I checked my email maybe twice a day, just because Mom’s computer is always up and running, or maybe Todd was online and asked if I needed to do anything before he shut down. There were never any emails. And I was just fine with that.
You can’t get any cell phone reception at my folks’ so there was no need to even turn on my phone. I was completely disconnected from real life. And it was so nice.
Then we get to the airport and everyone is on their laptops, or texting and cell phones are ringing everywhere, and it’s like being lost in the jungle for a long time, only to return to civilization and realize that civilization is really annoying.
Despite being annoying, here I am on Todd’s laptop, 35,000 feet over Michigan, working on this blog post. So my annoyance is extremely short lived, huh?
So! Notes from the trip:
The Milwaukee airport employees are super nice. Going through security was extremely easy and stress free. Unlike SeaTac airport, where the employees are cranky and snap at you if you don’t move quickly enough.
Detroit has a really nice airport. There’s a red tram/train/thingy that runs above you. It’s very pretty.
We had a ton of family out on the 4th. Family that I hadn't seen in ages and family I've never met. Including my mom's sister, Jeannie. See the resemblance?
(I don't care that I look like crap. It was freakin' hot!)
And, of course, we had the obligatory sibling photo.
Audra State Park, on the Tygart Valley River, has a fantastic swimming hole. No, we didn’t actually swim there, but Todd and I walked out onto the rocks and kicked around in the water a bit. There are huge rocks in the middle of the river and the water is only ankle deep over most of them. Just lovely.
(Tygart Valley River)
I still cry every time I leave Nestorville. My folks live about 12 miles from there, but we drove over to see my uncle and to get down in the creek. The last time we went there, to say goodbye, I bawled on the drive out. It’s just such an important place to me.
As is my great grandmother’s grave. We went by to say hi, and as I dusted off her headstone, I started to cry. She’s been gone seven years now, and I still miss her terribly.
My parents have an incredible front porch. I believe it’s 10 feet wide and 30 feet long. I never got tired of sitting out there and just watching the birds or the squirrels or the bunnies or the deer. If you’re going to go on vacation and have set the goal of “not doing a damn thing”, my parents’ porch is the ideal spot.
(Me, relaxin' on The Porch)
Goober, their cat, is a hoot. He talks to mom when he wants to eat or wants to go outside. Mom talks back to him, which makes her look like a crazy cat lady, but it’s also comforting that she’s got a little buddy who gives her a hard time.
Kayleigh is not a country bumpkin. I think I got to her too late. She didn’t care for the creek (WHAT?!) and the bugs were starting to get to her by about Thursday. Getting burnt in the little inflatable pool didn’t help matters, either.
We did, however, enjoy a Slip-n-Slide. Well, Kayleigh enjoyed the Slip-n-Slide.
(Kayleigh, slippin' and slidin')
This is proof that 35 year olds should not attempt to slip-n-slide.
Traveling is getting harder. My patience is shorter and my back and legs don’t like sitting for five hours. I will never again give my parents a hard time about not flying out to visit me. I get it now.
But Todd is wonderful travel companion. He balances me out.
Oddly enough, this is the only picture of the two of us. Huh.
(Happy, sweaty couple)
Thank goodness I cut my hair the day we left. It was 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity and that hair on my neck would have driven me insane. As would putting it up in a ponytail every day.
And I leave you with Ma and Pa.
Don't let that look on his face fool you. He's really happy.