Friday, April 8, 2016

Virginia Vacation 2016

It's been a pretty crazy week. This is our first day back on the normal schedule, and it's super nice to be home.

It was also super nice to travel and visit family.

Last Tuesday, my parents returned from Florida and picked up our dogs on their way through town. The timing was fantastic, because my sister offered to watch the dogs while we were gone, and there wasn't really any other way we could have gotten them to Idaho without a lot more travel.

Then, we spent most of Wednesday packing and preparing for our trip. Grig, Kevin, Grig's two brothers, and I were all leaving together. Then, at about 5:00 pm, we drove off to the Salt Lake airport. There we met Grig's sister and her husband.

We boarded our flight by 8:00 and arrived in Denver, CO at about 10:30 p.m. It was dark, so Kevin couldn't really see the plane take off, but he still yelled, "We're flying like Superman!" several times.

We had an all-night layover. That would have been fine, if they hadn't had fire alarm tests and other loud sounds going off every 30 minutes. Grig and Kevin fell asleep at about 12:30 a.m., but Grig woke up at 3:30 a.m. when the loudest of all the drills went off. It continued for about 10 minutes. Surprisingly, Kevin and Grig's sister were able to sleep through it, but everyone else was either already awake, or woke up.

We'd hear the alarm going loudly, and then it would be interrupted by: "This is only a test. Please do not vacate the premise. This is only a test." Then the alarm would begin blaring again.

We finally started laughing from the sheer ridiculousness of it. After that, I fell asleep from about 4-5:30. We woke up, got breakfast and boarded our second flight. Kevin never woke up as we got on the plane and flew. We finally woke him up just before we landed so he wouldn't get too far off schedule.

Then, we arrived in Virginia at about 12:30 p.m. We picked up our rental cars and drove to Grig's parents' home.

Grig's mom wasn't home. She was at the hospital with Grig's younger sister Argent (who lived with us for a while). We were hoping that they would be able to come home while we were there, but that didn't work out so well.

We relaxed the rest of the evening and enjoyed spending time with Grig's dad and his youngest sister, both of whom we hadn't seen in a couple of years. Grig and his brothers went running through the family woods. They were pretty excited to be back in Virginia.

Friday, we woke up late and then went to visit Grig's grandmother. We were trying to see his uncle and family who had come from England, but they weren't there, so instead we asked Grig's grandmother if we could do a personal life interview. She agreed, so we were able to get some really good video footage from Grig's grandma for a while.

Just as we were about to go home, Grig's uncle and his family showed up. Grig's cousins were closer to Kevin's age than ours, and they had a great time together.

We went home to eat dinner, and then almost everyone went to a walk again. I had recently gotten plantar fasciitis a few weeks before, and so I was trying to help my feet to heal by staying off of them as much as I could. Due to that, Kevin and I remained at home this time.

Saturday we met at Grig's grandmother's home again to have a family dinner. I took many pictures and got to know Grig's family better.

Kevin was playing with his cousins and aunts and uncles. They were playing hide-and-go-seek. Suddenly it came to my attention that everyone was calling for Kevin. I was a bit freaked out to realize that no one knew where he was. We all began searching and calling for him. After a few minutes, we found him.

Evidently, he had been searching for a great place to hide, and had wandered away from the house toward the neighbor's. Suddenly, he realized that he was all alone. He began to call for me, and that's when the neighbor heard him. She quickly put on her shoes, came outside, and found poor Kevin. He told her he couldn't find his mommy. She was a friend of Grig's grandma, and knew about the party, so she told him that she knew where his mommy was. He immediately reached out his arms and she picked him up and brought him back to us.

When I took him in my arms, he said, "I couldn't find you, Mommy. I call and I call and I not find you!" It was very sad. However, the next thing he said made me laugh. He then added, "I not find a hide place."

Poor cute kid. I was glad that turned out so well. It could have been much worse.

Afterward we decided that he won. No one found him after all.

