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America with George * a summary

Sunday, July 13, 2014

For seventeen days I got to traipse around the United States all by myself. It was a special trip for so many reason... too many to count. I missed my immediate family, but it was a great to be "present" with other people that I love dearly. I tend to grow most in relationships... in conversations with people, learning from their stories, sharing meals, laughing together. I feel closest to God when I am fully engaged with others. Most of the time that happens in my home with my kids. This trip was quite a unique break from the norm. In addition to spending time with people I love... I also had a lot of time to write. I used this blog space to communicate with my kids while I was away (via George... Jude's stuffed dragon)

In summary... (click here if you want to read the whole series without clicking on all these links)
Traveled from Rotorua to Auckland to Los Angeles... arrived around noon
Dropped bags at the hotel and one of my sister's friends picked me up for a day of fun in LA
Next day met my sister (connecting through LAX) and we flew together to Columbus Ohio
Surprised my parents (my sister got it on video) and then went to dinner
Had an interment service and buried my amazing Grandmother... some history on her trailblazing independent spirit
Toured Marysville, Ohio (the town where my father grew up) and met the man who baptized me as an infant
Drove to Atwood Lake for my cousin Amy's wedding (my mom's side of the family)
Had a fun dinner with family and got a genealogy rundown from my Aunt Sue
Took a ten hour road trip... in the back seat of my parents car... with my sister. Awesome.
Relaxed at my parents house in Salem, South Carolina... a lot. Enjoyed their fabulous brand of hospitality
Met my cousins new daughter Stokes. A beautiful adopted addition into our family
Spent great time with my sister (who is also my best friend) and her daughter (who looks cute as a dragon)
Traveled from Greenville, South Carolina to Austin, Texas for a super duper quick visit (22 hours)
Spent a relaxing evening with in-law cousins Sabra and Jon and their three lovely, creative girls
Stayed the night and had breakfast with my old college roommate Sarah and her two boys
Spent some time with my sister in-law Lorri and met my brother-in-law's dog name Hess (Hebrew chesed - pronounced HESS -id)
Drove from Austin to Houston with a quick stop at Buc-ee's gas station (what in the world?! Only in Texas)
One night in The Woodlands with sister-in-law Joy and family. Lots of cousin fun in their new (opened the day I got there) pool
One night in Houston with brother-in-law Max, his lovely wife Gina and their water-baby Greer. Delicious meal from Gina.
Visit with Ben's amazing Grandmother (Great Granmama)... and some history on her uniquely adventurous life
Lunch with Aunt Ruth and Hannah in Friendswood... I knew met Ruth at Frontier Ranch when I was 17 (long before I knew Ben)
Visit with cousin-in law Mark and Shonda and their kidos. Shonda wrote a piece for my blog on international travel with kids
Drove from Friendswood to Galveston... the first place that Ben and I called home.
A great few days with my wonderfully faith-filled in-laws on Galveston's west end... a great way to wrap up the trip
Travel from Houston to Los Angeles to Auckland and home to Rotorua... three very relaxing flights without children
None of this would have been possible without my amazing husband... who sacrifices so much to keep me sane & growing.

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