August 29, 2015

Pennsylvania, Virginia | Family Vacation 2015

Oh if only I knew what it would take to get to Pennsylvania…well, I would’ve packed more in my carry on to tide me over! I got up Thursday morning, finished packing, and made it to the airport and on the plane all in good time. Falling asleep pretty fast (one of my ?), I vaguely heard the pilot come over the intercom system and inform us that we were circling around Los Vegas and unable to land yet because of a local storm. Then when he said that because we were running out of gas that we were heading back to Sacramento, it felt more like a dream than reality. But reality sure set in as slowly the people around me on the plane realized that the pilot wasn’t kidding and the flight tracker showed the airport getting farther and farther away!

Once we landed in Sacramento, the plan was to fill up with more gas and head back, hoping the storm had subsided by then. But as the flight got delayed then delayed again, we were informed that our connecting flight to Pittsburgh was canceled! Once we finally made it up the line to the counter, we were also informed that the only other flight available for the rest of the weekend wouldn’t be until the next day. So to the hotel we went, with no luggage as it carried on its journey, not any closer to the east coast from where we had started that morning!

View from airplane over Nevada desert on family vacation to Pennsylvania.
-oblivious to any future predicaments
-Nevada desert as we turned back to California

View from plane over Los Angeles on family vacation to Pennsylvania.
-catching a last second shuttle from the hotel to the airport meant putting on makeup in the airport bathroom
-circling the Los Angeles airport because one runway was closed
-which also meant delays in leaving

View from plane of Chicago at sunset and during a thunderstorm on family vacation to Pennsylvania.
-Chicago city skyline
-sunset, one more day gone but we’re closer!
-storm in Chicago kept us parked on the runway for hours, though thankfully the pilot had gotten extra gasoline so we didn’t have to go back to the gate for more
-finally made it to Pittsburgh via Michigan only to find our rental car company had closed…hotel it is again!

Farms, countryside, bonfire, church started by great-great-great grandfather, and Betty Lou's restaurant on family vacation to Pennsylvania.
-3 days of travel that included the tunnel in Pittsburgh being closed, but we finally made it to the countryside to see family on Saturday evening!
-“supper” outside and napping on the hammock
-bonfire for s’mores
-great-great-great grandfather who touched so many lives
-partly through this church he started that’s still going today
-newer family tradition of eating at Betty Lou’s

One of the highlights was visiting my cousin and seeing Daesy Grace! She has grown so much in the past couple of years!
Farm and little girl portrait on family vacation to Pennsylvania.

Spunky and independent, Daesy is a little character with the funniest, deep belly laugh. No one can make her laugh like her brother, Colt, and she loves no one more than her daddy.
Farm and little girl with cat portrait on family vacation to Pennsylvania.Old Ford truck on farm on family vacation to Pennsylvania.Black farm cat on family vacation to Pennsylvania.

Common happenstance around the farm, a kitty rubbing my legs and trying to get some love!
Farm cat on family vacation to Pennsylvania.

Freshly picked lemon verbena–I want a pillow made from it!
Freshly picked lemon verbena on family vacation to Pennsylvania.Apple orchard and chicken on farm with little girl on family vacation to Pennsylvania.Farm chicken on family vacation to Pennsylvania.

Midweek we headed down to Virginia to visit our dear friends who are pretty much like family! See for yourself on the Starbucks cup!
Lunch at It's About Thyme with dear friends in Culpeper on family vacation to Virginia.

Visit with brother's fiancee in Lynchburg and Liberty University on family vacation to Virginia.
-we couldn’t get that close without driving down and seeing our brother’s fiancee–just wished she lived close so we could hang out more often
-though we drove by my alma mater, Liberty University, I was sad to not get to visit their beautiful library

Farm cat, cross in clearing, garden, and homemade soap on family vacation to Virginia.
-it was also fun to get to finally see Whole Heart Farm in person! Nelix, the kitty, is the grand-cat that came all the way from CA
-the cross in the clearing made for the perfect wedding ceremony location
-view of the garden looking out across the fields
-homemade soap that sells out at the local farmers market

Adopted family on family vacation to Virginia.
-our peaceful retreat

Amish blueberry pie, basketball game, cousins, and shooting on farm on family vacation to Pennsylvania.
-amish-made blueberry pie
-watching our cousin’s youngest win her last two basketball games
-kitty love
-road trip selfie with cousins
-oh just a target in the field
-enjoying shooting in the beautiful outdoors

It was amazing to meet my grandma’s cousin, Bernice, who is now the family matriarch!Family matriarch, grandma's cousin Bernice on family vacation to Pennsylvania.

Last night Cracker Barrel dinner with cousins on family vacation to Pennsylvania.
-little Daesy Grace enjoying a rocking chair just her size
-last night of vacation enjoying some Cracker Barrel with the cousins

Countryside of Pittsburgh vs dried up Folsom Lake of California on family vacation to Pennsylvania.
-leaving the green farmlands of Pennsylvania
-coming home to the drought in California, best shown by the receding shoreline of Folsom Lake

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