This is a story of a road trip. This past weekend we celebrated my husband’s grandmother’s 95th birthday. In order to do so in person, we had to travel 1500 miles. One way. This was an actual laughing matter for my younger sister. She thought this was literally one of the funniest (translation: stupid) ideas she had ever heard. Despite her mockery of our ingenious plans, we loaded up the minivan with the kids and the dog and hit the road. At our halfway point, we picked up our 6th passenger, my husband’s niece. Fortunately, she was easy to travel with. She has 2 very young siblings and so she is used to having to help take someone to the bathroom and help get shoes on every time the car came to a stop.
Considering the distance and duration, the kids did really well. There were only minor squabbles along the way. There was some belief that they had been cheated however. The shortness of our visit necessitated that we cram an awful lot into a very short period of time. Sadly, for a seven-day vacation, most of it was spent on the road. The children regularly said “You promised that we would (fill in the blank)!” It was maddening. Not sure what they thought we were going to do during our visit, but they clearly had plans that were not fulfilled. I made it clear that we were there for one thing only: THE PARTY.
A person’s 95th birthday is clearly a big deal. It is really hard to get your head around what one could see in 95 years. I can’t begin to imagine the changes that I myself will see during my own lifetime, outside the changes I have already seen. It is really mind-boggling!
The party plans started months in advance. And with that much lead time, I began planning something that I hoped would be unique and special. I made 2 batches of jam: an orange marmalade and a tea jelly. Both were crafted specifically for her birthday. Then, to top it off, I made my own labels and named each of the jams in her honor.
Unfortunately though, the time spent leading up to the trip and for the past several days since we have been home, I haven’t been focused on anything but the trip: planning, packing, unpacking, laundry, laundry and more laundry. My blog posting has been dire, to say the least. I have big plans next week though. I have ordered a pig belly in order to make more bacon and some pancetta. Whether or not I will remember to document any of it remains to be seen. The upside is that the kids will be back in school which should make this task only slightly easier.
Here are a few photos from our trip. Keep in mind that these were all taken by the kids, from a moving vehicle. Not too shabby, huh?