Welcome to 2012 everyone! David, Sweet and I celebrated the New Year at his parentís house, playing board games and visiting until 3:00am. It was a lot of fun, and to think we actually talked about not going at all! Sunday morning Davidís dad fixed everyone in the house fresh waffles dripping with butter and syrupÖYUM! They were the thickest waffles Iíve ever had but I still found room for more than one. We had a little pre-vacation shopping to do so we ran into town for a few hours afterwards. I was on a strict time schedule because we had to be back by 4:15pm to watch the Steelers game. Luckily Iím a super shopper so we were able to squeeze in three different stores during Sunday shopping traffic and still make it back before kickoff. The whole family was around the TV for the longtime Steelers vs. Brown rivalry, and as expected Davidís beloved Steelers held on for a 13-9 victory. After the game we had a New Yearís dinner tradition of pork and sauerkraut. Now I know Davidís mother cooked it perfectly as she is an amazing cook but I was not completely won over by this combination. I think it was the sauerkrautÖ.if the food itself is that weird sounding to say can it really taste good? David loves the combo so he got a little extra from me. We headed home that night with full bellies and a weekís vacation ahead of us.
The first snow of 2012 was waiting for us on Monday. Thank goodness we are on vacation so let it snow all it wants! Our big drive out west was a mere two days away so we slated this as a 100% relaxation day. Plenty of scrapbooking for Andrea, an Ohio State Bowl Game for David (Iím so sorry they lost baby) and play time in the snow for Sweets. It was a win/win/win for all of us! With this much down time in preparing for a long drive we concentrated on relaxing and relaxation is definitely what we got!
Tuesday was the pre-vacation, last minute, handle everything day. We got Sweets in the car and headed back to Davidís parent house or, as she thinks of it, Sweetsí Spa. She gets so excited when we pull into their driveway because she knows that Nana is about ready to spoil her to death. I got some great pictures of those fluffy clouds that made me fall in love with Ohio in the first place. We spent some time visiting more but had to hug Sweets goodbye eventually. We miss her so much but we know she is in great hands with lots of people and other pets to play with. We stopped and got an oil change for the Camry since it was a little overdue and we were about to put 2000 miles on it in the next 4 days. Besides our long drives to Missouri every year we hardly put any miles on the car at all. Basically, when we head west we get an oil change! Our final stop before home was my work so I could pick up my paycheck. Normally I wouldnít have been able to get it until 6:00am the next morning but my boss was nice enough to let me get mine early, under strict rules to not cash it until after 9:00am tomorrow. No problem, Iíll be in Indiana by then anyway! We got home and did as much pre-packing of the car as we couldÖthat 5:00am wake-up call come real early and with David, that wake-up call is followed by the get-this-train-a-moving-call. Iíll go ahead and say goodnight to Ohio now because tomorrow Iím Missouri bound!
Wakey wakey, itís Wednesday and we are ready to start driving! Ok, really David is the one ready to start driving, but thatís because heís a marathon driver. Iím more of a take-a-road-trip-nap kind of girl. At 5:30am the Camry left the garage and hit the interstate on a westerly heading. This vacation was amusingly named by me the ďAdventures of The travelling House SlippersĒ in honor of my favorite comfy shoes. I took pictures of the slippers at all of the different places we stopped at along the way to add a little fun to a normally tedious 12 hour drive. We did have a new stop this time as my Aunt Katie offered to cook us a nice breakfast/brunch if we wanted to come by her house. She lives in Greenfield, IN which just happens to be right on the highway that takes us towards Missouri so we adjusted our course to make sure and see her. We arrived there around 10:00am and had a great visit while eating a wonderful meal of scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit and a delicious warm applesauce. We wished we couldíve stayed longer but with an 8 hour drive still looming ahead of us we had to get back on the road. Every time we go to Missouri I am totally amazed at Davidís driving stamina. Once he gets going it is nearly impossible to make him stop. He says he likes to just get where heís going with no interruptions but I think his inner competitor is having a contest each time to see if he can make the trip in less time than the last. Because of this driving determination we arrived in Chillicothe, MO as scheduled, right about 7:00pm. We went straight to my fatherís house to unpack and wait for my brother and sister to arrive. Though it was a little late, this would be our family Christmas so we had presents waiting to be shared. This Christmas I finally realized that we are indeed home owners as we got both a leaf blower AND a cordless weed whacker for gifts. Nobody laugh at all because David loved them both! To me the best gift is just being able to see my family and spend time with them, especially my little nieces Scarlett and Elizabeth. They are changing so much every year that I just try to absorb everything I can about them in the short time we have together. Watching Elizabethís face open in awe as she sees my fatherís mounted deer head, hearing how well Scarlett is talking and having her show me her new dance move; itís mostly just spinning but itís still too cute! With both myself and my sister travelling into town just this day everyone was ready to call it a night. As we crawled into bed I think I was dreaming about the next 3 days of family fun before my head hit the pillow!