Friday, August 24, 2007

My visit with my sister (picture intense)

Eeek! It's been almost a week since my tattoo... it's really itchy but I love it. the colors are really popping now! Thanks Rafael!

Thursday night I arrived to find my brother and sister waiting for me... all smiles! That was so nice!

We took The Beast (my suitcase) up to the hotel room, then came back down for a bite to eat. Besides being ogled by a couple dudes in the snack bar, we had a nice time chatting (and teasing each other) over fries. When back to the room my bro and I were sharing and talked some more, until about 1 am Reno time- which was about 3 am Iowa time.

ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz... we got up bright and early and had breakfast before going to get our tattoos.
Afterwards we refueled with lunch then went over to Marci's house for margaritas and dinner. I told Marci I hadn't been this relaxed in years, but I soon realized some of it was because I wasn't chasing around my ankle biters to tell them to stop poking each other with sharp and pointy objects. You know what they say about absence... I was missing the noise of my girls. Not for long though, my nieces and nephew are adorably noisy. ;) It was almost like being at home with the Disney channel and kid background noise. They took to Ben and I right away, and since Ben had gotten there a day early he had gotten to exchanging jokes with the oldest already. Here they are opening some gifts we brought for them.

Katie, 15Becca, 12
Matt, 7

Marci is very lucky to have found such a wonderful cook for a husband! :D They were high school sweet hearts and have been together for 21 years, and married for 17. Jeff makes the best baked beans I have ever had. Ben and I were pooped, but when we got back to the hotel room at 12:30 am we were wide awake and stayed up until 3 am talking and reading. Mostly it was me talking while Ben tried to read. *snort*

Let me just say that while visiting my sis in Reno, I ate VERY WELL. Unfortunately for us, we had some sort of beans every day. Yes, sharing a room was a little uncomfortable at times, and at first the bathroom fan got quite the workout. Eventually though, we just showed the love and shared like only family can. I told Marci that to think- the next visit Ben and I will be comfortable enough to "share" with her too, LOL!

Saturday we went out to a late breakfast at the Black Bear Diner with the whole family and walked around Reno a bit to work off the HUGE breakfast we all ate...
***you can actually see my chin getting bigger as the trip progresses ;)***

and played some games in the arcade.

Treasure at the Silver Legacy! The rug has 24K gold threads and jewels woven into it *drool*
Then we stopped by a sporting goods store to find a toy for the kids- meaning me and Ben LOL! We wanted to find a marshmallow gun for us- I mean our kids ;) Of course no trip is complete without the snuggling of puppies!My plan was to freak John out by sending him an email that said "Guess what I bought in Reno?", but I forgot to do it. Darn!

By now, Jeff was loosening up a little bit and actually talking to Ben and I, after he realized that we are both just big Goofballs. He is kind of like my hubby, quiet at first until he gets to know you a little better. Marci had no problem hanging with the Goofballs and we all got into a little friendly teasing here and there. :D

Later that night the adults went to a buffet and gorged ourselves on ribs, chicken and sausage. We were all so full we were groaning... but that didn't stop Jeff from suffereing through the last piece of sausage. I promised myself that I wouldn't eat another thing after that night, and told Ben that the I was pretty sure the 6 pounds I had lost before the trip had found me again. We walked- or rather rolled- around Reno to help the grease in our stomachs to dissipate.

Sunday early afternoon we braved the pool at the hotel despite seeing waves and white caps on the water. It was so windy that the 90 degree day seemed like 50 once we got into the pool. Everyone got in except for Jeff, who turned out to be the smartest of the bunch. Once I got in, I stayed in... that's how cold it was after we got out because the 20-25 mph winds going on. Despite the teeth chattering and shivering, we had fun... but we cut it short because we were all turning blue. ;)

Later that day after Ben and I took turns taking showers, we headed over to Marci's for margaritas and a nice relaxed dinner.

Ben and I stayed up packing until 1 am, then we got up early Monday and had breakfast with Jeff and Marci since all of the kids were at school. We walked around a little bit then made our way to the airport. Ben and I managed to get our tickets changed so we could sit together as we flew to Denver for our connecting flights. We ate at a Mexican Grill and had chicken taco salads, with... you guessed it- beans. ;) ben and talked a bit more about our loved ones while blowing garlic chicken burps at each other, we laughed a lot. I saw Ben off at his gate because his flight back to Maryland as an hour earlier that my flight back to Iowa... that ended up being delayed 2 hours.

For about an hour I frantically tried to get a hold of John to let him know my plane would be late so he wouldn't be stuck at the airport with 2 cranky kids, since my original flight was supposed to get in at 11pm. If you have read my previous rantings about the MIL, you know that we really couldn't call her to watch the kids neither John or I trusted her anymore, and neither did Anna. I finally got a hold of John and he got the girls in their jammies and tried to catch a nap, but none of them slept. Luckily the girls fell asleep on the way to the airport and they slept for a bit. I managed to control myself though, unlike another infamous flight. ;) The plan was for me to meet them in the parking lot since the kids would be sleeping, but Emma heard my plane come in and decided she wanted OUT of the car... so to my surprise I turned to find them standing a ways off while I waited for my suitcase. Emma was a bit shy at first but she leapt into my arms after about a minute. :)I arrived in Iowa at 1 am, and got home at 2, with 2 very sleepy children in tow.

So there you have it... my trip from soup to nuts, alpha to omega. We had a nice visit and Ben and Marci are already making plans for another trip. Ben said he was thinking that we could take turns visiting at each other's home, but decided that there is probably NOTHING to do in Iowa. I told him that there is plenty to do in Iowa, you just have to be willing to drive. He's such a dork. ;)

We'll see how it goes, I already told Ben and Marci that we have been dodging the bullet for many years on visiting Houston, Texas ( 1184 miles, 18 hours) where John's sister and brother live... The last time we were down there is was right after I came back from Desert Shield/ Desert Storm in '91, and Anna and I went down when Anna was 6 months old to visit for a week while John moved us from California to Iowa so it's been a long time. Matt's GF has 2 daughters and the youngest will be having her QuinceaƱera in a couple of years, and Matt wants us to come down for that. So we will have to save up for that, and probably drive to save some money. Emma will be 4 1/2 by then so she should be able to handle the 18 hour drive by then.

The good thing though is by then Emma will be able to withstand the drive to Maryland (862 miles, 14 hours) too. :D


Karmyn R said...

Looks like you had a great time. I'm so happy that you were able to connect with your sister!!! YEAH

Maggie said...

I really like that second picture of you holding the puppy. Very nice.


Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

What a CUTE puppy!! Cute kids and what a family resemblence between the sibs! Especially You and Ben, but Marci too! Glad you had fun and it sounds like you packed ALOT into your time there, including many beans! hehe!

wolfbaby said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip im glad you were able to go and enjoy yourself;)

Holly Schwendiman said...

So happy to see and hear about your fun trip! Here's to many more in years to come. :)


kailani said...

I'm so glad you're having such a great time!

JHS. said...

Looks like you all had a great visit. The Silver Legacy is my favorite casino. The food there is excellent and they have a comedy club downstairs that I love.

Glad the tattoo is coming along well, too. :-)

~Virginia~ said...

GASP! I love that puppy!! My birthday's coming up...always wanted a puppy...hint, hint! :)

~Virginia~ said...

Amended to add: Virginia lives in Houston! :) Although, I must admit, it's not usually the place one visits out of sheer WANT...

HawaiiVacationGifts said...

What a cute puppy, I love dogs. Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday and leaving a comment, that is how I found you:)