Showing posts from October, 2011

Saturday thru Monday - Our Stay at the Dover Terminal

SATURDAY - Up until this point everything has been running quite smoothly.  We'd been delayed a few times, but we fully expected to wait around for a flight, which is why we wanted to get to Dover with four days left on Josh's leave.

Saturday morning comes.  We had to check out of the hotel by 10am again, have the rental car turned in before heading to the terminal.  First thing we did was go to the terminal to check into the flight, which had been pushed back again to 8pm.  We checked in and drove around awhile, not sure what to do with ourselves since the rental didn't need to be returned until 5pm, but we didn't have to check in for our flight until 5 either.  The weather was awful so we couldn't walk around anywhere outside, which stunk.  Walmart ended up being "the place to be" for the next few hours.  I have never been a fan of Walmart, but that was pretty much the only available hangout other than going to the terminal early, which didn't make …

Tuesday thru Friday - Final Goodbyes and a Long Stay

TUESDAY - Tuesday morning we awoke relatively early so that we could get over to Dover and return the rental car before it was too late.  We had to have it in by 5pm, but we also wanted to stop in Pittsburgh to see Uncle Ben and Nate at Cannon Coffee.  I thankfully remembered to wrangle the kids up for a picture with Grandma and Grandpa right before we left.  I wish I had done it sooner, with better light, and when the kids weren't cranky... but I love it, and that's what counts :)

We left for Pittsburgh and all Josh and I could think about was how awesome it was going to be to finally try Ben's coffee... see their shop, talk to them in person, give them a hug.  Ben made us pumpkin spice lattes and they were literally the best coffee we've ever had.  We've had cappuccino in Italy and it was damn good, but this pumpkin spice latte was just insane!  Maybe it was mixed with the joy of seeing my little brother, maybe I'm biased, but it's still delicious ;)  The…

Monday - Lunch, Art, and Ipads

Monday was our last day in Ohio so we spent it at home, just relaxing and spending time together.  Mom and I left for lunch out at Olive Garden with Pam and Michelle.  We had a great time chatting and laughing.  We knew we might not see each other again before I left, but we didn't do the big goodbye's.  It was nice.  I am not a fan of saying goodbye to family and Michelle and Pam are no exception... and sometimes it seems that's all I do is say goodbye.  Sigh.  Anyway... it was a fabulous lunch, delicious food and wonderful company :)
When I got home Mom introduced us to the Ipad for Angry Birds and Mahjongg and that's all she wrote.  I think we played those dang things all day long.  I took breaks to do laundry and pack, but the majority of my time was spent matching tiles, while Josh spent his day slingshotting perturbed birdies at green pigs.  Ahhhhh ain't technology grand?

The kids got art lessons from Mom while we lazed around on couches.  They created their …

Sunday - The Lake and Apple Picking

I had mentioned to Mom before we left two weeks ago that I had really missed apple picking since I moved away from home.  Not many states (or countries, for that matter) have apple orchards where locals are free to roam and pick to their heart's content.  Ohio is one of those magical places ;)
Sunday morning we called everyone up and made plans to meet at the lake to get some pictures of the kids and let them play on the playground and then we'd be off for some apple picking.  The sun was in a bad spot so the pictures didn't come out like I'd hoped, but the kids had fun nonetheless.

We stopped for a quick bite at Wendy's before we headed out to Hartford.  The orchard hit hard times the last few years.  The original owner had passed it down to his son, but his son didn't want to have anything to do with it so the apples got a little disfigured and eaten away by pests.  Thankfully someone came to the rescue and the apples are slowly making a comeback.  It was sli…

Friday & Saturday - Big Brother Mark & family, and back to Mom's

We were on the road again by 8am, plenty of time to arrive by lunch in Marysville (a mere 3 hours away).  We called Mark and Jennifer and let them know where we were and when to expect us.  I was way off.  It didn't help that we had crossed time zones and I couldn't remember if I had switched the clocks accordingly.  We had to stop 4 times and let the kids run around because all of us were so tired of our nomadic lifestyle at that point we could only bear an hour in the car at a time.  Walmart made for some decent leg-stretching time.  The boys played in the toy section for a good hour.

We finally made the last leg of our trip and were at Mark and Jen's house by 2:30.  They had big warm hugs, smiles, and pizza there waiting for us.  We hadn't decided yet whether or not we'd be staying the night, but after a few hours of amazing conversation and relaxation we were set on staying.  We talked about politics and finances, military life.  We caught up on the last 5 year…

Thursday - Hotel

We were back on the road after breakfast Thursday morning.  Our goal was to make it halfway, to Indiana, but then we had a thought... maybe we can make it to Marysville to see my brother Mark and his whole family.  It could happen!

Driving and driving and driving... 

We had a good three hours to go until we would arrive at Mark's so we pulled over right outside of Indianapolis.  We'd spent 10 hours in the car at that point.  We were all thrilled at the prospect of getting out of the car for the night.  First hotel - booked solid, second hotel too... called to the final hotel.  No no no, make that Motel.
Apparently there were several conventions going on in Indianapolis so every hotel within a 20 mile radius of the city was completely booked solid, and twice the price.  Hooray! :P  The College Inn in Greencastle, Indiana was like one of those hotels in murder movies.  You know, where the guy's on the run so he stops at a seedy motel to wash all the blood off of himself in …

Wednesday - The Greats! ;)

We stuck around at home all day Wednesday and I took that opportunity to get all our laundry and packing done.  Great Gpa and Gma B drove (for 4 hours) all the way up to see us.  We were planning on detouring to go see them, but their trip saved us 8hrs of drive time.  Thanks so much again for making that drive, Audrey!!!  We had lunch and dinner (Kim's homemade lasagna ::drooool::) together, just visiting and enjoying each others' company all day.  It was fabulous! :)

Kim and I took the kids outside a few times, but it was still really cold and windy so we had to tough it out in small chunks of time.  Of course the boys didn't care at all.  It surely helped that Grandpa ran out and bought them all fleece-lined hoodies.

