Boy, I kind of wish were actually leaving here this morning on a jet plane though because it sure would give us a little extra time to visit once we arrive, don't ya know. However, that form of transportation is way over our budgetary limits -unfortunately. And then too, we're only driving down to Northern Virginia -just outside D.C. to Burke to spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday visiting with some cousins who are very, very close to me -to my kids, too. So it is really only about a 4 1/2 hour drive -if we run straight through, that is.
Of course, there's always the possibility that on the way down, we might stop off in Hagerstown, MD to visit the daughter of one of my Mom's brothers and her family for a little bit of a break in the feeling cramped in the car type thing.
The cousins we are planning to actually spend most of our time with though -two sisters and their Mom and family. Their Dad and my Mom were first cousins. Their grandfather lived about six houses down the street from our house so I spent a lot of time during my early years down at my great-uncle's home, especially when these girls -Rita and Bea -would come here with their parents for a visit. Plus, as we grew up, they often spent a couple of weeks at a clip with their spinster aunts who maintained my uncle's home for almost forty years after his death.
Rita and Bea and I -along with their Mom -have always had a very close relationship. Their Mom has been, over the years, to my kids like a surrogate grandmother to them on many occasions. One year, while talking on the phone with cousin Rita about our upcoming family reunion, she mentioned to me that her Mom had decided she wasn't going to make the great Swedish meatballs that she was so well known for within our family. When I mentioned this fact to Mandy, she was crestfallen. Made me call Rita back and tell her to tell "Grandma Ruthie" (which is the name my kids use when referring to Rita and Bea's Mom -that the reunion just would not be the same, wouldn't be right, if there weren't some of Grandma Ruthie's Swedish Meatballs there. And you know don't you too, that when the day of the family reunion rolled around, Grandma Ruthie was there with a big old crockpot filled with those meatballs -did them all just because Mandy said she wanted them. Sure seems like someone playing the Grandma role there, don't 'cha think?
Rita, her husband, David, Bea, Rita's sons and I also share a deep loyalty too to good old Penn State University. Bea, Rita's younger son and I are all alumni of Penn State -all of us though are dyed-in-the-wool Nittany Lion fans. Yes indeedy! WE ARE! If you recall, when Maya first started to speak, it was of utmost importance to me to teach her the Penn State Cheer -which she still remembers to this day. Says it with a lot of gusto too, she does. She even has two pompoms she likes to shake while exercising the cheer however, out of respect for the "blue and white" I think I better see about getting a set in those colors. The ones she has that she like to shake while doing her cheer -pink and white! Not fully respectable for a young Nittany Lioness is it?
So this is what my daughter (Mandy), the two little ones and I will be up to this weekend -having a lovely but way too brief -vacation in the company of some of the best people in the whole world -certainly they comprise the very best of relatives. No doubt about that!
They haven't seen Maya since she was about 20 months old -well before she had ANY vocabulary and they've never seen Kurtis! I've tried to forewarn Bea -whose house we will be staying at -that Kurtis is very much like Maya was three years ago except he has a few extra issues thrown into the mix. Certain textures, certain commercials that frighten the living daylights out of him, various noises from small appliances that will send him into a bit of a frenzy at times too -and he's got way more food issues than Maya had at that time too. And I forgot to tell her she may want to consider buying a set of ear plugs too because the last thing the boy has is an "indoor voice!" Every sound he makes comes through at the maximum decibel level he can muster with his voice and trust me, to the novice, that ain't always a pleasant sound -sure isn't music to ones ears!
If this weekend visit goes reasonably well though, we will then consider making at least one, possibly two other visits like this to see other family and friends before the snow flies.
So cross your fingers and hope for the best!
And pray that the D.C. traffic isn;'t too wild, too confusing for a senile old granny like I am now! Been a long time since I've dealt with heavy, city traffic -which reminds me -I'd better do a print out from mapquest of exactly how to get to Bea's house from the D.C. Beltway too! After three years being away, I may not remember it all exactly. I think I do but don't want to take any chances getting lost -or, if Mandy is driving, getting her all flustered and confused too! Although, over the past couple of years and our trips down to Pittsburgh -where I had never driven in that city before in my life, I managed to get directions from the internet and direct Mandy around to where we needed to be. I even, on one trip down there, got us through Pittsburgh's downtown area and out to Route 22, through Monroeville and back home using the back roads route through Indiana, PA. So if I could do that before in a city I'd never driven in at all, I think I can find our way around in Virginia and the beltway since I do have a little better idea of locations there even if it has been 36 years since I moved away from D.C. and back to the boondocks of central Pennsylvania.
So -our bags are packed now. Just have to get a bag to put the food items we need to take with us as emergency meals for the kids, shower and dress in the morning, get the car loaded and away we go!
I'll be back sometime late Sunday evening and since I'm, of course, taking my lovely little camera with me, will have pictures to share of our little weekend get-away!
Hold down the blog fort while I'm away now too!
And yes, Peace!