20 July 2013

Nashvegas

In remembrance of the first anniversary of our move to Texas, I'm chronicling our drive across the country to get here. You can read about the movers from hell here and other adventures here
Next stop:  Nashville!

In Nashville we stopped for a while to see our friends, Matthew and Andrea Sullivan.  We have known them since 1996, when we first moved to the Boston area to begin seminary.  We quickly became friends as they showed us the ropes in Boston and at seminary.  

Matthew and Andrea lived off-campus in an adorable little house in Beverly.  They became the kind of friends at whose house we could just drop by and see what they were up to. They introduced us to Cincinnati chili.  They had a baby before we did, so we walked with them through their first years of parenting. After the birth of their second son, they moved to Nashville and have been there ever since.  We have seen them just a few times in the intervening years, and we were so glad that we were able to meet up at the famous Pancake Pantry to see them. 
Three of their four kiddos were there, and it was my first time to meet their youngest. What a joy to have our kids meet each other and to have even a few minutes to catch up and be together.  Wish it had been longer!  I love these people dearly, dearly.

Clay and Walter are showing off the HILARIOUS underpants on display.  Hee hee! Underwear!



Yay for all of us!  We were just missing Aidan who was away at camp, I think.  Wish we could have seen that boy!

I LOVE this lady!  Very thankful for her friendship and wisdom.

After we left the Pancake Pantry, with all of us hanging out the windows and waving goodbye a million times, John said we had to make a stop here.

This is Jack White's record company.  We just had to go see it and feel the AURA.  It was wicked cool.  Jack White is one of the most amazing performers around; I hope we get to see him live someday.





Yeah, it's weird in there.  Weird and AWESOME!!!!!
Here's one of my favorite songs from Jack White's last album:



So there you have one of our last stops on the trip.  I think we spent that night in Little Rock and then rode on to Houston the next day, where we stayed with my brother- and sister-in-law and met our little niece and nephew for the first time.
It was a crazy time, a hard time, a stressful time as we anticipated moving into a new house and trying to make a home in a foreign land.

We were and still are so thankful that our road trip was actually really fun, full of good memories and we enjoyed each other along the way, as well as the friends we were able to see.

19 July 2013

Moving Right Along

So when I left off yesterday, we were headed from Hotel Towanda to Pittsburgh to see our buddies from Cambridge, Heather and Colin Ashe and their kiddos.  Yay!
The day before our visit had been Clayton's 12th birthday, and Heather had a little celebration all ready for when we got there! We were all really touched at their thoughtfulness.  
We only had a couple of hours to spend, but it was a joy to see where they live, to meet their third child and to be loved by them. Dear friends.  We had special Pittsburgh sandwiches from Primanti's (with french fries ON them!) and birthday cake. Somehow I have no photos of all the celebrating.  Bad mama.
They had the Wii all ready to go, and you can see that our kiddos were ready for some video game action. 





I love Brian's face here.  And Walt is just taking it in stride.
I love this dear lady!  She is a Gospel-lover, and a pray-er and a good friend.





A cool bridge in Pittsburgh.  We didn't do any sight-seeing, but it looked like a super-cool city!  
Next we decided that we needed some more baseball in our lives so we headed to Louisville for the Louisville Slugger factory and museum.  John had recently been to Louisville for a denominational meeting, and came back with glowing reports of the baseball bat factory.  So we headed that way.  If you ever find yourself in Louisville, I highly recommend you make a visit!  The factory tour is impressive and fascinating.
We saw some Amish along the way.  I think this might have been in Ohio?  Not really sure.


That is a dang big baseball bat!  






Lucy and Babe Ruth

There can never be too much baseball!  Walter ordered a special Louisville Slugger bat with his name engraved.  It is pretty dang sweet. 


We spent the night on the Indiana side of the Ohio River so we could say we were also in Indiana!

The next place we stopped was Nashville where we saw our great friends from early seminary day.  Stay tuned.

