Family friend Janice, Niece Sidney, Sis In Law Devon, Neph Dane
Over the next few days I ran errands, packed, & planned how best to make the 17 hour drive to Missouri as comfortable as possible with 4 adults and two small children.
On my way to pick up said adults & children I took a time out to have lunch with my niece, nephew, their Mom and a family friend I've not seen in too many years.
If anyone reading this is traveling through Winchester, Virginia, I highly recommend lunch or dinner at "One Block West". It is not just a meal. It is an experience.
Niece Sidney, Sis In Law Devon, Neph Dane, Momma
After a quick visit from her grandkids, Mom was ready to leave Winchester, and we were off to pick up my siblings!
Bro Jim, Bro In Law Greg, Sis Martie, Momma, Sis Dani, Neph Greggy
We stopped off on our way out of West Virginia to visit my baby sister and her family. She wasn't able to accompany us to Missouri, but it was wonderful to see her. It has been quite some time since I've seen her.
Dani & Cam
The next 17 hours flew by and we arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at my sister's house in Missouri.
We drove straight through with very few stops, and control freak that I am, I insisted on driving until the last half hour. To be honest, I only relinquished the wheel to my little sister, Dani because I was seeing two of everything, including the unfortunate possum who crossed my path.
(I hit "both" of them and promptly started sobbing.)
Dani got us safely to our big sister's house and we all enjoyed coffee, a wonderful breakfast and then collapsed in beds, couches, on the floor and in arm chairs.
Rested and refreshed I was able to (with another cup of coffee) look at the Missouri countryside and truly appreciate the raw beauty. Even in 30 degree weather with very few leaves or flowers, I could see what had drawn my sister and her family half way across the country to settle 150 undeveloped acres.
Later, the whole family set out on foot to explore the property. We walked the mile long driveway, then turned onto a smaller path toward the back fields.
We visited the 18th century graves of the property's original settlers and paid our respects.
Stopping at the kids' rope swing on the way back to the house, we cringed as Shianne swung higher than I've ever seen a kid swing before. She loved every second of it and was begging to go higher, but it became too much for the nerves of us Aunties and the Gramma. We voted for less thrilling adventures.
Gramma and us Aunties were happy to retire inside to watch the kids play with the new Golden Retriever puppies!
Our first night there I think the cousin of the possum I hit paid us a visit on the front porch. He exacted his revenge on the styrofoam cooler I'd left outside.
The Missouri trip was wonderful. It was lovely to be with my family for Thanksgiving and to spend time with all the kids. They grow so fast! There were a few hiccups that marred the trip...I got a stomach flu right before Thanksgiving, then a regular flu, then upper respiratory infection...but overall it was an amazing experience. By and large, even on the return trip home we all still got along and nobody killed anybody else. The two children never cried once! I am so glad that I did this trip, and that my dear husband was willing to sacrifice my presence here on the island at Thanksgiving.
Thank you, Dear.