The Adventures of Van-na white!


       It all started with talking about taking some time off this summer in order to make a trip across country. And what follows is quite a story to tell. More than eighty hours of driving across the country and back. Six thousand miles plus packed into Vanna-white, our borrowed Toyota Sienna. I couldn't help but feel like Bilbo Baggins when he finally decided to join Galdalf on the quest to the Lonely Mountain and said, "I'm going on and adventure!" 



      So we made a few plans, packed up and headed out on our quest to see friends, and family. To visit the place where our little family began! It had been some time since we'd been back to Maine at all. The last time being when my sister was married ten years ago! We were there for the wedding and the next day where on our way back home again. On the way we made a few stops for fuel and rest. I hadn't driven across country since I was a young man moving to Maine in the first place. Driving from Texas, I remember the hours in the car even some time behind the wheel myself. This time however was nothing like I remembered all those years ago.

      All six of us loaded up Van-a-white with all of our gear and fit just about right. Admittedly we always seem to pack way too much even for our short trips. So for this venture it seemed like we packed for a small army! Even so, we still fit and the ride was pretty comfortable. This is the point where I tell you how the drive was, and how many times the kids asked, "Are we there yet?" But I'm not going to do that. It was a looong drive, and we all survived. We probably know a bit more about each other than we bargained for on this adventure. So lets get to the first stop!


      Our first big stop was in Kansas Missouri, to visit April and Mike. Some friends of ours from our younger days, who went to church with us in Belfast, Maine. We were young couples at the time with young families. It was great to see them and spend a little time hanging out and catching up. We even did a little sight seeing and Church history touring. Visiting Liberty Jail while we were in town for the afternoon. The children were less interested in the touring. They hung out with April and Mike's kids. Soon before we got back on the road Mike offered to let the kids get some road munchies and they embarrassed themselves horribly, or should I say, they embarrassed me while they loaded up on goodies for the road. They grabbed so much junk they were eating it on the trip for days. They had a blast, and I think Mike enjoyed himself watching them grab all the goodies their little arms could carry. For some reason I imagined little raccoons (Trash Pandas) grabbing as much as they can and trying to scurry off into the bushes with their haul. Thanks April and Mike, you guys are awesome, glad you are well. Sorry about my Trash Pandas robbing the place.

      Next up, Richmond Virginia to see my Aunts and Uncles whom I had not seen in a while. We arrived in at Kieth and Regina's door around midnight to one in the morning and Gina was there ready to greet us. We spent the next couple of days hanging out with my Aunts and Uncles, most of which I hadn't seen in at least ten years. We had a great time, the kids getting to know a little of what its like having members that look more like them. It was a great experience!

      Zoe spent some time with Uncle Kieth as she found out he was an aeronautics fan as well. Kieth helped her learn a little about flight simulators and so she took some time flying around our local airport. I think she was a fan of his setup....




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