Sunday, November 29, 2015

We Can Go Home Toto....At Least for a Visit

Boulder City, NV
No, this is not Boulder City. Rather this is the view from my mom's living room in Florida. Joan and I have just returned from our Thanksgiving tour of the southeastern United States. Technically we were gone 3 weeks and 3 days leaving Vegas at 12:20am on 11/3 and returning at 11:30pm on Black Friday 11/27.During our trip we flew across 9 states; drove through 3 states; stayed at 5 different locations; attended 1 wedding; visited a new house (my step daughter's); found out I'm going to be a grandpa again (my son & his wife, a boy this time); installed 2 jeep bumpers, 1 winch and 2 slide toppers; saw numerous family members and friends; and ate out about a gazillion times (yes that's a real number!). We had so much fun and as much fun as it was, we are so glad to be back at home sleeping in our own bed.

Logan, Cody, Sydney, Mary, Katie, Katie & Jacob,
Matt, Shelby, Carson & Staci (might as well be a niece)
Jacob and Katie; In year's past Joan & I have been planning trips back to Florida around Christmas. This year Joan's nephew Jacob was getting married the first week of November so we decided to travel back for Thanksgiving. Jacob is only the 2nd of Joan's parent's grandchildren to get married (Joan's son Sean is the other). But there are a slew of grandchildren (Joan is the oldest of 7 siblings) ranging from mid teens to early 30's. I suspect we'll start to see more wedding announcements soon.
All but 2 of Joan's nieces and nephews were in attendance and Joan had a great time catching up with them.

Originally we flew into Atlanta and stayed a day or 2 visiting with my sister and oldest son. We borrowed my son's truck and headed out to Alabama for the wedding. From the wedding we headed south to Florida to spend time with my mom and dad. Over the next 2 weeks we visited numerous family and friends.........
My youngest son Chris and his family
Landen, Lindsey, Chris, Jaelyn & Tiana

Joan's dad Tommy
Grandsons Ryan & Bradley

Joan, my dad Jim, me & my mom Sue

April, Sean & Joan
Judy, Lisa, Joan, Judy's husband RV & Susan
Joan got the chance to take several of her girlfriends to lunch. They laughed and had so much fun they missed their exit off the expressway to drop off one of the girls. When they did exit, they got back on the expressway going the wrong direction ending up 20 miles further down the road. So they made the best of a bad situation and drove around visiting other friends near the exit where they finally got off the expressway.

Our friends Jim & Deb are just weeks away from retiring and starting their full time RV adventure. Since we saw them last Christmas they have sold their house; bought and moved into their 40' 2007 Country Coach motorhome, traded their pickup for a 2015 Jeep Rubicon and started prepping their families for their departure. If all goes to plan, they will leave Florida in February headed west to join us for a quick vacation in March. We plan on giving their new jeep a baptism of rock & trail climbing, while at the same time getting both of them used to some of the things they may encounter if they're able to work with us inventorying BLM roads during the summer. We helped them with some of that prep by adding bumbers and a winch to their jeep.

4 Generations
me, my mom, oldest son Doug &
grand daughter Trstyn

After 2 weeks in Florida it was time to head back towards Atlanta for Thanksgiving. Joan, my mom and I left on Monday and avoided most of the 'crazy' holiday traffic. We stayed a couple of nights with my sister before celebrating at my sister's house on Thursday.

Thursday night we stayed with my son and his wife; enjoyed an early hike Friday morning and spent the rest of the day just enjoying our time with Tristyn.

Friday evening Doug dropped us at the airport and we arrived home at Lake Mead around 3 am Saturday morning.

Joan and I return to work tomorrow and I got picked up to play in a softball tournament this coming weekend in Mesquite. We'll be spending Christmas at Lake Mead this year. Several friends have stated they plan to visit Vegas around Christmas so we'll see how it goes; This will be our first Christmas away from family, but we've got lots of friends here with us at Lake Mead, so I'm sure it will be great.

That's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come.