We are home and slowly getting caught up with home responsibilities. Our trip was almost three weeks long in length and took us through 16 different states. We enjoyed most of all getting to visit with many different family members and friends, some of whom we rarely see.
Our first stop was to visit cousins in Tennessee, where we enjoyed horse-riding, swimming and fireworks. Then we headed to Atlanta for a short visit with our TeachBeyond mobilization director. Then we headed on to Florida to visit John’s brother and family. We spent two glorious days on the beach and getting to know our kids’ remotest cousins.
After that we headed north to Pennsylvania, with a quick stop to visit some childhood friends of John’s in North Carolina. In Pennsylvania we met up with John’s parents and his uncles and aunts at his Grandma’s home near Gettysburg. We enjoyed a wonderful day of play and conversation.
The next day we headed even farther north to upstate New York to visit some of my cousins and an aunt and uncle. I’ve never before visited their home territory, so it was fun to see them there. Then our loop headed westward as we drove through Ohio (where we connected with some JBU friends as well as my great aunt) and then to Berne, IN, my Dad’s hometown. We spent several relaxing days in slow-paced Berne visiting my relatives there.
Then we headed off again to Chicago, with a quick stop at the sand dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan, a place my Dad used to go to a lot growing up. In Chicago we met up with my parents, grandparents and some of my siblings to celebrate the graduation of my cousin from Moody. We also got to visit some more of John’s family and stayed with some friends. Chicago was probably the most uniquely different for us of all our stops. We took the kids on buses and a train. They were thrilled, and I guess this might be a little bit of practice for public transportation in Germany, though we won’t be in such a densely inhabited area. Then we headed home, stopping to see a few more friends on the way. We weren’t very thorough about getting pictures, but here are some pictures of some of our stops along the way: