Thursday, January 1, 2009

My trip - journal entries

I finally feel awake enough to try and put into words all that Laney and I did in the US last month. It was a wirllwind trip but so fun. I still can't believe we saw as many places and people as we did, yet so many we missed. I still can't believe that with all the crazy weather out there, that we made it everywhere we planned to go.
First we went to Boston, and spent a couple days with Scott's sister Mel, and her family. It was nice to see Laney with her cousins and enjoy some quality time together. It turned into true quality time when the ice storm knocked out the power to over 500,000 people's homes including theirs. It was quite the adjustment from tropical Brazil to ice storm/no heat Massachusetts!!! But we took advantage of the lack of desire to be in their freezing home and spent more time at the mall than usual. We had no TV to watch so we caught up on years of conversations. The one thing I did get to do was go to the Ladies Christmas Party for their church. It was fun seeing Melissa as the Pastor's wife and how she is serving there, the relationships she is building and the many ladies whose lives she is touching.
After that, we scooted up to Maine. I was sad to leave those poor freezing people, but looking forward to being home. We stopped in the near by city to see the Christmas Spectacular - a variety show at my friend, Sarah's, church. It was spectacular!!! Laney and I throughly enjoyed the christmas, Maine, -ness of it all. After that, we drove home to Hartford.
My friend Lori lives about a mile from our home ( and Scott's folk's home) and I thought I would drop in and surprise Lori, she knew I was coming, but didn't expect me on her doorstep Saturday night. That was fun. Laney saw her friend, Kristen, and they were busy catching up. We didn't stay long, but it was so nice to at least see them for a few minutes. then on to Grammy's and Grampy's house.
It was so nice to walk into their cozy wood heated home and snuggle into a warm bed. Sunday morning we were up early and headed to church. It was like home to walk into church and see so many friends. People who have had a part in Scott and my life for many years. Wayside Bible Baptist Church is a place where I feel like I grew up, were Scott and I learned how to serve and what gifts God had given us. I lost count of how many people I hugged, and said hello to. There wasn't enough time to catch up with everyone, but just being there was water to a thirsty soul. Sitting in church, and chatting through coffee hour, sitting in Sunday School and being taught, it was good.
After church Laney and I headed back to Scott's folks cabin for lunch and snuggled up and watched a movie. We then headed up to Rumford to see my girls, the ones I nannied for years, and their mom, Diane. It was so nice to see them all, to hug and catch up on all that is going on in their lives, to meet boyfriends, and hear about their school and sports activities, it is hard to believe that Chelsea, who was 5 when I started that job, is 21!!! Where did the time go.
Monday started with a visit to my chiropractor and then a luncheon at my friend Sue's house, many of my favorite people were there and we talked and ate for hours, it was perfect. After that Shawn and I headed to Augusta ( the capital of Maine and a great place to shop) to do some errands and to meet up with her daughter - one of my favorite babysitters - Kayla and we had supper together at the Olive Garden. It was so nice, we talked the entire time, never quiet a second, so many things to catch up on.

Dave and Sue, Home away from home

Tuesday was packing day and getting ready to head to Alaska. It was a bit overwhelming, getting all the gifts together for my family, things I had made and I wanted to have wrapped, and ready. Then we met Sarah in Auburn again, and headed south. The original plan was to leave in the early morning and drive to Boston for my flight, but it wasn't going to be a fun trip with wintery mix predicted for those hours on the road, so she paid for Laney and I to stay in a hotel near the airport. We stopped for dinner on the way and I had to have Lobster, it was sooooo good!!! I even shared a few bites with Laney. AHHHHHH

Sarah and I at the Weathervane
Wednesday started out good, our flight left on time ( or only 30 minutes late - even though it was snowing) and we landed in time to run and catch our next flight, to only sit on the tarmack for an hour!!! We landed an hour late in Anchorage, tired of sitting, 11 hours of travel all day is a killer, and we still had 6 hours of driving before we arrived in Valdez. Charis and Jerry met us, and we headed out. Surprisingly it was still daylight so we could enjoy the amazing views, Alaska is for sure breathtaking!!

We arrived close to 11 pm Alaska time, 3 am Maine time, 6 am Brazil time. Laney and I were beat. It was so nice that my sisters were up and waiting for us, and hugs and chatting took place.

Laney and our roommate in Valdez
Thursday dawned around 10 am and Laney and I awoke in a winter wonderland. We spent most of the day just lounging and chatting with the family. That night was the shower for Charis at the church and we just hung around until then. Bruce, my brother, was flying and it looked like he would get in around 3 am, but then we found out it would be 5 am due to flight cancellations and rerouting, love travel in the winter!!! The shower was very nice, it was fun seeing how many people we excited about Charis's wedding and Jerry. She was spoiled with lots of nice gifts and of course the food was GREAT!!!

Katie and Tasha

Friday was fun, Bruce arrived around 8 am, and the talking began again, it was such fun to be together, just David, my oldest brother, wasn't there. But the rest of us, spent lots of time catching up. Bruce was so tired but he didn't want to sleep until night. Jamin, Becky's husband had driven Bruce up and so the two of them were pretty wiped. The house now was full, it was a 3 bedroom house, with one bathroom, and a half kitchen. That poor bathroom never had a break, but we all seemed to manage to get in when we needed to. The kids (all 6 of them) were content, they had X-box, provided by the bed and breakfast owners, cartoons, and cousins!!! What more could you ask for???

Bruce and the cousins

Friday was our Christmas Eve, so we had plans for lots of good food, and passed around our gifts, some were opened, others were saved for Christmas. We played games and had a ball. It was so nice to be together as a family!!! Friday, my sister Becky drove Bruce and I up to the pass, we had both driven in in the dark so had missed the view of the glacier and the amazing mountains. It was worth the drive, plus time with sisters is just more fun.

Becky and I at Thompson Pass and it was 20 below!!! but beautiful

Saturday, was THE DAY!!! first we had a brunch ( amazing food!!!) and then the rehearsal. The piano I was playing was awesome - and I don't exaggerate!!! It was fun watching the wedding being set the little kids practicing their parts, etc. We left, for a few hours, and then it was time. We got there at 4 and everyone got dressed. Charis was beautiful, Sandi was pretty and the kids were adorable. The men were there, and dressed ready for the fun of the day. And it all came together in a moment, the best part as they said their vows to each other. There wasn't the usual, tons of speaking and singing, it was really just about them and their vows. I loved the simplicity of it all. My Dad and Charis

Danny and Amanda - Becky's kids

The reception was decorated very nicely, and the food was more than I have ever seen at a wedding, it was so good. Charis had friends who really did an amazing job on everything. I was quite impressed. They did it all, and we could just enjoy being together. It was quite the gift.

And then it was done, and time to head home.

Sunday we drove out to Anchorage, it was a nice drive, long, but breathtaking, so worth it. We had dinner together then headed to the hotel. Bruce and I would spend the night and fly out the next day, Becky and Katie ( my two sisters who live in Alaska) would drive home and mom and dad and Sandi and Caleb would fly out at midnight - that is until their flight was cancelled and they got stranded until the 26th!!! the rest of us made it out but they had to stay. It was a forced vacation, but they said it was put to good use, and were able to even catch up on e-mails and letters, and other computer work.

Hanging out at the hotel grabbing last minute memories

Laney and I flew home for three days straight, 45 hours of flying, but we made it home at 2 am for Christmas, it was the longest trip in my life, but it was so good to be going home that we didn't complain, and we slept tons, just unwinding from the crazy past two weeks. And we celebrated Christmas Eve at 2 am when we arrived,

There is no place like home!!!

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