, the suitcases back in their basement hideaway. The souvenirs have taken places of honor on bookcases, shirt drawers, and, in my case, the garage. I collected reusable shopping bags from the many grocery stores we went to. Before you laugh, it makes a great reminder .. all have the store name or town someplace that is not where I normally shop. And, at 99cents, a frugal buy that can be used each week.
Shells, shopping sacks and t-shirts were not the only thing we brought back from our trip. Luke picked up a virus that slammed him our last day and for four more after we came home. He also had a weird reaction to some bug bites. That is one of the reasons it has taken me so long to recap our trip. The kid was a mess. So was my yard. Apparently Brian confused dormancy with death by grub. I have spent a good chuck of this week battling the grubs and fixing the yard.
We have been home for one week, Brain and Noah were very excited to see us. My Visa bill came in just days after we did, and thankfully, Brian was still in a honeymoon phase. My fretting for having gone over ( the ridiculously low) budget was unwarranted. He was ok with it. That was a surprise. Actually, the memories I have from this trip are all surprises.
*Luke did not travel well. He was out of his element, dealing with his first wave of teen hormones so most of the time I felt as thought I were trying to control him instead of enjoying things with him. I have overheard him telling people about the trip, and he is apparently a revisionist. Thankfully.
* Bekah, my worrier, loved everything. She thought she could imagine herself living everywhere we went and soaked everything in. Sure, she ate chicken ever single meal out, but she didn't complain.
*My dad waited until Day 10 before he actually did pull the car over. Instead of yelling like he had when we were kids he was silent. When asked he said" I am waiting for the back seat to calm down before I can safely drive." then more silence. oooh, that man is good. I'm gonna use that.
* That I really do like Chicago more than New York. And I am ok admitting it
* That I would feel guilty when I missed more than a couple days of blogging. I thought a few short postcard blogs from the road, but reading back it was more than I had expected. Posting meant more to me. The emotions behind the words were deeper than I had expected And that you followed the trip with us meant the world to me.
* The thing that struck me the most with a SURPRISE! was that even though I didn't have a lot planned other the where we were stopping, when things didn't go according to plan it was ok. Our group could roll with the changes and have more fun than we could ever have planned for.
Here are some snapshots of our trip, a final montage. Get your favorite vacation song running in your head and take a look at some of the things I will remember from this wonderful, special summer adventure.
Our first stop was the arch in St Louis..we didn't go inside but we sure took a lot of pictures!
Getting to spend so much time with my parents was my favorite aspect of the trip. We were living together and exploring together and I will cherish each moment.. even the not so great ones. This was mom and I on the Night of the Chipmunk:
Seeing people that I had not in far too long was one of the things I was most looking forward to, and it didn't disappoint. I think they were as excited to share their worlds with me as I was to see how they were doing. My college roommate , Sharon, and her husband Ford went above and beyond to make us comfortable.
Bek, Mom, me and Sharon ended a day of NYC sightseeing with a view of Lady Liberty from the NJ side. Sometimes you get the most out of an experience when you look at it in a different way than most people do.
When we went to Lake Winnipesaukee we got to see relatives that my kids had never met. My Aunt Mary, Mom, Cousin Carrie and her daughter as we waited for my uncle to bring his boat around for a ride. Carrie and I should get together soon to get our foot tattoos!
Beks never wanted to fish with Brian here in MO, but get her to New Hampshire and she caught her first fish ever.
Another first, the kids paddling in NH. I recall this as an activity they worked together to accomplish and with no fighting. A week later and I am already revising history.
My mother realized, a year or so ago, that she had never mini-golfed. She rectified that situation then, but this was only her second game ever. She slaughtered us.