Normally it's a ten hour drive for me but with going on 95 most or the way I knew the drive would be way too long. Ryan will be home for Christmas (yes!) so we already knew that would be with my inlaws. Flying is expensive but we had a long talk about it and the second week of October I spent a lot of money to fly to New Jersey for Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful we were able to do that.
It was a short trip, if I added time in any direction it literally doubled my ticket price! So my friend Donna agreed to house sit and Dup sit for me and I was up bright and early Thanksgiving morning. By 7am I was at the small airport in Jacksonville. No one was even at the check in counter and by the time they checked me in they told me not to bother going through security for at least an hour! Very different from most of my traveling done through DC or Newark airport! I eventually stepped outside on to a tiny plane, landed in Charlotte, ran across the drafted airport, and boarded another plane to Jersey. By 1pm I was there. My dad, brother and my brother's girlfriend picked me up and by 2 I was at my grandparents house.
Our Thanksgiving was smaller this year than some past years, my family, my grandparents, my uncle, and my cousin and his wife who I finally got to meet. Other relatives stopped by on their way other places but having ten for Thanksgiving is unusual in my big extended family!
As usual we had a ton of food! During the blessing I did tear up when my Poppy added a blessing for those who could not be with us. I missed Ryan so much in that moment it almost hurt to breathe, but I went into the kitchen for a drink and composed myself. I think only my mom noticed.
After dinner my aunt and two cousins came over. My aunt is now two months into extensive chemo treatment and it was the first time I've seen her since her treatments restarted. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to visit with her. I know having a lot of people around overwhelmed her but we did have a good talk and visit once things settled. My uncle also got out his really good camera and got some pictures which I blatantly stole from Facebook to post here!
My cousin and his wife left for Best Buy around 10pm and I declined their invitation to go with them! But then my mom thought we should go to kohls. I really didn't want to shop on Thanksgiving but she convinced me that going so late wasn't quite the same. Sorry retail friends! Needless to say we got about four things and then spent an hour and a half in line to pay for them and didn't get home until 1am! Karma right? I was exhausted! We still beat my cousin and his wife home by two hours though. Free phones made it worth it for them!
Friday we got up semi early. My mom went into the city with her sisters for my aunt's chemo treatment, my dad took my brother and his girlfriend into NYC and I stayed home with Babci and Poppy for quality time.
My uncle was flying out that morning and my cousins were driving back to Connecticut so I spent time with them before they left too.
My uncle Dave lives in Florida and I don't see him as often as I like!
After they left my Babci tried to teach me how to crochet. I'm pretty awful! She practically encouraged me to quit after seeing how frustrated I got but eventually it clicked. Sort of. I plan on working more on it but I need a new needle as I think mine was confiscated when I flew back...
You can see with the last three rows where I started to get it! My edges still need work but even Babci was impressed. I had good conversations with her and my Poppy and I was glad to have that time with them. My Poppy has definitely gotten more frail and it breaks my heart to see it.
My two other half brothers love around the corner from my grandparents (convenient!) so I got to visit them too. I spent about two hours with Sean and I got to see his girlfriend's new teacup yorkie. Oh lord that dog was tiny!!
I saw my other brother Shane late that night when he got off from work. I had to be up early so our visit was pretty short sadly.
After visiting my brothers my mom got back to my grandparents and we ordered pizza. No trip to Jersey is complete for us without some real pizza!!
My mom and my aunt convinced me and Babci to do some more late night Black Friday shopping and we got some sports stuff for my brother. Then we got lost trying to get home! So it was another late night. Then I was up at 7 to get ready to go to the airport. My mom used Poppy's car to drive me and of course I cried saying goodbye to my grandparents. I made it to the airport with time to spare and began my trek home.
I love seeing the New York skyline when I fly. I was in the very back of the plane going to Charlotte and I once again had to run across the airport to make my flight. Literally. Run. I got there as they were boarding. It made me glad I gate checked my bag so I didn't have to carry it with me like I did on the way down! I was glad to sit in the emergency row back to Jacksonville too and have that leg room!
By 3 I was home and happy to see my Dup. Ryan and I got to FaceTime for the first time in ages and I'm starting to get super excited. Homecoming is very close now!!! I walked the Dup and now I'm home watching the big rivalry South Carolina vs Clemson game. It's currently tied and making me anxious! Go Gamecocks!!
For a short trip, less than 48 hours, this post got long! My apologies. I'm so thankful to see my family. So so thankful. I miss them being as far away as we are.
Thanks for bearing with me. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings!