Our main purpose in going to Ohio was to see Hunter, my new grandson, and son of Andrew and Tina. He was born 4 months ago at the end of August, but Susan’s Christmas break provided the best opportunity for an extended visit.
Initially we had planned to fly, but Susan suggested we drive, in part so we could take Elmo with us, but there are other advantages to driving if you can spare the time, including a more relaxed and flexible schedule, and the opportunity for some sightseeing and exploring. It also saved us money.
We left on Friday, Dec. 21st, and arrived in the evening of the 24th (Monday), stopping each night at places we found on AirBnb. We spent one night near Oklahoma City, and two nights in St. Louis, MO. It was sunny for the entire trip – until we entered Northeast Ohio, that is.
We stayed with Andrew and Tina in their new home (my old house). They were gracious hosts, although they couldn’t provide us with much privacy. We slept each night on a hide-a-bed in the Family room.
Hunter was a little angel the entire time – so quiet we hardly knew he was there. He smiled and giggled occasionally.
I wish I had been able to take a picture at one point of Andrew looking at Hunter. He had an expression of love on his face that’s pretty rare for him. It was really sweet.
On Christmas Day (Tuesday), Tina’s family came over for a huge meal that Tina had prepared all by herself. She’s an amazing cook!
The rest of the days, particularly mine, were filled with visiting family and old friends.
On Wednesday, I had breakfast with Michael and lunch with Emily.
On Thursday, Susan and I had breakfast with Doug and Karen. Then I had lunch with Paul McMahon. In the evening, we took Andrew and Tina out to eat.
On Friday, we visited the Ford dealership to pay off our car lease. I met David Eid for lunch, then Susan and I met up with Fred and Michelle Bosnakovic for dinner.
On Saturday, we did a little shopping, I made toffee, and then Susan and I met up with my siblings and spouses (except Mary) at Matt and Cindy’s house. It was very nice, although different with no children or grandchildren in attendance.
On Sunday we decided to skip church in Canton, but did visit with Joe and Karen Winters, Stan and Kathye Shafer, and Jennifer Randall from the ward.
On Monday, Andrew and I had breakfast at the Frontier Restaurant. I enjoyed one of the best conversations I’ve ever had with him.
Susan and I were planning to visit the farm in the afternoon, but Susan wasn’t feeling well. She perked up a bit in the evening and we decided to visit Uncle Andy and Sister Yvonne, then stopped at the farm on the way back to look through our belongings that we’d left behind. Unfortunately, a racoon had recently invaded the house and had selected our stuff to partially destroy. We collected a few things and left them in a cabinet in the basement of Andrew and Tina’s house, along with other things I had left there in 2009 when I moved out.
On Tuesday morning (Jan 1), we packed up the car and left at around noon, stopping briefly in Canton to give Emily her Christmas present, then drove to Knoxville, TN to spend the night in Mary’s house. Unfortunately she wasn’t there. Her son, Dougie, was staying there but we didn’t get to see him either due to his work schedule.
We spent Wednesday night in a small home in Little Rock, Arkansas and Thursday night in a lovely apartment attached to a home in Amarillo, TX. Both places were very nice.
It was cloudy and rainy all the way from Hartville to Amarillo, but from there to Albuquerque, we enjoyed clear skies. We arrived here at about 2 PM.
We had expected cold weather in Ohio, but ironically, highs were in the 40’s while we were there. Albuquerque, on the other hand, was in single digits and had quite a bit of snow while we were gone.
Overall the trip was a great success with no problems to speak of. Susan was a wonderful travelling companion, Elmo was pleasant, and the car performed well. I was able to see 3 out of 4 of my children, 3 out of 4 of my siblings, and many old friends. The biggest disappointment was that I couldn’t see Sarah and her family, although that was not a surprise. Maybe next time.