Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Chronicles

Once back from camping, I had a whirlwind 48 hours to unpack, do laundry, repack for our RV trip, and scoot the family cross-town for an early Thanksgiving with my side of the family. It was a rare gathering of some of my once-close cousins and our growing brood. Some of us hadn't seen each other in years. That's me in the back middle between Joe and Shiane. When Shiane was an itty-bitty thing, she was the flower girl in our wedding. Now she's driving!
The RV Trip Diary:   
Tuesday- We didn't discover the mouse poop until bedtime on Tuesday night. We had arrived safely at the Grand Canyon, donned our warm clothing and raced the sunset to the canyon's edge to show the kids a view of a lifetime. It didn't disappoint, even with the deep dusk and the snowclouds. Once we were all tucked in for a night of sweet dreams, I realized the little black specks of "dirt" all over the place were really mouse poop. Nothing a little positive thinking and some disinfectant wipes couldn't take care of. Thankfully, I think the poopers themselves were back at the RV storage facility in Las Vegas, rather than on board with us at the Grand Canyon.

Wednesday- We bundled up to the best of our desert-folk capability and made our way back to the canyon's edge to walk a bit along the rim trail. SO beautiful. Our hope is to go back in the future when we can hike down and camp - maybe in another five years-ish. Here Kevin poses beside our big rig with the four toasties. (Many thanks to the Early family for the use of their RV again!)

We posed right at the head of the Bright Angel Trail. It looked a bit foreboding covered in ice, but I still want to hike it someday - during a different season. Interestingly, this is also only a few feet from the Kolb Studios. In my recent read, Sunk Without a Sound, by Brad Dimock, I was introduced to the Kolb brothers - so it was really neat to stumble upon their actual studio!

On the way south from the Grand Canyon, in Valle, Arizona, there is an airport where some antique airplanes and motorcycles are displayed. My dad had a huge part in restoring them, so we stopped to take a look. Here we are beside the Ford Tri Motor (a.k.a. the "Tin Goose"). I took a ride in that sucker when I was Cayna's age, and still haven't forgotten it!

Thursday- How about a pajama hike to start the holiday off right? After a night at Granite Dells in Prescott, Arizona, our final destination, we killed some time in the early morning and followed a trail and let the kids climb some rocks.

From there, we showered and dressed and arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house. My Thanksgiving was a slew of in-laws, yummy food, about five hours of the game Apples to Apples (no exaggeration), and some football watching.

Here is father-in-law carving one of the turkeys.

It doesn't surprise me that I don't have a group photo. We were so busy enjoying our meal!

Friday the men golfed (Joe got to drive the cart a lot!), the women shopped, and I elected to stay home with a few of my kids and go for a walk and make gingerbread houses. My only shopping hankering involved a used book store, and my wonderful mother-in-law took me out the next day to fulfill that.

Before heading home, we celebrated Joe's birthday a little early so he could open his gift from the grandparents.

Once home, to usher in the pre-Christmas season, we watched "Miracle on 34th Street". There was plenty of popcorn to go around.
We had a memorable trip. And a joyous homecoming. And now we go full tilt boogie into Christmas prep. I'm grateful for Advent to keep me focused and quiet. Yeah, right.
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