Remember how I said I was going to blog every day from the road? FAIL! I think I also promised pictures. ANOTHER FAIL!
I did have an amazing trip though. Some highlights:
Getting to see a Navy graduation in Pensacola was an amazing experience. The camaraderie built between my sister and all of her class mates, all heading out into the world to become Navy Recruiters, was a sight to see. All of these sailors have been dedicated to the Navy for at least 5 years. They are squared away (put together), very charming and a great group of people. My short time with all of them was delightful. The ceremony itself was VERY powerful. It created in me a huge sense of pride for my sister Stacey, for the Navy and for our country. If you ever feel discouraged with how things are going in the USA, spend some time with these people. They are so devoted and hard-working, it will make you believe in just about anything. They are also a GREAT time and very smart!
After graduation, Stacey and I hit the road. The two of us are road trip masters, especially together, and this was no different. Each long day on the road went by faster than I would have liked. On day one we got to have lunch with my good friend Jessica who drove over 2 hours each way just to meet up with us. It was wonderful to see her!
Stacey and I jammed out to Florence & The Machine, and our old road trip fave, BarenakedLadies. Gordon has always been our road album. We LOVE to blare the music at full volume and sing at the top of our lungs. There is no voice judgement, only shared favorite verses. She even sang my favorite Kate Voegele songs with me. Often we would pause the music to play catch up, share stories or relive old memories. It was a dream. I was incredibly sad when we finally reached our destination. I could have stayed in the car with my sister for AGES.
Denver is always a bag of mixed emotions for me. I left it so many years ago and have found so much happiness in Massachusetts. But Denver also means home and family. I stayed with my best friend Bird who has been a friend of mine for WAY longer than I care to admit. She gets me. So much sometimes, it’s scary! She is a sister from another mother. It was so great to get time with her. I always cherish our moments. She’s an amazing and gracious hostess. Also, she’s an amazing cook so I know time at her house always means good food! Accompanied by lots of wine and lots of laughs!
I also got to spend an entire day with my extended family. My other sister, Carrie, my niece Teagan (my Monkey) my Aunts, Uncles, cousins and all of the above. It was a perfect day. Lunch with all (most) of the ladies of the family. Besides my husband, my favorite people in the world. These are the women who have shaped me, have made me who I am. All different generations. Some of us wives, some mothers, some neither. All supportive and smart and funny. I feel so blessed to come from a family of so many amazing women. It makes me miss my mother. But on a day like that, I know she was there in spirit. A fun side note: My cousin Kelly, whom I have looked up to most of my life, started watching Supernatural because of this blog! Huge win! I hate that it’s giving her nightmares but LOVE that she’s getting to experience Sam & Dean Winchester! Everyone should experience that joy! Keep at it Kelly!
While I was in Colorado, Bird and I were able to drive up to Nebraska to see my other BFF, Jen, one of my favorite people in the world and I had not seen her since she stood in my wedding a year & a half ago. Since then, she has had a baby and has had to leave Colorado. She was her amazing self, taking me out for Lincoln’s best beers and greeting me with two boxes of Gobstoppers and her GORGEOUS baby boy, Cole. Knowing that it was my first time with him and that trips to see her would be few & far between, she let me have him almost exclusively while I was there. WHAT A DOLL. This boy is going to break hearts. He definitely broke mine. He cried on me a few times but I also got MILES of darling Cole grins and baby laughs and he even napped on me for an hour or so on Sunday morning. My favorite thing EVER!!! Jen & Ross should make children professionally. They are VERY good at it!
After 4 planes, 5 days in the car, 1 bus, one cab, 2 subways, one commuter train and 11 days, I am so happy to be home in Salem. Later today I will go for a walk on my cobble streets to pick out a card and a 6 pack of man flowers. It’s my husband’s birthday and I would not be any place else. Flying in over the water yesterday, my heart started to race. There is something about being near the ocean that just makes me happy.
And while I am SO glad to be home, I am already missing everyone so much. It was such an amazing trip.
Still, there is no place like home.