While I cooked, I’ve got a fire started in the fireplace. The temperatures didn’t go above 40°F (4°C). Sara wanted me to fill up, the slinky feeder with peanuts, because she likes to watch her little Blue Jays. And sure enough, it didn’t take long, when six Blue Jays showed up to get some nuts. Sandy and Mr. Cardinal picked a couple of peanuts as well. After dinner, we all stayed by the fire in the front room. Kevin and Sara played a board game. And Katelynn watched them, while I tended the fire.
The last several days after Christmas, we took a short break and visited Kevin’s family in North Carolina. Katelynn and Sara hadn’t been in Georgia and South Carolina, yet. So, we chose to drive the southern route through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to get North Carolina. Since it was raining most of the time, we took it easy with the “End of the Year” trip. I captured several photos. But I wasn’t going all out as I usually do, when we go on bigger trips. Here are my favorite ones:
Today is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun will be ‘reborn” and “climb its way to the top of the hill”, until Summer Solstice in June, before the days will become shorter again. We call it the Winter Solstice, when the days are short and the nights are long. And the days start to become longer.
Katelynn and Sara had their last day of school for 2018. It is also the end of the first semester in school. When the girls go back, Katelynn will have a new schedule in January. And Sara will begin to prepare for the STAAR tests, in Spring. But first, we will enjoy the last days of this year. Hopefully, we have a good start into the new year, 2019. We will visit the family in North Carolina for a few days. The girls want to see their grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. They always enjoy traveling and seeing something new on the road. It never gets old for them. 😉
☃️Blessed Yuletide! Happy First Day of Winter!
June 21 – 23, 2017
Before we made it home to Texas, we relaxed in North Carolina. We visited Kevin’s parents for a full day. It gave us the opportunity to wash some clothes, sit on the couch, and tell the family about our adventures we had up north. Katelynn and Sara played with their cousin in the backyard. After sitting in the car for that long, it was great for them to run and get the wiggles out of their system.
The following morning, we packed, had a last breakfast with the in-laws in Morganton, and hit towards Texas. That day, we managed to make it all the way to Little Rock. We were done with the I-40 stretch, and had only the I-30 portion to Dallas left. The motel room looked fancy. And I really liked the firm mattress. Kevin and I looked for the tag, the next morning. I wrote down the brand and style. When it is time to retire our mattress, I have to shop and see if I find a mattress like the one in the motel. 😀
It was Friday morning. Being in Benton, Arkansas, we had less than 300 miles left. It was a relief, we were that close. The road was easy to drive. Usually rush hour seems to be all day on Friday. It might be only a DFW Metroplex thing. At about 1 p.m. Kevin drove the van in our driveway. Our house had us back. The pets were so happy to see us, again. And the garden had whole lot more sunflowers. The neighbor’s daughter took care of our pets and the garden, while we were out of town. She came over to bring the keys back, after work. 🙂
After technically exact 8 days, driving through 15 states, and 3752 more miles on the tachometer, it was a great feeling to be back home. The girls saw five more states; I saw four more states; and Kevin? He lost counting after traveling so much as a child. I’m sure he traveled a few more states than we did. 😉 Life is good! And we have a lot of more conversation material for the future. I’m planning already the next NYC-trip in my head. 😉
~ The End ~
June 20, 2017
Tuesday morning, we left New Jersey. Surprisingly traffic was not very heavy. And we got out of the thickest in a decent time. When we went to a gas station, Kevin got a little surprised. In New Jersey, you don’t pump your gas yourself. It’s illegal in this state, and a gas station operator will do it for you. The windows got washed with no extra costs, in the meantime. But the gas is a little bit more expensive, because of the service. Kevin made a short comment to me: “Hehe, we need this in every state.”
Our plan was to make it to North Carolina by the evening. But first, we had to go and see another historic symbol of the United States of America. Leaving New Jersey, we entered Pennsylvania to get to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia we parked in the park house of the Independence Visitor Center. We had 30 Minutes to walk to Liberty Bell and come back to the car. And somehow, we did it. It wasn’t too busy in the Independence National Historical Park and in the building. Therefore, I could capture pictures in a decent time. And we got out of Philly fairly quick.
After Philadelphia, we reached Delaware (State #33). Being on I-95 it is not a wise idea to blink, or you’ll miss the State of Delaware. … LOL We stopped at a rest area to get a bite to eat. I loved, that they served a mix of German/American style sandwiches. The Turkey-Brie-Apple Ciabatta-Sandwich I had for lunch was very delicious. The lady at the counter warmed it for a minute, which made the cheese melt a little bit. I also had a Danish as a dessert. It was good, very good! Half of the sandwich, I kept for later on the road. Because it was very filling.
As soon as we passed Baltimore, Maryland, we decided to go on a different road. Since we’ve been in Washington, D.C. back in 2015, we could avoid the country’s capital traffic and make our way faster into Virginia. In Virginia everything goes in a slower pace. It was relaxing after the faster pace, we’ve experienced the days before. The landscape is stunning. We always enjoy driving through the Appalachian Mountains. Up and down the hills we went. People start to greet ya more often at the gas stations and rest areas. It’s a sign of being back in the South. ❤ At another rest area, we stopped a little bit longer. Katelynn and Sara needed to run and chase each other, playing tag and get some fresh air. Down the hill, I discovered some berries. And Katelynn found a centipede crawling in the grass. I let her watch it, but told her not to touch it. Katelynn loves all kinds of bugs. And sometimes, I have to remind her, it’s not a good thing to touch every creepy-crawly.
After refilling the little cooler with water and juices, we were back on the road. It felt so good to see the North Carolina state sign. It meant, we were not too far from our Tuesday’s destination anymore. Kevin got some bread, lunch meat, cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers. This was dinner at the motel for that evening. Kevin called his parents to let them know, we had arrived in town. We would meet for breakfast the next morning.
… to be continued …