Monday, December 01, 2008

the thanksgiving trip post

so it's taken us a couple of days to recover from our trip. i don't know that we're even very caught up now, 24 hours after we returned home. there's still laundry to be done, the house is a wreck, and my christmas tree is still not up (and it's almost the second of december! the horrors!)

but i do feel the need to document our trip to west virginia, as we typically do.

it was a record setting trip up, especially considering we were traveling on the day before thanksgiving. a few more stops than usual, because of the dog, but overall, very very good time. we left by 7:30 and were pulling into the driveway at 4:30. before dark and after the snow had fallen (both imperative on this trip.) we started seeing snow a good two hours before we got there, and it was gorgeous. i've never been around that much snow not being on a ski slope (at least that i can remember.) i was very glad that justin had taken over driving at that point and i could just sit back and enjoy it.

by the way, i'm sure many of you are wondering how pepper did on the 8 hour trip up there. the truth is, she did incredibly well. she took it easy most of the time, taking turns laying on different people's laps. she didn't eat a whole lot, which made short bathroom breaks easier. all in all, a very well traveled dog.we were also glad that we got her groomed last week. you can see (as she models her Christmas outfit) she was getting quite scruffy. i especially was digging the spiky top hairs that had total mohawk potential.
we helped her deal with the cold weather by picking up a $5 dog sweater at wal-mart on the first night we were there. it was a completely gross, threadbare sweater by the end of the weekend, but it was worth it. we've since tossed it, but we're convinced it helped her deal with some of the chilly temps and the ton of snow! we made it snow ready by putting her regular pink winter coat over it for that charming ski lodge look.she had several dog buddies to play with up there, and definitely enjoyed sledding with us on thanksgiving morning. justin's dad's house is built on a "hill" that leads down to his grandfather's house. we walk up and down the hill to visit his grandfather, but it also makes an awesome sledding hill. thursday morning, we pulled out the sleds and justin and heather showed me the tricks to getting the best rides out of the hill. as each person would take off down the hill, pepper would run alongside them and then sprint back up the hill (as we huffed and puffed behind her--very steep!).
(we also have a video of this--it will have to be added later)

thanksgiving was spent with justin's family and step-family. we went into town to pick up his grandma (who has Alzheimer's) to spend the evening with us. we also had justin's stepsister and her boyfriend and his family come in, and his uncle and cousins dropped by later on. we played wii late into the night, and also tried out the new shaun white snowboarding game with the wii fit board.

(a thanksgiving sunset)
friday was pretty laid-back. justin and heather took their grandfather in to get some blood work done, and i got addicted to the "twilight" series. a coworker had loaned the first two books to me for the weekend, and i finished both of them in record time. i can totally see the appeal, to both preteens and those of us who are a little more removed from middle school days. i CANNOT wait to read the last two. and i might break down and see the movie. maybe. i've always been a "prefer the book over the movie" kinda girl.
also read the latest nicholas sparks, which was totally predictable in my opinion. but then again, it's nicholas sparks. that's what we expect.

on saturday, we went into morgantown to meet justin's grandma and john for lunch. it was great visiting with them, and i got to snap another gorgeous sunset on the way home.
it was the little camera, but i still think it captured the colors pretty well.

before we knew it, it was sunday and time to hit the road. we were anticipating the return trip to take longer since we'd be hitting i-95 later in the day. boy, were we right. it rained almost non-stop on the way home, and we easily tacked on an additional two hours to our original time because of traffic and the weather. between fredericksburg and richmond, i barely hit the speed limit. it was mostly 30 mph, with stop and go the whole way. that is one frustrating road to drive, and we had crappy windshield wipers to boot. we've never tried to make that drive on a major holiday, and i don't know that we'll be attempting it again anytime soon.

we got home and crashed. work hit me hard today, with lots to catch up on and a crazy busy holiday schedule staring me in the face. i know we'll make it through, but my calendar is filling up FAST. it is my most favorite time of the year, but it is stressful as well. i just have to learn that i can't please everyone or make it to all events. but i will try to make it to those important ones :)

one last photo for you. remember a few weeks back when pepper unzipped her bed? well, she did it again...still unzipped, folks. still unzipped.

that's all for now. hope you had a fabulous thanksgiving!

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