I can't claim that many trips are worth an eight hour, mind-numbingly boring drive---but our trip home definitely qualifies as well worth the torture. Are you ready for photographic evidence?
First, there was Henry throwing a hissy fit in the back seat on the ride down. He simply cannot get comfortable and pants the entire time. In this picture I think he looks like a lamb:
This is the old "I'm going to hide behind Dad's shirts because I'm mad at you" trick:
And now, "I'm just going to stare blankly out the window, with my back to you."
Although the drive from Milwaukee to Jefferson City, Missouri is painfully boring we did manage to see a glorious sunset over the Illinois cornfields:
Upon arrival at 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning, look what greeted us [my Mom lives for this stuff]:
Walking by my parents' dining room made me do a double take:
This is called a Wedding Tree. Do not call it a Christmas Tree or you will be banished by my mother. There are little ornaments with wedding pictures on them hiding amidst the aisle decor from our wedding. Is there a support group for recovering Mother of the Bride addicts?
Since my mom just got my dress dry cleaned, she decided to make it a shrine and hang it in the 'wedding room.' I'm pretty sure that doesn't do much for preserving the gown but whatev. We'll just hope this little mid-life crisis passes soon, right mom?
But the woman can grow some mean pink flowers!
Then a grotesque tree frog adhered itself to our kitchen window and stared into our souls. Great time for a photo!
And this next series I call: The Reason Why We Run
1. Homemade cookies from scratch2. The best old school ice cream parlor in the world. Yes, the world. Bring it on!
I tried to snap a pic of the various flavors but I felt like a creep in there. This is Central Dairy: a real ice cream shop from the 1950s. It hasn't been redecorated and their prices are unbeatable.
Sure, it's no Wisconsin custard but it's real ice cream and the bomb.
I'm the creepy lady with a camera today, but I love this shot:
3. And yet another gem of Jeff City: Sno Biz. Hawaiian shaved ice with sugary, yummy goodness.
Instead of the standard fruity syrup flavored treat, Nate opts for the Mounds Bar variety: which is coconut flavored ice with Hershey's syrup on top. Can you tell he is quite fond of his pick?
Okay, onto the doggie/family/friend pictures!!
Memaw and Pepaw made the trip up to visit their favorite grandchild [ahem]. And Henry likes to give hugs.
And now I present to you Dog With A Hat. He is so incredibly ticked here, I love it!!
Two for the price of one!
Also, Henry enjoys gorging himself on many bones while being spoiled by his Missouri grandparents. I love that his mouth is open while chewing here:
My mom took the opportunity to celebrate Nate's birthday a little early. He's nearing 27 just like his haggard wife, and Memaw made the most fabulous birthday dessert ever. Please note the banner behind us [I helped make it on the computer, but it ran out of blue ink.] And also note Nate's hat has bobbles on it that say 'happy' and 'birthday'. Too fun!
The original foursome:
With our new additions to the family:)
The newlyweds with a handsome couple married 56+ years. Note that they started the freakishly tall legacy in our family: 77 years old and still 6 feet tall. Love you, Memaw and Pepaw!
I call this my happy face. Embrace it:
Then I got to visit my hometown girls: Milldogg and Ariana. Look at their cute faces!
I got a little carried away here and split my lip. Did I ever tell you that I am this child's godmother? And did I mention that she is 3 years old and 50 pounds?
And then there is Ethan---my friend Laura's little man. He's 1.5 years old and a hoot. Those eyes kill me. Watch out ladies, he's single!
When we visited Laura, Adam and Ethan we had to break out the guitar video games. I had no clue what I was doing but it was fun!
Did I mention that Laura is pregnant with her second [due next month!], a resident doctor working 80 hour weeks, and freaking insane? Truly superwoman, that one.
So that is it. A fabulously fun vacation 'down south.' Except for the stupid run on Saturday, I wouldn't have done anything differently. It's always sad to leave, but as mom said, you have to focus on the fun you have while visiting. Plus I might have convinced my parents to come up and visit during the marathon weekend. Not sure if that is a good time for them to see us in action....we might be out of commission all of Sunday after the race but at least they will be there to witness the feat!
Does anyone else live REALLY far away from their family? Do you get to see them more often than me?