Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spontaneous Trip to VA

I love spontaneity! There is just something about doing the unexpected. Packing up for an adventure. Not really knowing what the next few days are going to hold. Loading a van full of stuff and kids for a 22 hour drive straight through.Trying to form plan, yet keeping a loose schedule. Yes, folks, that's my kinda life.

Dad and Mom have been wanting to take a family trip to visit the much loved and missed Dan and Bethany {and of course l'il Arianna just hyped up the anticipation} for quite some time. But the time slot to make said visit was getting smaller. D&B weren't going to be in VA for much longer and the calendar was rapidly filling with graduations and weddings...not to mention the other "things" that take up our time. It had been life-long dream of my father to visit Gettysburg with his sons. Most of us kids had never been that far east or been to DC. So the calendar was scoured, schedules rearranged and dates were set. Only one lonnnggg weekend was even open to make such a trip work and so we booked it. 

Once the date was set {and it wasn't that long before-hand} things kicked into full gear. Excitement reached an all-time high. Chatter and talk about the expected time was the topic of conversation at every dinner. Bags were pulled out, the house was in utter chaos packing began, and the debate of whether or not to tack on the 4-hour trip further east to see the ocean insued.

::Grandpa and Grandma get their first look at Arianna::

Words can't describe how exactly we made it safely without any broken bones mishap to VA. 
Just imagine;
One van, 8 people, 22 hours through the night, 5 boys, luggage enough for a week, cramped legs...etc. 
"Others First" was our trip motto. During the wee hours of the morning it would tend to back-fire into manipulation of some sort. 
It was not uncommon to hear this exchange:
boy: "please, may I have the bench to sleep in?"
other boy: "I am already sleeping."
boy: "'others first'. you should be more than willing to get up and give me your bench."
other boy: "you should be practicing what you preach."
boy: "I am simply giving you the opportunity to get a reward in heaven and honor your parents. so I am actually being quite sacrificial."
...and that is where I'll end this little dialouge. *smile*

A short hike up to Raven's Rock was needed enjoyed to work off some cramped legs.

It was just so wonderful to have the family be together! We got in Friday evening and Caleb was due to arrive via plane the next morning. Joe was the only one who couldn't make it. 

This was our 2nd hike of the day. We had stopped enroute at Haper's Ferry to climb Maryland Heights--a gorgeous overlook where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers meet. Josh, Phillip and I headed off to a steeper trail that lead up to a stone wall that was built by the Union soldiers. As we sweated up the steep trail we talked and read the signs on what it would have been like to be a soldier. They lugged 100lb cannon balls up the edge of the hill, not to mention water and supplies. Our cotton t-shirts that once seemed so sticky and warm suddenly didn't seem so bad afterall. We looped around and walked along the same ground that those brave men fought and died on. So much sacrifice. This whole trip made me so grateful. After tromping around a bit up top we ran back down the trail to catch up with the family at the overlook.

God is good. And I was continually reminded of this!

This little baby stole my heart. I love her so much!

This is just one of many posts of out trip to VA. It is a little long time in coming, but hopefully I'll get the rest up before too long.

"I remain confident of this; 
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 
Wait for the LORD, be strong and take heart 
and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14


Julianne said...

There is nothing like spontaneous trips or holding a new niece for the first time!

Mikala said...

Great pics!

Maria said...

I loved the 'conversation' from the trip. Having 10 brothers myself, I know what long trips like that are like. =)
You have a very cute niece!!!