Home is where your bed is! And it's a great place to lay your weary head after a week and a half of traipsing about the country. But playing in the city was fun too. And we explored (Katie and me) more than one city!
We started out in Jacksonville, Florida and made our way over to friends in White Springs, FL. Where we enjoyed some true Southern hospitality and delicious home-cooked meals. Can we say yummy fried chicken, green beans, creamed corn, fried pork chops, etc. etc. etc.! And to finish it off, grits and sausage and bacon for breakfast. :) Yes, it was good!
While we were there, Devin Harris--formally known to us here in Vegas as Elder Harris--took us out to the family pond to find a "gator." But he was an elusive fella who only showed us his eyes when it was dark. Harris jumped in his boat and paddled around and around calling out, "Here gator, gator, gator," to no avail. The sneaky thing stayed hidden. However, there was a point in that adventure when Devin actually got a hold of it by the neck. He was quite sad that we didn't get to see a gator in its natural habitat. I think we were fine..yep just fine.
The following day took us to Savannah, Georgia. I love to visit this eloquent, quaint city. It's like stepping back in time. Good friends, more like family, allowed us to stay in their home. Rhonda has been a Savannah resident for 2 years now and Ashley for 4. They say it's a better place to visit than to live. It didn't matter to us, we just love the history there. We tootled around the town and ate at our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Zunzi's. It's not a well known eatery to many. Mostly the SCAD students frequent the joint. Let me tell you, it's fantastic! Once the deliciousness of Zunzi's wore off we sauntered over to Leopold's Ice Cream Shop. Ahhh! As my father-in-law says, "There is always room for ice cream." Especially when it's so dang delicious!
We headed up to Colombia, South Carolina next. Our stop there brought a happy, but too short, reunion for Katie and JT. We spent Family Day messing around and buying fun gadgets for JT to play with while he finishes his AIT. The next morning we enjoyed his graduation ceremony and tossed his things into the car and hurried off to Petersburg, Virginia--passing through 2 states on our way to Aberdeen, Maryland.
The East Coast is packed with lush, green, tall trees that surround you on each side of the roadway. If you're claustrophobic, it can be a tad unnerving. Fortunately, it does open up enough to keep the feeling at bay. I was grateful for those patches of open sky.
After a good nights sleep in Aberdeen, we met up with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and their two adorable boys. It was a visit many years in the making and I can't begin to describe how wonderful it was. They got to meet JT and we got to spend the day trying to maneuver our way through DC! We saw many things from a distance. But it was still worth every second we spent together.
Too quickly we were heading back to take JT to AIT. It was hard for the kids to say goodbye and I felt so bad for them both. But they are strong and they do well, all things considered. It was very late when we dropped him off and he was gone fast. Two escorts helped him find his barracks and tote his items there. The kids barely had time to kiss each other goodbye before they shuffled him away.
We woke up early the next morning, set out for Beck and David's house and ended up spending the day with them. It was a wonderful visit packed with Philly Cheese-steak sandwiches and Rita's Water-Ice. But it was the company that made it soo good! We had fun playing with the boys and talking and catching up on many things. It was perfect.
Boston came the next day and we were excited to visit such an important city. Our little hotel was about 30 minutes from downtown and we decided to take the subway in. I was glad we did. There's not much in the way of parking there and what there is, is expensive.
Our first stop was Harvard. WOW! What a beautiful campus! The buildings are like a time warp and the ambiance is nothing I've experienced before. It was truly a great place to see.
Jumping back on the subway, we headed into the heart of Boston. There is so much to see and do there. It is impossible to do it all in one day. But what we did do, we thoroughly enjoyed! The Old North Church where the lanterns were held to signal the British attack; Paul Revere's house and Square; the crypt and bell tower in the Old North Church; shopping at Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. The list goes on and on!
Walking the Freedom Trail was the highlight of the trip. Our tour guide was fantastic! We went to the Granary Burying Ground where Paul Revere, the Franklin family, Sam Adams, John Hancock and many, many others are interred. We touched buildings and walked in footsteps of those who fought for our freedom and gave us this amazing land of opportunity. It was an awesome experience!
But like all great things, our trip had to come to an end. And so the next morning, bright and early, we headed back down the coast and landed in Petersburg, VA again. Sleep was a definite friend that night. The next morning we decided to visit the Berkley Plantation and enjoy some more of what Virginia has to offer. It was well worth the stop.
Soon we were in Savannah again and then off to the airport in Jacksonville to fly home. Our trip and our adventure had come to its end but the memories never will. Laughing and crying and playing with my daughter was certainly the best part of the whole trip. I would do it again in a heart beat!