I took Alyssa back to the university yesterday. It was very difficult to say good-bye this time because we had such a nice visit during her Spring Break. And I just have to say it again: What a difference a year makes! She is so grown up and mature after being in college for only seven months. Through the years, I have often questioned whether my parenting abilities would be enough to send her off on her own. Now I know... I must have done something right. Whew. What a relief. Next comes John... and I am still worrying and fretting over the same things. I only hope that he takes to college as well as Alyssa has. I've still got eighteen months to get it right with him - and to be honest, I've got my work cut out.
While Alyssa was home, we decided to do a little something different: we took a road trip to Pennsylvania. We'd not yet seen Lon and Debbie's new house and we used that as our excuse to justify the trip. But the real reason we went to Pennsylvania was to celebrate Debbie's birthday and to celebrate Casey's recent achievements in the world of skiing. He's had a such great year and will be competing in the Junior Olympics next month.
Because they are always skiing on the weekends, we haven't seen them since Thanksgiving. But thanks to Debbie, we've followed Casey's success from afar, which is almost as good as being there. These pictures are of my brother, Lon, and Casey practicing the race course. I absolutely love the picture that shows Casey edging ahead of his dad!
I'm still getting used to the idea of having family members close enough that an airplane is not the required mode of transportation. This was the first time in almost twenty years that I have been able to get in a car and drive to see family - what a treat that is. Considering that we aren't used to road trips, Alyssa and I were pleased to discover that we didn't mind the drive at all. In fact, we timed it by the number of CD's required (three, to be exact). We turned up the tunes and I sang while she hummed (she is not one to sing out loud) for the entire two and a half hours it took to get there. I think we must have had a silent no talking aloud policy going on, because the only time we actually gabbed was when we had to pay the tolls and figure out directions. Before we left, Alyssa declared herself the official Navigation System and banker for this trip. She even used her "Navigation System" voice, which will always be one of my favorite memories of her Spring Break.
Speaking of memories, Alyssa and Debbie flunk the test of photo memories because neither one would allow me to take pictures of them. So, no cake pictures, no group pictures, no pictures of the girls at all (I'm still pouting). Thanks to Casey, I was able to take a few pictures that actually show people in the image. And, technically, I do have a picture of Debbie - she's in the photo shown below... she was trying to hide from me:
While there, Alyssa and I both commented that the beds at Lon and Debbie's house are The Most Comfortable Beds on earth... even better than the Hyatt or the Hilton! This is a good thing for those who visit Lon and Deb, but now that I am aware of this well-kept secret, they may have a difficult time getting rid of us the next time we visit. Seriously, Debbie's beds are heavenly.
And as heavenly as the beds are, the guest bathroom was heavenly as well:
Check out that faucet in the bathtub. I won't admit how long it took me to figure it out... but know this: it was almost noon by the time I got out of that tub. Oiy. When I talked to my mom after we got home, I told her that when she visits Lon and Deb, she will need to call me from the bathroom so that I can walk her through the process of turning on the water. After I sent her the pictures, she agreed that she would definitely need help with the faucet.
And now Alyssa is back at school. I think she enjoyed her Spring Break - we managed to complete most of the things she had on her list, and she seemed happy and relaxed as she packed up the car to head back to college.
That's the thing about Spring Break - kids just want to do "something", and over the years I've come to conclude that the little somethings can be just as nice as the big somethings, because a little something can always be made into a big something when approached with the right attitude and a sense of adventure, which is exactly what we did when we decided to take our road trip.
A special thank you to Debbie and
Casey for indulging us in our sense of adventure. We can't wait to see
you again... and sleep in the beds... and re-test the bathtub... and
hang out in your family room wrapped up in blankets... and eat your
fruit... and maybe even take a picture or two??? You helped make
Alyssa's Spring Break special, and for that, we thank you.