Bryant and Josh escorted GGpa and GGma to their hotel while Kim and I got the boys turned in with "Yogi Bear" in their room.  We warmed up the DVD player for ourselves to watch "Bridesmaids".  The TV was being all weird and we missed so…

Monday & Tuesday Morning - Grandpa and Grandma B!!!!

We arrived at Grandpa & Grandma B's farm a little after 8pm, not too far off our target time.  They had cooked up a fabulous dinner for us and it was waiting on the table.  It's always amazing to have home-cooked food in my book.  All kinds of goodness.  I believe I thanked Kim at least 4 times :)  We were riding with a huge lightning storm the last hour which made for an interesting drive.  The weather continued to worsen.  It got outrageously windy, bitter cold, and the lightning never seemed to stop.  I tried to get a picture, but I gave up once I couldn't feel my fingers anymore.

After dinner the kids retired to their room to watch "The Cat in the Hat" while we all talked at the table.  None of us stayed up too late.  Poor Kim had to wake up at 4am-ish so she headed to bed a bit earlier than we did, but we weren't too far off.  Josh and I are now convinced we need to buy a memory foam mattress top because that bed was ridiculously comfortable!

The ne…

Sunday & Monday Morning - Majekka!!

Sunday morning we were left to our own devices to pack while Gpa and Gma went to church.  This worked out really well since we would have been running all over the place, not visiting anyway.  Once they got back I finally got my picture of them with the boys since they were still looking all snazzy in their church clothes :)  They turned out great!!  This is going to be an 8x10 on my wall, above my couch.

We left shortly thereafter since we had to run back over to Target and exchange/return a few things.  Jessica wasn't expecting us until 6pm so we had plenty of time to kill.  We killed it at Bob Evans for lunch... again.  What is that the 4th time already?  I can't help it!!!!  I just love love love it!!  Bob Evans and Target are my kryptonite!!  Ahemmm... so, yeah... we grabbed a coffee and hit the road again.  Next stop, Fort Riley!  Jessica called to let us know her plans had fallen through and we were a "go" for early arrival, but by that point we had dawdled so…

Saturday, Day 8 - Picnic

Saturday started slow, as Saturdays should.  We bade farewell to Gpa Mark and he was off to the races, and the rest of us headed out for a family breakfast at the Santa Fe Depot.  We stuffed ourselves with biscuits and gravy and I tried eggs benedict for the first time.  I approve!  We arrived at the LHS Reunion picnic with the kids, still full from our big American breakfast.  We didn't talk to very many people.  A majority of the guests were those popular rich kids who still think they're better than everyone.  La dee freakin' da.  Some people never change.

All the kids who could effectively run were shoveling dirt onto a skateboard ramp and sliding down.  There was a playground, but it was so far from the picnic area that it wasn't an option.  I spent most of my time sitting on a bench watching kidlets slide around in dirt.  It wasn't a complete loss though because Mama Bell was there!!

Mama Bell was in ROTC with Josh in High School and when they saw each other …

Friday, Day 7 - Sorry Guys, We're Taken

Growing up I was a tomboy.  While my Mom may have wanted to take me out on salon days, paint my nails, curl my hair... primp.  I probably would have thrown a fit or purposely sabotaged my beautiful nails with fresh mud or sand or something, maybe even shave my head to get rid of the curls for good.  I refused to wear makeup because I thought it was pathetic and debasing to paint your face for some dumb guy.  I am still one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet.  Mom gave up on trying to make me girly eventually, and helplessly watched as I nurtured my love of all things Lowe's by working on projects with my Dad.  She watched as I joined the Army.  While I am still ridiculously excited when I can do more pull-ups than a man or when I visit hardware stores, I've grown to love my feminine side as well.  Finally... at 30 years old I wear girly clothes, do my makeup, sport my sparkly trinkets, and can walk in heels.  Shout-out to my Mommy - we will have our date soon!  Yo…

Thursday, Day 6 - All the Pretty Horses and Jason Statham

We woke up fairly early and got ready for our big day out.  The carousel museum wasn't going to be open until 10 so we had plenty of time to mill around, eat breakfast, and slowly get ready for the day.

We arrived as the museum was being opened and were treated to a free guided tour, even though we only bought the carousel ride.  Thanks, guys!  The carousel we rode was way faster than any carousel I've ever ridden.  It had a mini drum and cymbal set that acted as the "live band" during our ride.

The staff is all-volunteer and the museum is run on donations.  They have the oldest functioning carousel in the world.  It was built in 1850 and is still operated by hand crank, as our tour guide Virginia demonstrated.  Fascinating!

There was a lot to see for the adults, but the kids were antsy and getting hungry for lunch so we didn't stay too remarkably long after the quick tour.

Our next stop was Homer's Drive-In, a classic burger joint which happens to be our Jo…