Thanksgiving Roadtrip – 2019

I haven’t been with my family for Thanksgiving for over 10 years. Most of the family lives in sunny Arizona, while I’m in South Carolina. That’s a big trip, especially at the holidays. This year I started planning early, and I planned big. I let all my siblings know I was coming and I hoped that we could all be together at Thanksgiving. I talked dates with my husband, and we both requested time off from work. We planned and packed, and finally the day came: time to leave for 2 whole weeks with my family!

Day 1: Travel

We got up at the crack of dawn and drove 18 hours our first day. It was exhausting, but worth it. We hit 8 states that day, and spent the night in Amarillo, Texas. I brought a sweater with me as travel knitting. 

South Carolina

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Georgia

Alabama

Mississippi (where I did a little sweater surgery)

Tennessee

Arkansas

Oklahoma

Texas

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Day 2: Travel

On day 2 we spent about 10 hours on the road. We were wiped out from the previous day, so we stayed the night in Flagstaff, Arizona. As we went further and further west we started seeing red rock and cacti. It felt like home.

Texas

New Mexico

Arizona

Day 3: Travel + Family Time

We drove the 2 hours from Flagstaff to Phoenix, and spent the rest of the day resting and enjoying being with my family.

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My sister drew this picture of me as a Lord of the Rings character. We’re all nerdy and artistic in this family!

Days 4-5: Family Time

We laughed a lot and made Christmas cookies. We were also able to spend some time with friends. My husband made us all eggnog (pro tip: homemade eggnog is way better than store bought).

Day 6: Thanksgiving Day

We made even more cookies, and cooked Thanksgiving dinner as a family. We decorated my mom’s house with Christmas lights. All my siblings and even some adopted siblings were able to make it. This was such a pleasant, homey day. It was everything I wanted it to be.

Day 7: Travel

My grandma lives in California, so we headed over to see her, as well as my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

Arizona

California

Day 8: Sightseeing

My husband and I went to the San Diego Zoo, then watched the sunset at the beach. 10/10, would recommend!

Day 9: Family Time + Thanksgiving 2.0

We spent the morning with my grandma, then had a second Thanksgiving dinner with the California branch of the family. This was the first time my husband got to meet this side of the family.

I had brought my sourdough starter to make bread for the family, and expose it to some different yeasts/conditions, and this is the day I made sourdough bread (for the record, I don’t think my sourdough bread tastes any different now that I’m home).

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Day 10: Travel

Back to Phoenix for one last day with my family.

California

Arizona

Day 11: Family Time + Packing

Getting ready to leave is always bittersweet.

Day 12: Travel

No matter where you’ve been or who you’ve been with, there’s something satisfying about heading home.

Arizona

New Mexico

Texas

Oklahoma (it was dark and we were tired)

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Day 13: Travel

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog.

Oklahoma

Arkansas

Tennessee

Mississippi

Alabama

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Georgia

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South Carolina

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This was the best Thanksgiving I can remember. Thanksgiving is a hard time of year for my family, and it was so good to make some truly spectacular memories of this holiday. I am so glad we went, and very thankful to my husband for driving us 5,000 miles/60 hours across the country (I tried to drive, but he wouldn’t let me).

2019 Roadtrip

My Vacation Part 3: Colonial Williamsburg and my 25th Birthday

Last week my husband and I went on vacation. We split our trip up into several stages so we could see and do more things (read Part 1 and Part 2).

I have wanted to visit Colonial Williamsburg for years, so this year when we planned our vacation I asked if we could go. We stayed at one of the inns right in Williamsburg, which made coming and going so easy!

We had so much fun walking down the streets, seeing carriages and wigmakers and people in historic dress. We went to a talk about the heritage animals kept in the stables. I somehow didn’t manage to get a picture of the Longwool Leicester sheep they had, but Longwool Leicesters are the ancestors of modern day Blue Faced Leicesters, Border Leicesters, and Corriedale, as well as several other breeds.

We visited several woodworking shops, all with different skills and purposes.

I loved visiting the tailor’s shop and talking with a very knowledgeable tailor about the materials and fashions and methods of making clothes. This hand sewn corset was hanging in the corner. Isn’t it just incredible!

corset

We saw a few famous people in Williamsburg, too: The Marquis de Lafayette spoke about his part in the American Revolution and Thomas Jefferson told about his belief in personal liberty and his work in founding the United States as we know it.

