Sunday, August 24, 2008

thankful for family

I just returned from a week long trip to see various family members- it was so nice. My sister Julia and her husband Will, and daughter Flora came to MD on Friday the 15th- we had a super busy weekend of cookouts and parties- it was great.
Monday morning we headed out for New Rochelle- to see my dad's mom Nana and two sisters, Aunt Joan & Aunt Liz. We headed out for some fun- but the amusement park we headed for was closed.... but that's ok, b/c we got to go to Walters Hot Dog stand- VERY good! We had a great night of talking, walking the dog, just spending time together. It is always cool to be in my dad's childhood home and to recall my own memories of going there while we were growing up.

Tuesday morning we were off (after I slept in till 8am!) to LaFayette- Grandma's house (mom's mom). That was about a 5-6 hour drive (broken up by cracker barrell for lunch..... ummmm!). We found grandma in the barn tending to her unbelievable garlic harvest. This woman is incredible. We stayed w/ an Aunt & Uncle (mark & melissa) who live a few miles down the road in a beautiful timber framed house overlooking fields & forests. It is so quiet out there and peaceful. I'm not a fan of the winter- but I'd love to be up during a snow. By the time the weekend came tons of aunts and uncles & cousins came to town to be together- I was so thankful to be able to get away and spend time continuing to get to know my relatives.

Highlights of the week away:

- not being the driver! was able to sit back & relax!

- Hot dogs from walters :)

- walking to the park and talking about my parents w/ Julia & Liz

- listening to my nana talk about how she recently took the train to the city (nyc) and just had a great time walking around.

- seeing a wonderful picture I hadn't seen before of my parents while they were in college

- having my picture taken w/ Derek- I know there must be one from growing up, but I needed another one. Derek is worthy of having his own post one day.

-sleeping till noon one day while everyone else was at work or sightseeing!

-not watching hardly any tv

- seeing a cousin's daughter eat cotton candy for the first time at the NY State Fair

-wearing a dress that my mom made while she was pregnant with me and wearing it for "the hen party" (baby shower w/ my relatives at grandma's house)

- getting to spend some time w/ a girlfriend from high school who goes to the same college my parents went to (and getting excited about our high school reunion coming up!)

- going to Knoxie's (the bar that you drive by everyday but have never been in)

- seeing my 84 year old grandmother with her twin sister- and not always being able to tell them apart! They need to write a book!

- going to the cemetary where my dad lies & my mom and brother are remembered. Seeing two fawns run away as we leave from there- and just feeling close to them.

- fried green tomatoes at the Dinosaur BBQ

- everything else we ate at the Dinosaur BBQ for that matter (mac & cheese, wings, pork egg rolls..... we had the bbq the day before at the state fair!)

- reading and relaxing

Things that I could have done without:

- the cd selection in the car (sorry will......but I do agree 100% that the driver picks the music!)

- a week without my husband

- going to the cemetary.....first time since the burial. It was good in a hard way.

- a week without my kitty!

- not feeling Charlie move as much- but I swear as soon as we crossed the MD state line at midnight she got back to kicking..... but it did make me paranoid all week that she wasn't moving a lot!

- some hurtful conversations and not being able to ask my mom what to do!

- the hardness of the water in new york state- it just smelled funny!

- random food at random times- glad I took the jumbo sized tums bottle......

Ukraniane Catholic Cemetary in Syracuse, NY.

Derek & me. Is Derek technically my uncle? Not sure!


A VERY happy pregnant girl w/ some of the best food in the country!

Julia, Grandma & me- ready to go home, but not ready to leave!

Grandma's homegrown garlic. Amazing!

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