At the end of July we went on Trav’s birthday trip for this year, to visit family and friends in Pennsylvania and New York. It was a fun and relaxing trip! We drove straight through both ways – 22 hours up and 26 hours back.

The first two days we spent at Trav’s dad’s house. On the way there, we were out in the sticks and saw a sign on route 80 that said “Highest point on Route 80, east of the Mississippi” and Trav said, “Hey look, we’re in the middle of nowhere, and I can see my Dad’s house from here!” It’s so far out, Google Maps doesn’t even know the way to his house. We drove through some quaint little towns on the way, so that was nice.

On Saturday we made a bunch of cream cheese penguins, for the family reunion we were to attend on Sunday. It went really fast with 5 people – we had quite the assembly line going. I had an idea for a transport box which may  have worked if I had been more precise, and if we hadn’t been driving for 3 hours to get to the reunion. My sandal also came flying out from the back and smacked the box right in the middle. I took dental floss and strung it in a cardboard box, making square sections for the penguins to stand in. Here’s how it looked when we got to the reunion. Oh, the carnage!

Penguin Carnage

The family reunion on Sunday was a lot of fun. We picked up our niece Alia and took her with us for the day of visiting. At the reunion, we got to see a bunch of people from Trav’s mom’s side of the family. There was lots of good food (including a few raspberries plucked off the bushes) and many friendly people. They held a mystery package auction to raise money for next year’s reunion and we played bingo for little prizes. I got some nail art bling for winning a game of bingo. Whee! I’m also pretty excited about getting some rocks with fossils out of the creek. We have no rocks in Florida and I got to bring home some really cool slabs of slate. Pictures to follow later.

AfAlia's dyed hairter the reunion, we went to visit Trav’s Frewsburg Gramma and his dad’s side of the family. That was a lot of fun, too. More food! More great people!! I snapped this pic of Alia’s newly dyed hair while we were there. I just love how this one turned out… she’s such a pretty girl. We also had birthday cakes there… Janelle made an eclair cake which was delicious and not too much trouble to make. Let’s see if I can remember… mix a batch of whipped cream with french vanilla pudding. In a cake pan, make layers of graham crackers and pudding mixture, then melt some frosting and pour it all over the top. Refrigerate and you’re all set. Mmmmm!

The next two days we spent visiting with friends in Jamestown and Frewsburg, New York. We also did some work for one of our oldest and very best customers, setting up a new laptop and cleaning up his PCs. Here we are sitting on Ralph’s $70,000 Harley:

Trav & Emmy on Ralph's Harley

Ralph took me for a little ride on his bike and I must say, it was very comfortable!

One of the places Trav likes to go when he’s home is Johnny’s Lunch. They serve Texas Hots there – hot dogs and hamburgers with a kind of chili sauce and piled with onions. Yummy! They’ve been around since 1936 and show no signs of slowing down… the place was packed the whole time we were there.

Trav & Bleys at Johnny's Lunch

We met John & Carol and Rick & Terry at Patsy’s on Monday and for supper we had Lena’s pizza. More yum! They have the best pizza.Then on Tuesday we went to The Rio in Frewsburg, to meet with up with some of Trav’s old school chums and family, too. That was a really fun night. They had good food and we laughed and laughed together. Here are the family members that showed up:

Family at The Rio

The last two days we spent at Trav’s dad’s house. For my birthday, we went to a couple of wineries and sampled & bought some really good wine. After that, Syl and I went shopping at the thrift stores in St. Mary’s, and I scored a bunch of nice jewelry and a new dress which has been dubbed my “couch dress”, because Trav thinks it looks like something a sofa would wear.  :)  It’s a very pretty dress and I can’t wait to wear it on a Friday night when we go out dancing.

On the way home, we went on what is apparently the second most congested highway in America. During rush hour. On Friday! It took us several hours to go 35 miles on Route 95 South in Virginia, near Washington, D.C. I’ve never seen traffic like that before, and I hope I don’t again any time soon! It all worked out, though, and that brought us to Fairfax and Richmond, where we stopped to visit with a couple of Bleys’ friends. We went with Langdon to a place called Noodles & Company which had really good food at reasonable prices – college students know all of the best places! Lex took us to a little downtown diner where I got a slice of green tomato pie, which was interesting and tasty.

The rest of the trip home was pretty uneventful… we slept and drove in shifts and arrived home around noon on Saturday. I just love getting home to see Sadie and the kitties. They were very happy to see us, and we were so happy to see them! Luckily, Trav’s dad has three very friendly cats so I didn’t get too homesick this time… I had somebody to pet. Plus we were pretty much on the go the whole time we were there.

In all, a great vacation.

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