In the evening we watched the militia practice their military drills.

October 24th was my 25th birthday. We spent the day in Williamsburg, then went to a cute little cafe for dinner. After dinner, my husband disappeared for a few minutes and came back bearing a tea light, which was the only candle the cafe had. He sang Happy Birthday to me, and then we devoured a pumpkin cupcake. Later that evening we went to a strings recital at Bruton Parish Church. All in all, it was a lovely vacation and a great birthday.

Well, that concludes our vacation. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.

Have you ever been to Colonial Williamsburg? What did you enjoy most?

 

My Vacation Part 1: Alpacas and Grandparents

Last week my husband and I went on vacation. We split our trip up into several stages so we could see and do more things. We started by spending 2 days with my husband’s grandparents. They are such sweet people! I had lots of fun asking my new grandma all about the interesting textiles scattered around their home. Her mother embroidered this map of the USA when her son was in the military so she could understand better where he was stationed.

states

Her mother also made this quilt and tablecloth. Every year for Christmas dinner she would bring the tablecloth out and have everyone sign it. Then she would embroider each of their signatures – she used a different colour for each year. It looks like she did this for 8 or 9 years – what a cool idea!

On our way to stay with our grandparents we passed an Alpaca farm. Naturally, I was excited, so our grandparents arranged for us to go see the farm. This was a morning well spent. We got to pet and feed the alpacas and the owner answered lots of our questions.

We had such fun staying with our grandparents, but our time together quickly drew to a close and we were on to our next location. I’ll write more about that tomorrow.

grandparents

Traveling Socks

Last week my husband and I visited some of my relatives a few hours away from where we live. We packed up and set out on our journey.

sock1

We stopped in the lovely Asheville, NC for lunch. As we were exploring we came upon a yarn shop and my husband encouraged me to go in (he is a keeper).

skywool

That’s 3.1 oz of Merino combed top and a skein of Viking Raggen for man gloves. What else do you expect when visiting a yarn store?

We made it to my family’s house mid-afternoon and spent the evening talking and visiting. When it was time for bed I was surprised by the most beautiful quilt.

quilt detailfull quilt

The next morning we explored my uncle’s garden, picking beans and learning how to dig potatoes. It is super hard work. I spoiled quite a few potatoes finding that out.

We had a picnic lunch with more of the family that came by to see us. We even had an unexpected visitor!

My husband was tired from digging potatoes, so he took a nap.

nap

He had a lot of fun playing with the dogs.

As the afternoon waned we got ready to come home to the city.

This sock has a lot of good memories knit into it now.

 

Weekend Adventures

Over the weekend my husband and I went to Charleston, SC.

car knitting

We walked along the battery and in the surrounding areas.

water

The homes are beautiful and there are flowers and gardens everywhere!

garden pan

flowers

The dirt underfoot is made up of seashells!

feet

And the beach is beautiful.

beach knitting

If you ever visit Charleston I highly recommend brunch at The Obstinate Daughter. I had Eggs Benedict with smashed potatoes and tea grown locally in Charleston.

Home again, home again, jiggidy jog.

lap

Vacation Yarn

You didn’t seriously think I could manage to go on vacation without acquiring more yarn, did you? 2 Christmases my husband (then boyfriend) and I went to Arizona and I meant to go to a certain yarn shop while we were there. Regrettably, this did not happen, so this year when we were in the area I made double sure that we went. The shop is called Sedona Knit Wits, and it is delightful! They carry a range of beautiful commercial yarns as well as some yarns that are locally dyed. Those are what I ended up buying, since you just can’t get them anywhere else.

I bought a kit for watermelon socks (Eeeeeee!!!) and a gradient ball. It’s a good thing I’ve decided to make more socks. Although, now that I think of it a watermelon shawl sounds amazing! Which would you choose?

Whew

It has been a crazy holiday season. My boyfriend and I spent Christmas with my family in Arizona across the country from where we both live.

We took a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon

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I purchased moccasins in Tombstone, just down the street from the O.K. Corral

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And above all we spent time with friends and family. I hope your Christmas was amazing as well.

