Monday, December 21, 2015

Home for the holidays

Well hello there from way further north than when I wrote last time!  Since last week when I posted, I spent many many hours in my car as I drove north from Atlanta all the way to my sister's house in New Hampshire!  The reasoning for driving north was a factor of many things... but mainly I desired flexibility with this trip.  I wanted to be able to have my own schedule and not commit to a plane ticket months in advance.  Plus, there was a lot I wanted to pack in and trying to figure out the logistics of it all was a bit exhausting so I decided to go with taking my own car and planning the trip my way!

On Friday morning I head out from Atlanta at 6:20 a.m. and spent about 11 hours in the car and drove to Alexandria, Virginia at about 5:30 p.m. to stay the night with E and her husband James. I have never been to their house before and having a place to stay at this point in the journey was integral to my plan to drive north.  Especially since I normally wouldn't be seeing them during the holidays, it seemed like a perfect opportunity!  Starting so early gave me a good head start on Atlanta traffic and also the opportunity to view the sunrise from my car.  The sky was gorgeous and I loved watching every stage of it rising from my car.

The drive took me through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and then to Virginia and I made numerous stops along the way to stretch, get food, take some pictures, and just take some breaks from being on the highway.  It was a fun adventure and although very long, it wasn't super terrible.

I listened to music for a few hours, listened to a few podcasts, took a few phone calls, and made sure to stay relaxed and not letting myself get too drained during the trip. I swear, long distance running helps you to have the mental tricks to be able to tackle big things like this as well!  I also had lots of coffee.  In addition to my Dunkin Donuts I randomly found a super cute coffee shop off the highway in North Carolina, which I was excited about because it seemed there were chain restaurants in every direction I saw.

In Alexandria we walked to a local bar to grab a drink of bubbly during their happy hour special and then returned home for dinner and hanging out and wine with E and her husband James.  It was great to catch up with them and just hang out and have an easy going night.  We were literally crying laughing as we looked up on E's old hard drive her high school graduation speech (she was our class salutatorian) as well as a paper we had to write our senior year of English where we predicted where ourselves and our classmates would be 30 years into the future.  I was literally crying real tears laughing so hard at these two items being read aloud.  It was a great night and a great stop on the trip!

My trip picked up again at about 9:10 a.m. and I did a bit of a more straight through drive on Saturday, spending the majority of the time in the car listening to Aziz Ansari's audiobook version of "Modern Romance" I haven't quite finished it yet, but there were a few times that I was laughing out loud in my car.  Very relevant and very much relate able to my own life!  There were also some great views along this route as well.

Around 5:30 I arrived at my sister's in New Hampshire.  It was great to be able to squeeze my little niece and nephew, play with them, and make them laugh.  They are 14 months now and such a fun age to play with and they are so smiley and happy and I've been pretty much spending all my time since I arrived on Saturday evening trying to make them laugh.  Or at least a lot of my time (a girl's gotta sleep and babies gotta eat!)  The poor little Snickerdoodles are having some teething and things going on so sometimes aren't feeling the best.

On Monday, my dad and younger brothers also made the trip up to New Hampshire and I cannot believe how big they are getting.  I swear they are a foot taller than when they visited me this summer in Atlanta! It is mind boggling to me.  We all exchanged Christmas presents and I think that the light sabers that I got for my brothers were a hit.  In fact, I think my little nephew needs one of his own as well!

It's been a great few days hanging out and spending quality time with my niece and nephew.  They are a ton of fun but also a ton of work. I know I say this every time, but my sister is doing an awesome job!! Twins are not easy!!

Hope you are all having a great week and having safe travels whereever the holidays may be taking you!  Happy Monday everyone!

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