Wednesday, December 7, 2011

3 More Days That Flew By

Wow, I'm doing my vacation in only 2 posts?! That means it was way too short. 8 days isn't long enough. Especially when you spend 2 whole days traveling.

Anyway, back to my play by play.

We got home Saturday night from St. George and had to pick-up Outback because we were ravenous from all of that shopping we'd been doing. We also tried to watch a movie, but I fell asleep after like, 1/2 an hour. Exhaustion and lack of sleep was setting in. Luckily, the next day, Sunday, is a day of rest. Except, it really wasn't, because Rachel and I can never just relax when we're together. We always have big plans, big plans.

After church, we started the first thing on our list of "projects to complete" while I was in town. This has definitely been a rough year, and most of my gift recipients are getting a home-made Christmas from me. The only problem is... I'm not much of the "home-made" type. But I'm learning. Which is where Rachel comes in. She's amazing and can pretty much do anything she puts her mind to. I think that's my problem. I'm lazy? Or scared to fail? Or scared to start? I don't know. All I know is, I couldn't have done any of my little "projects" without her.

We made toffee all afternoon. I have made this delectable treat a couple of other times with my mom, and I use it as teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, visiting teaching gifts, you name it. It always receives rave reviews and requests for the recipe. It isn't complicated, but definitely time consuming.

It usually takes about 1/2 an hour for the candy to turn from this butter yellow color to a light caramel color before it reaches the right temp. And you have to stir it constantly.

Ethan and Ella were enthralled with the whole process, and they were also excellent "tasters".

We made 6 batches and it took a little over 4 hours from start to finish, and that's not counting grinding the nuts and grating the chocolate.
Don made fun of us for listening to Christmas music. We sure didn't care though :)

Monday morning dawned bright and early and we were up, completeing other tasks and projects. I can't name all of the awesome things we did/made because many of my gift recipients read my blog! But, oh man, it's good. We took a break to head to lunch:

Part of this trip was just an excuse for me to get my favorite food fixes in that I cannot otherwise satisy in Virginia. Isn't that what vacation is anyway? Food and fun? It definitely made my tummy happy. We ran a few errands (one of which was to See's candy. Oh See's, how I miss thee) and I did another handful of haircuts. We finished up many of our little projects just in time for FHE on Monday night. To U Swirl we went! Another one of my favorites. It definitely did not disappoint.
Uhhh, blurry much? Rachel was laughing at my happy "yogurt face".

We got home in time to get another project started. Project "Paint The Gigantic Mirror".
We washed, we primed and we painted. From gold to dark grey she went. A masterpiece (except for the part where we got some paint on the actual mirror. Whoops. We're not the pros we thought. Did you ever figure out how to get that off Rach?)

We practically sleep-walked to bed. Definite lack of sleep at this point.

My last day there was pretty easy-going. We just had a few odds and ends to finish up and just enjoyed the day. We stopped by Old Navy and I found a few more thigs that I might (possibly) be able to sqeeze into my already stuffed-to-the-over-flowing-brim suitcase, and then we headed home. It took me almost 2 hours to pack and I ended up having to borrow a suitcase from Rachel. I only had to leave one thing there that my mom will bring out to me in February when she comes to visit me for my birthday (which I'm already super excited about! Yay for visitors!). It was hard to say my goodbyes to everyone because I just love them and miss them all so much.

My flight didn't leave until 10 PM and flew through the night. I can never sleep on planes, no matter how tired I am. So, when we landed at 6 AM in New York, I was like a dead person walking.

My flight home to VA was supposed to leave at 8 AM, but due to a few problems, I didn't end up leaving until 5 PM that night. Another whole day in the airport, just lovely.

This is what kept me busy for the most part. That and snoozing in those seriously crappy airport chairs. When my eyelids would get droopy fom reading, I got really good at cuddling right up and falling asleep for an hour or so at a time. Then I would wake up and feel like I had been put through a torture device.

View of Vegas through my window

I was thrilled to see my kids and husband waiting for me at the curb when I walked out of the airport. It was seriously a fun trip, but I really missed them. And apparently, they all survived without me :) Good to know, maybe in 5 years I'll get the opportunity to travel by myself once again!

Thanks for the absolutely wonderful trip Rach! Love you!