Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Mishmash - North Carolina Recap

We had so much fun in North Carolina - it was great to have my family back together, under one roof, for an extended period of time.  You know, you have these kids, and they are with you pretty much 24/7 for nearly two decades, and then they have the nerve to go off to college and get jobs and live near their job and suddenly your family time is down to once or twice a year.  It's good - this is what they should be doing - but I miss them, and I miss our crazy interactions in person.  So getting to spend nearly two weeks together was wonderful.  Here's a quick recap:

Many, many games of Exploding Kittens were played - this game was so much fun, and as we played, we learned some game strategy (some of us more than others, but I rather enjoyed boggling everyone's minds with my card choices).  We got a little loud, which made Paco nervous, so he'd jump onto the nearest lap:
Exploding Kittens plus See's Molasses Chips = game night perfection!

We mostly cooked and ate at Sam's place, but we did go out for a few meals.  Nothing stood out as spectacular, food-wise (even the BBQ) this time, but we still managed to have a good time:
We went to Tribeca Tavern on New Year's Day for a late lunch (after our 11 mile run) and were sad to discover that they no longer serve their amazing pancakes anymore.  We survived with burgers, which were good, but dang - we'd been thinking about those pancakes for weeks!  We also tried Biscuitville, which is only open until 2:00 pm each day (I guess no one wants biscuits for dinner?).  It was good, and their cream gravy was every bit as delicious as you'd imagine cream gravy would be.  

Paco did really well at Sam's place, all things considered - it's a three-story townhouse, so we had to slow him down on the stairs as he seemed to limp a bit after a few days of raucous up-and-down jaunts, plus he had to be taken for walks instead of getting to run around in a backyard, but he adapted just fine except that he didn't eat much.  Toward the last few days, I was petting him and realized that I could feel his spine more than usual; wouldn't it be nice to be able to lose that much weight so quickly as a human?
This was what I saw most of the time on our drive back - his "Mom, please make dis stop" face.
We took pity on him once again on the drive back and got Paco a sausage McBiscuit for breakfast.  He ate the entire thing and then promptly went into a deep coma at its best!

While we were together, I wanted to get a family picture, so I brought out my 35mm camera and tripod, and forced everyone to get dressed and go to a nearby park.  Nine thousand outtakes later, I got the shot I wanted:
Finally, a family picture where we all look like ourselves!

Of course, there were these gems:
There's always one person in the crowd who can't keep it together long enough for me to set the timer and run back to pose for the shot!

I also got one normal picture of my kids as brother and sister:
...along with enough goofy shots that I ordered a 4x6 of each and will put them in a collage frame, because much as I like this picture, the goofy shots really show their true selves.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Sam and drive back to Texas.  On the drive out, we stopped in Birmingham, Alabama for the night (after 12 hours on the road), but on the drive back, we went all the way to Dallas.  We started just after 6:00 am on Saturday morning, drove through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and finally hit Texas, arriving at Allie's apartment in Dallas at 1:30 am.  WHEW!!!  That was one long day.  The nicest part was when we stopped at Buc-ee's in Terrell, TX and got gas for $1.42/gallon.  WHAT THE WHAT???  Now, it's really cheap by my house (I drove by Sam's Club and it was $1.59/gallon on Wednesday) but holy moly, that was nice. 

We woke up and were on the road by 8:00 am on Sunday, stopped for coffee at Starbucks (and came back to a VERY disappointed Paco, who apparently assumed he'd be getting yet another sausage McBiscuit), and were in our driveway at 11:30 am.  Life is getting back to normal now, but I have to say, all the driving was worth it...although I think we'll switch off and have Christmas in Texas this coming year.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Its great that your whole family could be together for the holidays. Nice pictures! I think its funny that Paco falls
    into a food coma just like us humans do.
    Have a good weekend. Any long runs on tap?

  2. How wonderful for you have your family all together for that long! I just love all the family pictures :) What wonderful memories :)

  3. What great family photos! We bought Exploding Kittens and didn't enjoy it as much as I thought we would. Maybe we need to try it again.

  4. What a wonderful time with your whole family together!!!!!!! So glad you got the family important!

    Gas is still over $2 here! GRRRR

  5. Yeah, I'm still paying twice that price for gas out here!

    Its so fun to see how much your family enjoys spending time together. I've never heard of that game. Gotta check it out.

    Your family photos are great--worth the time you spent getting them! And Paco. Yes, if only it were so easy to lose weight. If only it were easy to just stop eating for a while. Maybe I need to take a trip to North Carolina?? :)

    1. Well, to be clear, PACO was the one who lost weight in NC...I can guarantee you the same did not happen for me, LOL!

  6. love seeing your family all together and happy. I need to find that game. Sounds like so much fun.

  7. Our gas is mostly in the $2.20 range but the buzz amongst my local Facebook friends today is that BJ's has it for $1.97!

    Love, LOVE the family photos, even the outtakes. What an absolutely lovely remembrance of Christmas 2015 they will be.

    1. Ooh, that's pretty good for your area - head on over to BJ's! :)

  8. Glad you had a great time with your family and children :)

  9. Love the family photos SO MUCH! And those dudes that invented the Exploding Kittens game made like a gajillion dollars!! LOL I haven't played it, but Scott and I came across it at a local bookstore ...

  10. Check this out -

    I thought of you. I just tried knitting while on the exercise bike.

  11. Our family loves games, so we need to find that one!

    Silly family photos are fun. They have so much personality and really can only be taken by the family itself. It's hard to get that from a photographer :D

  12. I am one of those kids who live not so close to home and I cherish the time when me and my parents and three siblings are all together!!! I am so happy you got this and hope you do again soon. And yay for taking family pics!!!!

    I just pulled our copy of that game out of storage to play! I hope we do! I heard there is a bit of strategy to it!

    And yay for mostly cooking at home with family. Better to spend that time together at someone's house :)

  13. I just love the fun family photos!!! You are all great!!!

  14. I bought exploding kittens for my son for Chritmas! But then he took it everywhere he went and then back to college and I still haven't played it.Love the family pictures! Priceless to have everyone under one roof!

  15. What a wonderful trip. I love the family photo shoot, great photos.

    My Mom lives a 30 minute drive away from us and my MIL lives in the same village as we do. Can't imagine seeing my Mom just once or twice a year.

    Paco is so darn cute, how can you resist that face.

  16. You have a beautiful family! It's always so nice to see how much fun you have together. (It reminds me of my parents, who are the best company :D)


Comments are now moderated to prevent spammers from leaving, well, spam - but rest assured that as soon as I read a real comment, I will publish it. So please, comment away, even though the blog is officially closed. Thanks!