18 July 2013

A Year Ago This Week

One year ago last Monday, a huge moving truck drove up to our house in Arlington, MA and some of the most inept movers EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD (to put it kindly) began loading all of our earthly possessions into the truck. They began loading at 8 am and finished at 3 am the following morning. I am not kidding. That day and night were one of the worst I've yet to experience.  I could write a whole post about how horrid the movers were, but it would be too long. 

When, at 11 pm, the house STILL had MANY boxes and pieces of furniture in it, despair really set in. It was hot and sticky that day and night, and the movers' horrible attitudes made it even more uncomfortable. They complained about the heat, they complained about the stairs (Hello, it's New England, the homes have stairs. Surely you've seen them before.), they complained about how much stuff we had (Hello, people take ALL their things with them when they move.  We're paying you to put ALL of it in the truck).

Thankfully our children were safely ensconced with friends while John and I lay on the hard, wood floor on the third floor, fan blasting, waiting, waiting, waiting for them to finish.  Our neighbor happened to be awake and texted us to come have a drink on his front steps.  We did.  Finally, around 3, those idiots the movers closed the truck and we drove to our friends house where they had left the door unlocked for us so we could crawl into their guest bed for the night.  The next morning, Emily made us a lovely breakfast and consoled us about the previous night.


We went back to our house to sweep up the last of the dust, collect the last things that would go with us in our van, and say goodbye to our next-door neighbors.  It was hard.  Lucy and Jack, the two littlest in the families, had a hard time understanding what was happening.  They just knew it was sad.




We had a few other stops to make to say last good-byes to friends. Of course, we took so long to say those goodbyes that we didn't hit the road until around 9 pm.  We drove out the Mass Pike, John and I clutching hands while he drove, tears streaming down both of our faces.  It was so painful.  I can hardly stand to remember it.

We made it ALL THE WAY to Springfield (maybe two hours away, tops) before deciding to bunk down for the night.  Given the short night the night before and the emotions of the day, we needed to get some rest.  Plus, nothing like a little sweet hotel time to cheer everyone up!




Our plan was to make some fun stops along the way to Texas, to make our trip more of an adventure than just a slog.  So, first stop was Cooperstown, New York for the Baseball Hall of Fame!  We really lucked out because, in celebration of Fenway Park's 100th birthday, there was a whole Fenway exhibit.  We even saw The Bloody Sock.  You Red Sox fans know what I'm talking about.
  





Here is a really great photo of me in Hank Aaron's locker.  Thanks, Theo!
While it was cool to see the World Series trophy, it made us SICK, I mean, REALLY SICK to see that the Yankees have won 27 times.  Disgusting. 










Yeah, nice hair, Kit.  This must be road trip/traumatic moving hair.

One special thing about our cross-country trip is that we did NO planning ahead. Cool, huh?  I mean, NONE.  We left Cooperstown and a ways down the road we said, "Oh, we should probably try to find a place to stay for the night."  We are not drive-through-the-night kind of people.  We have friends who just drive and drive and drive for hours on end and they turn out just fine.  But not us. We require beds at night.  
So around 8 o'clock I got on the old iPhone and looked up hotels.com.  A very kind representative helped me find a room for us in a town in Pennsylvania called Towanda. What, you don't know it?  We didn't either. But we followed our GPS down some CREEPY, dark and scary roads until we made it to the hamlet of Towanda.  But by now we were freaked out by our scary drive on dark and CREEPY roads, so we named our hotel Hotel Towanda (get it?).  
Of course, by morning we could see that it was just a regular old Days' Inn or something of the sort.  But by night...Hotel Towanda, which is now a part of our family mythology.  See, making memories already.

Which brings us to the next adventure, which happened exactly a year ago today.  We stopped in Pittsburgh to visit our friends, the Ashes. Totally not on the way, but Heather is VERY persuasive and we couldn't resist the chance to see someone who loves us.  Tune in tomorrow for that segment!