Monday, January 21, 2008

Christmas Trip to New Jersey

Before the trip: Airplane Training Time. They don't look excited yet, but oh was A.J. excited to see the airplane.

They ended up doing a really good job on the two hour plane trip. They sat and read books the first hour, enjoyed the hamburgers handed out, and then played play-doh. A few minutes before the descent, I layed out A.J. and Gracie's barf bags to color with crayons on. As we approached the airport, we began experiencing major turbulence. I asked Andrew to talk to me to distract me from my nausea. I turned my back to A.J. who was on my left and focused on Andrew's face on my right.Then, A.J. threw up all over himself on top of the barf bag on his lap colorful with the crayons. I flipped towards A.J. Then Gracie barfed behind me. The plane was extra quiet the way it always is twenty minutes before landing. Now A.J. and Gracie were both screaming as loud as they could. By God's grace, they quickly settled down, and sat quietly the 15 minutes before we were allowed to take out anything and clean them up.

We got to spend nearly two weeks on the East Coast. It was so restful for me. I didn't have to cook or take care of our home and we had lots of babysitting. It was the break I needed. Such a blessing.

Our visit to Uncle Mike and Aunt Jen (Andrew's sister). Doesn't Gracie look exactly like her?

Christmas present from Andrew's parents:
Tickets to see the Broadway musical, "Wicked."
It's about how Glenda and the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz used to be best friends.

On the 22nd, I took my dad to the Story Corps ( booth in Grand Central Station and interviewed him about his life story. They gave us a copy and put a copy in the Library of Congress so that future historians can hear the common man's story.

On a date in Boston

After Christmas, we drove to Boston to visit Andrew's relatives.

Andrew's parents, who came with us to Boston, took the kids during their nap and this is us on a date together. We walked into a gallery and commented on how nice it would be to have real art on our walls. The gallery guy started talking to us and trying to engage us in friendly conversation and made sure we got his card before we left. Back on the street I said to Andrew, "Boy, he must have thought we were some really young, modest-looking millionaires." I saw my reflection in a store window and laughed. "My scarf was conveniently concealing the cracked button on my coat." At home, Andrew's mom told us that millionaires today are our age and wear jeans and dress like us.

On Dec. 29th, it was time to drive the 22 hours west home to MN, but instead of taking a northern route from Boston, we had to go more south to avoid a snowstorm in Upstate NY last minute. We got to see lots of friends on the way home as a result and see my friend Sarah for the second time during our trip.

One of my best friends, Sarah. We used to dance together when we were 12 years old.

I love Sarah. I feel so comfortable being myself around her and we laugh so much together. She's so much fun. Her dad used to be the sound engineer for WPLJ in New York during the sixties. At dinner time, he used to put the original reels on of everything from Concerto Barocco to the Beatles. Sarah used to play me original John Lennon interviews. Sarah and her husband Pete collect records, and I have to admit the records sound different than the CD's. I think I like the records better. I was so glad for the opportunity to see her new house, since we had to meet halfway the first time we met up during our vacation. She lives in Duryea, PA now.

Hours later we stayed overnight in Ohio with my aunt and uncle who I had lived with part of the time when I had been in the Philippines for 6 months.

The second day we stopped for dinner in Chicago and ate with our friend from UCLA, Joe Lee, and his girlfriend Angie.

It was a really fun and restful trip. We are so grateful for it.

Who would have ever though the Midwest would be our thing? But Andrew says we were so "New Jersey" when we lived in L.A. and we were so "California" when we lived in Washington. So in the end we became something in-between, but neither totally "California" nor totally "New Jersey," and that put us in the middle, where we finally belong.

Course, I guess it helps that there are like 20 New Jersey people at our church that I've known since I was twelve....

Back in Minnesota:

After a hard day playing in the snow...yes, he is actually sleeping standing.

Building together. Growing together.

1 comment: