*Our Travels

Middle of August

This last weekend, we loaded up and drove to Virginia to see the family for the weekend. We headed out Thursday afternoon around 5 and got to Manassas at 12:45. We made really great time! We weren’t planning on making a trip to Virginia until December, but Lowell had a long weekend and there were other things to persuade our decision to go down… 

Zack and Celeste were also in town visiting, so the sisters threw a bridal shower for Celeste on Friday evening and all the guys went to the movies to see G.I. Joe then went to Dave & Busters. I was also supposed to have some measurements done to get a rough idea of what my measurements for a bridesmaid dress for Clare and Brian’s wedding might be after I have the baby. (My best friend, and Lowell’s cousin, Clare Gallaher, is getting married to Mr. Brian Stong on December 12th – we are so excited for them!!). But, Aunt Roxane decided it’d be less work if we actually waited until after I have the baby to take measurements and make the dress, so that part was left out of the weekend’s plans.

The bridal shower was lots of fun! Clare, Fran, and Mary Gallaher, Claire Herrick, Becky Allen & her baby, Sebastian, and Celeste’s godmother, Ginny, came for the event. The girls set up the kitchen table with a yellow/gold-ish table cloth, a candle, cake, fruit platters, and other kinds of finger food. They also sprinkled red jelly beans around the table as well. Celeste’s colors are gold and red, so that was the over all color theme of the decorations and whatnot. We all had a nice time munching tastey stuff, playing games, taking pictures, and lots of chatting. Celeste got alot of cards and gift cards since she is flying back to Texas and wouldn’t have had much extra room for “stuff” in her suitcase. She got some of her kitchen stuff on her Target registry from Dom and Grace, Jane made her some very pretty jewelry: a necklace and matching earrings, and Mom got her a cami, robe, and lacie underware. After most of the gang headed home and called it a night, Ginny hung around and took LOTS of pictures of the sisters, the sisters with mom, group shots of whomever was around, individual pictures of each girl with Mom, etc. When that was all said and done, and after I did a little bit of clean up, whoever hadn’t turned in stayed up until after one chatting about this and that. I don’t know what time the guys got home, but it wasn’t too much later from when we went to bed. They say they had a really good time seeing the movie and hanging out at D&B afterwards.

On Saturday, most of the family went to the mall to find dresses for Samm and Jane since they’re the only girls in the wedding. Celeste already found and purchased her dress in Texas, so it was just a matter of finding stuff for Samm and Jane. Lowell and I stayed home with Kateri, Ray, Dom, and Leah, and Ruth went to work. We did a whole lotta notta all day, but Ray and I made dinner for everybody and Lowell went to “WoW” (World of Wings) to hang out with a family friend, John Ortiz. After I’d bathed the girls and got them off to bed for the night, Lowell made his way back to the house and took Samm and I back to “WoW” to hang out until closing time. Samm and I had a great time talking while Lowell made friends with the owner and got his dad a few painting side jobs :)

We were supposed to head home Sunday afternoon, but decided at the last minute we would go ahead and stay on for the day and head out on Monday. So, Sunday we went to Latin Mass at Holy Trinity in Gainesville which is the Church that Clare and Brian are getting married at and where we’re going to have the baby baptized. After Mass, we all (the family and most of the Gallaher’s) went to this Mexican food place called Salsarita. It was really great food and another incredible time visiting with everyone. Tom Cox also joined us for the day… you remember my talking about Tom? (He and his quartet came up at the end of June to hang out with us for a few hours.) Anyway, he starts teaching at an Opus Dei school in Maryland at the end of the month so is currently in the process of getting situated in his new home. He heard we were going to be in town, so took time out of his getting settled to spend the day going to Mass and tagging along in all our adventuring. After Mass, eating lunch, and getting settled in at home, we ALL sat down to play the game “All in the Family”. It was a pretty fun game! I had heard of it, but never played before Sunday. I look forward to playing again sometime. After we played that, Lowell loaded up with everyone but Zack, Celeste, Papa, Mom, Felicity, and me and met up with the Gallaher’s to swim and have a little BBQ. They came home after dark completely exhausted, but they totally had a blast. Tom bade us all farewell, some disappeared upstairs to unwind, and everyone else watched a few episodes of “The Big bang Theory” Lowell and I didn’t watch, though, because as they started that, Brian brought Clare back to the house to see us, and Becky came over with Fran and Mary. So, Brian, Clare, Ray, Samm, Becky, Lowell, and I sat around the living room talking and laughing about 3 hours worth of random goodness!

Then there was Monday … the day we had to pack up and say “tootles” to Virginia, the Family, and the good times. We left after lunch around 1:30, made a few pit stops throughout Manassas to say goodbye to the people we hadn’t said good bye to yet and got on the road, officially, by 2:30-3:00. We planned to take the route through Harrisburg, PA, so were headed in that direction when at about 4:30, our right rear tire went flat on the freeway. We were 60 miles outside of Harrisburg in Maryland somewhere. We pulled to the side, Lowell had to move ALL of our stuff around to find and dig out our spare and the jack. After a little while of that, Lowell got the spare on and we headed out in search of a repair shop to have someone look at the tire to see about repair or replacement. The first place we went to confirmed we did need a new tire because we drove on it just long enough to do damage, but they weren’t able to get that tire in until Tuesday. That wasn’t going to work for us, obviously, so they recommended we try Walmart. So, we found Walmart on the GPS and headed that direction. However, when we got to Walmart, they didn’t have a tire center! Fine. We continued up the road and found a mall that had a Sears, and every Sears has an auto center! We drove up, Lowell talked to the guys, they did some looking around, and told us they’d set us up with a new tire in 20 minutes. Awesome. We got out, I took the girls and put fresh diapers on them, then we walked around the automotive/painting/lawnmower area of Sears while they fixed the van. We were finally given the okay and were back on the road by 6:00 with an estimated home arrival time of 12:30. Lowell joked about “so much for leaving earlier in the day to get home at a reasonable hour” but I reminded him it was a good thing we left early because had it been any later, we REALLY wouldn’t have gotten a new tire to get us home because everything would have been closed. We counted our blessings, said our prayers, ate some sandwiches, and sure enough got home at 12:30. Once again, we made pretty good time, considering a flat tire and the multiple stops we made! We got the girls changed, into their jammies, and in bed within 10 minutes, and Lowell and I were in bed and sleeping by 1:00! I do believe that it was the first time we’ve ever gotten home after a long travel day, didn’t turn on any lights, and didn’t have to unwind or drink a beer before going to bed.

Today it was back to reality, as usual. Lowell is working swings and the girls and I are doin’ our thing without much on the agenda for the time being … except planning a menu, writing a list, and making a trip to Walmart this week :)

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