So, here we are...almost exactly one year after Team WestEnders traveled south for their scouting trip to Chapel Hill, to determine whether it seemed like a good spot to replant ourselves...and also almost exactly 6 months since we went ahead and made the major relocation. It was now time to storm the Maryland border--um "make our first pilgrimage back as a family"--for an extended holiday visit. I had returned alone in November for Thanksgiving, but this would be the Male Posse's initial foray into the north as...tourists...if you will.
Being home-base-less, we arranged to stay with some friends who were kind enough to provide the 4 of us room and board for a few days. After surviving the Interstate 85/95 "commute", we were rewarded with a lovely Christmas Eve dinner when we arrived...after all, food and fellowship are certainly implied in the whole "peace on Earth, goodwill to man "spirit of the season", right? Then it was time for the proverbial long Winter's nap...to rest up for a full day of...festive mayhem...at my dad's house. (Mostly fueled by the phenomenon that shall be known as "Cousin Craziness"...) There was brunch...there was lots of playing-outside-time (taking advantage of the mild day)...in general, there was much merriment all around.
But did the celebrating stop there? Oh nooooo, there was still plenty more to come. Today's agenda was "cruise the old hometown". As we drove to the place where my kids were born and spent their entire lives up until the move, we took in the scenery, noting the changes that had occurred in our absence. Nearing the actual neighborhood where our former house stands, Derek suddenly exclaimed, "It's so weird, coming back but not living here!" (I hear ya, son--I felt the same way just a month ago...)
There was no time to sit around and reminisce, however, as we were set to meet the boys' soccer coach and his family for lunch...at our previously-favorite restaurant in town. After a delightful couple of hours catching up with them, we had a somewhat cobbled-together plan for Derek to reunite with several of his school buddies in a nearby park to hang out for a while. The rest of us took a stroll down our old street for a nostalgic glimpse of the previous homestead...and since it was such pleasant weather again, some of Riley's pals were enjoying the outdoors...and were veeerrrry surprised to see him jogging up the road. Finally, we made one more stop, to check in with yet another soccer teammate and his family.
And then...We. Were. Toast. A couple of late nights in a row, and a tornado of socializing--all of it super-fun and absolutely not-to-be-missed, of course--have left us a wee bit...exhausted. (For an indication of our energy level: on the first car jaunt today, everyone except the driver snatched a little snooze...on the way back, Riley nodded off AGAIN!) So we made the unanimous decision to return to our borrowed HQ...and just commence relaxing for the rest of the evening. Because tomorrow, there's a whole 'nother day of hoopla on the calendar, and we want to be back up to fighting speed...I mean "rested and ready to make the most of the next event". For now, showers and pjs sound just about perfect...peace out and sweet dreams....zzzzzz