Home Again, Home Again

Wow, finally! We really are back home, after a marathon road trip. The slideshows below (should you have the time to wade through them) reflect just about every activity in which we became involved. After leaving the Godseys in SC, we drove to Richmond to stay with my old pal Frostbite (a Pine Cove counselor name). Shawn, as he's know these days, let us invade his home for a couple of nights so we could spend tourist dollars in nearby Jamestown, Williamsburg, Norfolk, and downtown Richmond. One occasion I did not document photographically was my opportunity to meet the staff at Crosswalk.com, where Shawn works in their Richmond office. That was a real treat for me, since I've freelanced for them and it's always nice (and not usual) to meet online colleagues in person.

Another highlight of these days in Virginia, then Maryland, was the gorgeous scenery. We took many backroads to our destinations, just because we could. Hwy 5 from Richmond to Jamestown twists and turns, revealing heavy forests interspersed with cornfields and plantation homes. The winding roads of Northern Virginia were equally as scenic, as we ventured into the Appalachian foothills. I couldn't get enough of the trees. They were huge, fully developed, branches often meeting overhead from both sides to make the road resemble a tunnel of forest green.

Visiting with our old friends the Teskes made us all smile, a lot. Nate and Ellie reaquainted themselves quickly, reminding us moms of their younger play days. Jack and Anna, birthday twins, became good buddies. They were usually the culprits when we heard late night giggles coming from the room where they all camped on the floor. John and Steve enjoyed some deep, thoughtful discussions (again, just like old times), while Erin and I caught up on ministry, friends, motherhood, gardening, and life in general. A good time for all.

Oh yes, another undocumented activity: I stood in line for 1.5 hours to get Nora Roberts' autograph on a couple of her books. Her little hometown bookstore is just 20 minutes from the Teskes' town, very close to Antietem Battlefield, so we combined those two destinations for our Saturday outing. The kids enjoyed ice cream cones while I stood in line with hundreds of other people. We all did the driving tour through the battlefield. A good day!

On Monday we drove 14 hours from Frederick, MD, to St. Louis, MO. We crashed at my step-sister Delane's place, then spent Tuesday like most tourists in St. Louis: going up into the Arch, then touring the Anheuser Busch Brewery. We mostly just wanted to see the Clydesdale horses. They are enormous. So are the vats of beer brewing...over 2 million beers per vat, with 20 vats in that one building. And they would sell them all in 3 days... sheez.

We drove home Wednesday, stopping off at the original Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, MO. That was pretty cool.

Stats for the trip:
22 days,
18 tanks of gas,
4290 miles,
7 groups of family/friends visited,
0 contagious illnesses

...priceless vacation!