Adventuring

Hello friends! It has been over a week since I last posted, but that is because I’ve been on an adventure! I live in the the South, where Summer is sticky and sweet tea flows freely. But my family lives in the Southwest, land of dry heat and exquisite sunsets. Consequently, I don’t get to see them often, and this makes me sad. I just spent the last week and a half with my family, soaking in the sun’s rays, and packing up most of the stuff I left behind when I moved to where I am now. Then my brother and I drove a small moving truck back here (since he’s moving here, too). Let me tell you, driving those things is hard! But my adventure over the last 2 weeks reminds me of my adventure last summer when I went to Europe. I’ve never been more than just barely proficient with technology, so I didn’t figure out how to blog from my Kindle until the summer was almost over. But I think the time has now come to share my experiences from my summer in Europe. So over this summer I will be periodically posting journal entries from a year ago, sharing my thoughts and observations from a foreign culture.

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A Journal of Impossible Things: My journal is so called because this summer I will watch God do things that seem utterly impossible.
River wrote in her journal, the original Journal of Impossible Things, of her adventures. All the strange people and places and things she encountered. These things all together were so improbable as to be impossible. But that description applies to God’s work, too. People don’t believe in God, don’t believe in miracles, but God is alive and well and working constantly. He is the One who makes truly impossible things possible.

May 22
All our bills have been paid. There are 26 of us, and the cost is $5,000 each.Two of our members needed $2500 each just a few days ago. God is so good to provide for us.

May 23
Landed safely in Frankfurt and then Geneva. Didn’t sleep much on the flight, and we are all very tired. The poor drivers have to drive on little sleep. Through a miscommunication we ended up putting gas into a diesel engine. Thank the Lord we caught it before we turned the engine on. The repairs were minimal – both in scale and cost. God gave us a safe trip to Grindelwald despite fatigue and weather conditions. We stayed in a youth hostel in the Swiss Alps. When we got up in the morning it had snowed and the scenery was so beautiful! Thank God for the beauty of His world!

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May 24
Woke to snow in the Alps. Drove to Gummersbach – a 6 hour trip. Hopefully one of the longest drives of the summer.
The church in Gummersbach is Russian-German. Hundreds of years ago the Czar offered German people land in Russia if they would come farm it. Many went and were then caught behind the Iron Curtain. When it was lifted they came back to Germany – still German because they had formed their own communities in Russia – but they had picked up the Russian language and customs. Most of these churches are very conservative. This church has a huge split in culture between the older and younger generations. The culture split works here much better than in America. Or maybe they just put their best foot forward for their American guests.

May 26
Today we started our trip to Austria. We stayed in a youth hostel in Bavaria – a fortress, actually.
Yesterday 9 of us went with our hosts to a history museum in Bonn. It detailed Germany’s history since WWII. They don’t want to forget the Holocaust and how many people died without cause.

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May 27
Last night we stayed at a castle in Bavaria! When we got to the church in Linz we ate wonderful food – including the most amazing schnitzel!

May 28
Before we left Linz we visited a baroque church in Pöstlingberg which had a view of the whole city. Inside the church we sang “God so loved the world” in German. I love singing that text in places like that. We can give them the truth from their own scriptures.
I am staying with a missionary family, and the missionary wife and I had a wonderful conversation over evening tea – sharing our experiences and what God has taught us. When I told her about how my dad and brother had died she said she remembered hearing about our family and that she prayed for us. God has chosen to use our testimony all over the world. After another team member gave his testimony yesterday I realized the power that telling a story can have. I realized that I need to tell my story. My conversation with the missionary wife confirmed that.

It’s a Small World After All

Back in the day traveling anywhere was a big deal. It took hours at the least, and some trips lasted for years. I’m so glad I live now, when I can go from Geneva, Switzerland to Atlanta, Georgia in less than 12 hours. We got back to the states this past Friday, and what a whirlwind it was! The time zone changed on us 6 hours, we changed our surroundings totally, and blessed English is being spoken everywhere. I never thought I would be this excited to come back to the states, but I am.  

You know you’ve been in Europe too long when you want to say “genau” every 3rd sentence, when you see signs in English and think they look funny, when you read the name of the sports building on campus and say “goom-nah-zee-oom” like the Germans pronounce it. Yes, it will definitely take a little adjusting now that I’m back. But I’m ready for the challenge. 

It was a long-short summer, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it to be over.