We have arrived at our NOVA home once again after an almost two week vacation. By the end of the first week I was thinking I was ready to come home. Yet sticking it out for another day or two threw me into my “I live from a suitcase” mode and I went into thinking that I didn’t actually have a stable home. Its kinda like how animals revert into hibernation although it is nothing like hibernation. I’d call it “Hobo-mode” except that reminds me of the name of a computer program. Anyways, by the time we started on our way back I was mostly incredulous that we have a place to live. Walking into our front door was even weirder. I was sure I had never lived in a place that looked like it, let alone put together by me to look the way our home does. Or maybe it was because our house was spectacularly clean (thanks to Deborah and family!) and the floor was unusually toy-free.
Josh helped me visualize our Christmas vacation through a Google-Earth lens. Zooming into various locations throughout Michigan and then out again, seeing the people, personalities and activities in each place really helps you mentally capture how small our worlds really are in the grand-scheme of the world. And now I am zoomed back into my Northern Virginia world, where I shop at the same stores, drive the same circuit and often talk to the same people. Its all rather odd, really. It seems trite. Yet, this blog entry is not to discuss my thoughts and feeling since being back (although, in case you couldn’t tell that’s REALLY what I actually want to be writing about now). I figured its only fair to give a brief overview of our trip first, as some have been asking.
Firstly, we had an amazingly easy trip to Harbor Beach, MI. Avilynne was an angel on the 10+hr. drive in between two snow/ice storms the Saturday before Christmas.
We stayed in Harbor Beach with Josh’s adoptive family, the Hill family whom he went on a missions trip to Guatemala with when he was a teenager. Since then he has enjoyed spending the holidays with them when he can, and I was able to enjoy the experience. And no, I am not just saying I enjoyed it because I know they might be reading this, but I really did. It was fun, relaxing, connecting and all those good things. They might have adopted Avilynne even more effectively than they adopted Josh. And I am pretty sure Avilynne adopted their cat, to Waffle’s chagrin. I learned how to play Aggravation, we made snowmen (and women and pigs), had some jam sessions and I received a plethora of Christmas presents from Josh (to my amazement). The week went by quickly (as all good weeks must go).
After I had officially convinced my wise family (who learns from previous experience) that this time, really, we really really weren’t coming to visit……the weather cleared up and we decided to see the Fox family (my aunt, uncle and cousins) in the Upper Peninsula. The trip to the arctic wasn’t as nice as the one to the Hill’s. There was terrible fog all the way there, equal to a good-day’s fog on the central coast. Much of the time you couldn’t see a few car lengths in front of us. Avilynne also thought it was a good idea to stay awake when very tired, so she wasn’t the most pleasant child. But we made it, and once again we had a lovely time. I am pretty sure its impossible to not have a lovely time in the UP, no matter how cold it is. The people are just to great (along with the REAL Mackinaw Island Fudge Ice Cream). Of course I always delight in spending insane amounts of time with Brittany, my fair maiden, whether in deep conversation or just laying around together. I’m pretty sure she was the only one who said anything of value, because I only remember jibber-jabbing about really important things like depilatory cream at 2 a.m. and wondering why I didn’t really have much more to say. Anyways, it was still superb.
On the 30th, we finally got into our car to leave around 5pm and very bravely attempted to make it to Kalamazoo, to Josh’s grandparents that night. It was snowing and not so nice of a drive, but we did get there at 2am or so. We stopped for a nice anniversary dinner in some ski-resort looking bay town. It reminded me of a frozen Santa Barbara, and I think I might like to check it out at day-time someday. The time with Josh’s grandparents was short, but good. We were also able to see some of his extended family, cousins, aunts, and other relatives whom are somehow relatives as they had a New Year’s get-together while we were there.
On New Year’s Eve we drove to a Detroit Suburb were we hung out with the Hill family and their extended family for their annual awesome shindig. We were able to see another good friend of ours there, which was sweet. Although we didn’t stay at the party until the ball dropped, it was more than well-worth going to.
Lastly, we stayed at this amazing hotel that night. Josh was trying to surprise me, staying at the same Victorian Inn we stayed at last year for our anniversary. Instead we stayed at the Victorian Inn right next door (which was yellow instead of pink). Yet this hotel too was also awesome; the biggest difference being that we traded a full-body massage chair (pink hotel) for a fireplace (yellow hotel). I’m a sucker for huge hot tubs, so I was without doubt a happy camper that night in luxury. I am pretty sure if I become rich someday I will get a massive hot tub before I give the rest of my money to the poor. Because, of course, I am noble like that. Its a nice thought, anyways.
Then we came home.
Okay, for all of you who skipped reading the above description, just look at this map and all your questions will be answered. Maps are sorta like genies. They answer questions, sadly just not with the phrase “Your wish is my command.”