I visited a few members of my family this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Bob is acting boss this week at work and was unable to accompany me.
Although I enjoy visiting with my brother and sister-in-law and their entire family at once, I feel a lack of quality time with individual family units. I was in search of quality family time, with available family members, during my solo mini vacation.
I departed home at 6:45 am on Tuesday, May 2, and arrived at my middle nephew’s home at approximately 10:20 am. It was a windy (the wind was gusty at times) and rainy (off and on) drive through Brookville, Punxsutawney, Youngstown and Indiana to Jared and Sara’s house.
I never knew that there was a Youngstown, PA even though it most likely was put on the map during President Trump’s campaign and subsequent election. Driving through Youngstown, I passed by the Trump House. I didn’t stop to take a picture. On hindsight I should have stopped!
I visited with Jared and Sara and their two daughters from 10:20 am until 2:00 pm. During this time I talked with Jared and Sara, met my 8-day-old great niece Emma for the first time, and played with Kyla. It was also the first time I had visited with Jared and Sara in their home.
Jared, Sara and I talked about a variety of things e.g. Kyla’s likes/dislikes, how my grandchildren and stepdaughter were doing…Emma’s birth…Bob and my vacation plans that include a week in the Outer Banks, which introduced a conversation regarding a cruise vs. a beach vacation..that we will see each other again in July at Jim and Judy’s camp…Jim’s construction work on the camp…Stacey’s vacation in Hawaii/scuba diving. There was very little lack of conversation during the entire visit.
I held Emma for at least 2 hours. She slept the entire time that she was in my arms. When Emma pooped, I handed her over to Jared. He changed Emma’s diaper and then fed her.
Sometime after my arrival and when Emma awakened from her nap, Kyla fell asleep. When Kyla awakened from her short nap and Emma had been fed, I took a few more pictures.
Kyla has a ride-on bug. I played with Kyla on the floor. She rode the bug, and we chased each other (with me on my hands and knees) around the room.
Too soon, it was time for me to leave.
From Jared and Sara’s house, I drove to Kittanning PA. The drive to Kittanning was somewhat eventful. A tree branch was snapped from a tree and flew through the air like an arrow toward my moving car! The branch flew over my car, landing on the other side. Thankfully, the branch did not hit my car! It was good, too, that there were no other vehicles around me at the time. A little farther on my drive, Route 66 was closed due to an accident. I am thankful that the GPS rerouted me! I was about 25 miles from Kittanning at the time.
I checked into Quality Inn Royle in West Kittanning at approximately 3:30 PM. I cashed in a free night (10,000 points) for my night’s lodging. I relaxed in my hotel room until 5:15 pm. I met my brother and sister-in-law at Kings Family Restaurant around 5:45 pm. We had a wonderful visit, just the three of us, while we ate dinner.
I returned to the hotel around 7:45 pm. I video chatted with Bob for a short time, wrote in my journal, and went to bed soon afterward.
I awakened the next morning at 6:00 am, after a good night’s sleep.
My hotel room accommodation included a complimentary hot breakfast. I ate breakfast around 7:00 am. I relaxed in my room until it was time to leave to go to my oldest nephew’s house.
I arrived at Michael and Kailey’s house around 9:00 am. I visited with Kailey and my youngest great nephew for the next almost 3 hours. As was the case with Jared and Sara, it was also the first time I saw where Michael and Kailey lived.
Oliver was taking a nap on the couch, when I first arrived.
Oliver awakened within 30 minutes of my arrival.
During my visit I played with Oliver, and Kailey and I chatted. We talked about shows we watch on TV. I think I interested Kailey in “Longmire” and “The Man in the High Castle”. We talked about upcoming vacations.Michael, Kailey and family will be vacationing at a campground in Maryland in July. We talked about a few opportunities for us to get together again…my granddaughters’ birthday party later this month…Oliver’s 1-year birthday party in July…CelebrateErie in August.
I was not able to spend time with Michael, Kaleb and Anna this visit. Mike was at work, and the two older children were at school. My brother and sister-in-law have one more child, a daughter, who lives at least 1,000 miles away with her husband and daughter. Emily wrote that anytime I want to make a road / plane trip to her house, I have a place to stay! I responded that I may take her up on that offer of a place to stay one day.
I left Kailey and Oliver around 11:45 am and began my drive home. I hadn’t made it too far, when I saw an accident…not along my route. The accident was near the intersection of Route 66 to New Bethlehem and Route 422 toward Indiana, on Route 422. I saw a small red truck on its roof. I was going towards the left lane to get on Route 28/66 toward New Bethlehem. I got only a quick glimpse…traffic was beginning to back up and there were several flashing lights and then the vehicle sitting on its roof. Later I learned that there were no injuries, only damage to the truck.
I returned home shortly before 3:30 pm, after making several stops along the way. I stopped for lunch at Burger King in New Bethlehem. I made a bathroom stop at Kwik Fill in Marienville. I stopped in downtown Warren, picked up my stepdaughter Stacey, and drove her to the dentist.
What a wonderful couple days I had! I found the quality family time that I was in search of. I hope that each family member whom I was able to visit with felt the same way.