We just got back from Atlanta (where my sister Karen lives) for Thanksgiving. We had a great time and got to see my side of the family, with the exception of Kenny and his brood. They couldn't make it this year and we missed them. I noticed it was a lot quieter this trip, though. Its amazing how the noise goes up when you double the number of kids, its exponential.
The trip down was uneventful, a long drive through the mountains along 81 where we saw some flakes (the snow variety, not the 60's kind) and not that much traffic. At one point, we were coasting down the mountains and managed to get 60+ mpg for six straight miles. We filled up once and the gas was only $1.65 a gallon, amazing how cheap it is now as compared to six months ago.
Jack did great on the long trip, he is a real "Kalooper", which is a term for someone who likes to travel. I am not sure of its origin, but GG (McDonald) uses it a lot when describing kids that are easy to travel with, maybe its a Providence thing.
We got there late Tuesday night, the next day we went out to brunch with GG and Papa John (Grandma and Grandpa Goodyear) to the local Waffle House and all the boys got waffles, actually they got two waffles each, they were hungry. Karen didn't go because she wasn't feeling well that morning, but she rallied by the end of the day.
We spent the day getting food, eating and yapping around the kitchen table, it was nice to see Mom and Dad, they looked happy and healthy. Retirement agrees with them.
That night we all went out to dinner at Olive Garden near the Mall of Georgia. Good eats. We are all fans of italian food so it was an easy choice. Since we had 9 people, it took them a while to seat us, but I brought my phone so the kids got to play a bunch of games while we waited. There was no fighting, I had all three boys crowded around me while we played Crash Bandicoot on my iPhone. The adults got to talk and the kids got to play.
After that we went back to Karen and Eriks and watched the season finale of the Shield and Sons of Anarchy, which were both really good. The boys went to bed real easy since they had been running around all day.
The next day was Thanksgiving and the day was spent watching the crappy football games (both of them were blowouts). The boys all played with toys and we had light saber battles and threw the ball with the dog, Rocco.
Rocco is now about 65 pounds and is still very much a puppy in some ways. He is intimidating to look at but a big wussy. He is real good with the kids and liked to lick Jacks face as he would walk by sometimes. He loves to bring you pull-toys and try to pull them away from you. Erik had him trained well and he listened pretty good if you had a command, like sit.
Dinner was great, Kate made a good portion of it and liked the big kitchen. She made almost everything vegetarian except for the turkey and it all tasted great. Everyone walked away full and happy. We had ice cream later on and Mom fed Jack - I don't know who liked that more, Mom or Jack.
It was great to see everyone, next time hopefully Kenny and his family can join us, we did cheer him and talked to him on the phone after dinner, though. The next morning we left and headed back.
The trip back was uneventful except going through Anderson, South Carolina I got pulled over along with the car in front of us (New Jersey plates). The Trooper got two for one on that one. I was very respectful and he knocked the speed down to 74 in a 65 zone, which is about what I was going most of the way, but wanted to get by some slower moving traffic quickly. My first speeding ticket in 20 years. $80. Oh well.
The rest of the trip was great, traffic was light and most of the drivers were respectful and aware. Glad to be back home, though.
Dad and Jacob
Mom and Jack
Jacob, Joshua and Dad
Rocco the Guardian
Murray the Cat
Dad and Jack
Jacob, Joshua and Mom
Uncle Erik, Jacob and Joshua
Karen, Dad and Jack