First stop, was the East Coast of North Carolina! I drove my car and my husband rode the Harley (692 miles and about 600 of those were in the rain)
We arrived there Saturday evening and spent four days at my parent's house. My sister stopped by with all 4 of my nephews. That was a very nice visit. Those boys are growing to quickly! My oldest girl and the twins (two of my 4 nephews from that sister) started kindergarten that week! My daughter and one of the boys are in the same class and the teacher put them next to each other, thought that was very nice of her. My mom and I took my daughter's out for lunch and to do a little shopping. Got her a very cute first day of school outfit :) and got caught up with a former coworker at the pizza restaurant in the mall. Man, has that place changed!
My baby LOVED school (sadly, I am certain her infatuation is only temporary)!
From there, we drove up to Harrisburg, PA to stop off at another of my sister's house's. My parents came up with us, bringing along both of their Harley's. We spent about two days there. My niece, Amber, watched my tiny one while my parents, my husband and I went out for a ride on the bike's over to Pat Garret's Sheepskin outlet. I tell you...they have some BEAUTIFUL coats in there! We bought a few things and headed back to the house. By the time we got back, my sister was home from work and it was dinner time, followed by a dip in the hot tub.
We left there, my parents and my husband riding the motorcycles in front of my car, and headed to Center County, PA on Friday morning. There, we all stayed at my Aunt Shirley's house in Milesburg (my step-father's sister). My husband and I stopped off to visit with my father for a little while along the way. I had a few books to drop off for him. He's an avid reader ;)
Friday evening, we had planned to head over to the Grange Fair (largest fair and encampment in the country - none other like it) but we received a call from my grandmother, informing us my great-aunt was in the hospital after a fall down the stairs. My parents, husband and I headed over to the hospital (where I was born) to visit with my gr-aunt. She's a frail, tiny thing now :( but she seemed alright. I'm sure she'll be fine. We stayed in the rest of that night.
Saturday, we went over to the Harley Davidson dealership on center hall mountain. The owner is an old friend of my mother's. he started out with a teeny tiny shop in the middle of Pleasant Gap, PA and now he's got one of the largest Harley dealership's I've ever seen (and I've seen quite a few). We got a few things from there and then my husband, my tiny one and I headed to the fair grounds. We spent the entire day there and didn't get to see half of it. That place is growing! We had a lot of fun. Played a few games, ate some awesome fair-food. My grandparents live in NC, but they have a camper (a house on wheels) and a spot at the fair so they spend the whole week over there. My aunt (mom's sister) was there and she caught me up on all the latest of her family gossip. I say "gossip" and not "news" because it's never just boring news with her family.
The fair brings back so many happy memories of my youth. We used to go there every year, never missed it. The mains trip is still exactly the same as it was 10 years ago. Same shops in the same spots. We ate ice cream at the same place we always have. That's a family tradition, I suppose. My grandparents always buy a t-shirt from the ice cream shop every year. My aunt (another of my mom's sisters) worked there a few times, dancing to Elvis Presley on the jukebox while she scooped. Happy times.
I ran into my former step-sister whom I have not seen in about 12 years! That was GREAT! I've missed her so much. She's about a year younger then me and for the 9 years our parents were together, we were pretty close. We grabbed a bite to eat together and chatted for a few. It was like we'd never separated. :) I was surprised I didn't see anyone I recognized from my youth at the fair (aside from her). Everyone goes to it. I mean everyone. It's about as crowded as the Bronx Zoo on a Wednesday afternoon (and for those of you who know Wed. is donation day at the zoo...know exactly how crowded that is). I had hoped to bump into some old friends, but I had a great time just being there, bathing in my nostalgia.
We had a big breakfast with all of my step-dad's family on Sunday morning. That was really nice. I don't get to see them very often and having everyone together was great. We left there around 2:30 and headed back to Harrisburg to drop of my folks. Stayed there for about a half hour with my sis and her family and then the hubbs and I headed back home. And here I am. Home sweet home!
And if you've gotten this far, thank you for listening to my nattering :)