The rest of the party went well and everyone had a great time. The food was also amazing. I ate way too much.
Grig and Allopex looking for arrowheads.
That night was also General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That took up most of the rest of the evening. The sessions were awesome! I love conference. There were so many good talks that had things I really needed to hear.

Sunday we had a pretty lazy day as we watched the last couple of sessions of conference. Between the two sessions, Grig, Allopex, Kevin, and I went on a walk. Allopex left halfway through, but it was fun to have him along for a while. The woods around their house are beautiful. I haven't been there in April before. It is fun to see the farm at different times of the year.

Monday, we all decided to go to Baltimore to visit Argent in the hospital. It was great to see both her and Grig's mother. I think they were really happy that we came. Kevin was very excited to see his grandma and "his" Argent. Every time he sees her picture, he gets really excited. While we were there, the doctor informed her that she might be able to go home the next day. That was pretty exciting. We were hoping she would be able to come home with us before we left, but we wanted her to be sure she was healthy before she did.

We had rented two cars, so the first car went home after we ate lunch at the hospital. (By the way, I ordered a ranch chicken burger at that hospital and it was the best thing I have ever eaten. I've been wanting another one ever since. If you're ever in Baltimore, stop at the John Hopkins Hospital and try one.)

We visited with Argent a while longer, and then, when she was feeling tired, we went to the Barnes and Noble there. We wanted to go to the National Aquarium, but it was way expensive for only having three hours until it closed. We hadn't been to a book store in a while, and Grig's youngest sister was really excited about going there.

It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of going east (besides family, of course). We had a good time browsing books in the book store, but in the bay next to it they had the last surviving ship from Pearl Harbor. They also had a play area and we really really enjoyed using the equipment.

It was fun to look around. We brought our GPS to use in our car, but the rental car's cigarette lighters didn't work. So, we would turn on the GPS, write down the direction s and turn it off again, or use it until it died, and then use the written directions. However, we found Barnes and Noble without using it, and then it died, so we didn't have any directions on how to leave Baltimore.

We had a pretty good time driving around Baltimore, trying to find a way out. It was occasionally frustrating, but often enjoyable. Baltimore drivers are interesting. I'm pretty sure I saw every traffic law being broken as we drove around. Eventually, with some luck (and some prayers) we found our way out and back home. Grig's dad had prepared us a delicious supper of lamb, broccoli, and rice.

Tuesday was our last day. We went for a walk in the morning, and then visited some friends and neighbors of Grig's. We should have done it before the last day, but it didn't work out until then. We also picked up some treats for the next day's travels and filled the car up with gas.

We got back in time to have a fire and cook up hot dogs and s'mores. We had a really good time.

We traveled to the Reagan airport the next day and got on our first flight at 1:30 p.m. We flew back to Denver and then had a layover of 2-3 hours. Then, after a short flight back to Salt Lake, we drove home and got to bed by 11:00 p.m. It wasn't until the last flight that Kevin really got to see the plane take off and land. He really enjoyed flying.

Grig had work the next morning, so we woke up at 5:00 a.m., and drove him into work. Then, Kevin and I drove up to Idaho and picked up the dogs and spent some time playing and talking with my family. The dogs looked great and Siff had grown so much! I took a short nap and then we drove home to spend a mostly relaxing evening with Grig. Kevin slept the whole way home, so he wasn't very tired at bedtime. So, after Grig got to bed, Kevin and I ran to the store to buy groceries.
Kevin with my mom.
It was nice to sleep in our own bed and sleep in a little this morning. It was a great vacation, but it's nice to have the dogs back and to be on a mostly normal schedule again.

Welcome home!


  1. I love the pics! Thanks for coming to see us in the hospital! Sorry she wasn't well enough to be discharged until y'all had left, but I'm glad y'all could spend time with the rest of the family. Would love to see more pics!

    1. I have lots more. I'll have to put them up on facebook. It was good to see you all! We hope to see you again soon!