Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wisconsin Recap


Our road trip out to Wisconsin had a few bumps before it even began.  First the van wouldn't start due to a dead battery.  Then the clamp to jump the van broke.  Andy super glued it and after about 30-40 minutes, the van was jumped and running and we were off!  About fifty miles into our trip, we arrived at completely still traffic.  Not moving a budge.  After about 10 minutes of being parked on the PA turnpike, we realized that not one car had come in behind us.  It was around that point that we realized that something really big must have happened up ahead and that we were the last ones to make it through before they shut down the turnpike.

Since we were going nowhere fast, we let the kids get out of their seats and wander around the van.
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After an hour or so of sitting in traffic, the highway patrol came and turned us all around.  We were now going eastbound on a westbound road - not the direction we wanted to be going! 
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 We backtracked about 13 miles, all the while seeing the miles and miles of back-up on the detours.  Long story short, the state of Pennsylvania usually takes about 5.5-6 hours for us to get through.  On this particular December day, it took 10!

At some point on the trip, I learned that there had been a big pile-up of 35 cars a couple of miles ahead of us.  The accident occurred just before 9am.  Had our battery not died and the clamp not broken, there is a high likelihood that we would have been in that pile-up.  Thankfully, no one in the accident was seriously injured.  Though we lost four hours on the drive out, we were still on our way and our van was in one piece!

It felt extra good when we arrived in Wisconsin that next day and we enjoyed our family Christmas celebration the day after that.  Delicious food.  Hilarious card game.  And LOTS of presents! 
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Christmas Bingo with Grandma!
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My mom taught Bella how to sew a simple dress.  They made three!
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Tuesday arrived and it was a big day for Graydon.  He turned FIVE!!!!  Here he is at 7:21am (he was born at 8:21am - Eastern time).  He turned his head just as I took the photo.  He's still sleeping here and I didn't want to wake him with another loud click of my camera, so I just left it at that. 
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We went to Monkey Joe's again this year - the boys' favorite!
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Jodi won the jackpot!  (After Mary won one too!)
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Matching dresses - that each of these little ladies helped to make!
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Baby Simon (my cousin's baby boy) came to celebrate Graydon's birthday!
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Blow out the candles!
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Present time!  He received so many wonderful gifts from everyone. 
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Then it was time for Phase 2 of our Christmas vacation:  Papa and Gaga's house.  Both boys fell asleep before we were even on the interstate!  Snow was falling, just as it had on our initial drive out from New Jersey, adding a good 30-45 minutes to our drive.  We arrived to a party prepared for Graydon and New Year's Eve!

Birthday Celebration #2!  More cake and presents - the perfect day for any five-year-old!
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We watched the ball drop from Time's Square (and therefore rung in the new year an hour early).  These kids were ready to party!
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We attempted a little bit of sledding, but the temps were so bitterly cold that we maybe lasted about 20 minutes.
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After this initial run down the hill, Curtis ended up with snow in his face.  He was done before even starting and spent the remainder of our time in the van. 
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Family pictures!
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On our last evening in town, we all went to cheer on Jacob at his basketball game. 
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Saturday morning arrived and it was time to pack up.  Thankfully our trip back was a lot less eventful.  Super cold.  But no snow.  We made it back to NJ in time to catch most of the Packer game and then Downton Abbey.  Unlike my usual self, I left all of the unpacking and laundry until Monday. 

The kids are already asking when we can go back to Wisconsin.  I'm so happy that they love it there as much as we do! 

1 comment:

mcbenetti said...

Why does it feel like christmas was soo long ago?