Friday, January 16, 2009

Christmas Vacation 2008 - Part II

After spending the week in Burlington, we hopped a plane Friday afternoon and headed south to God's country (aka Georgia) to see 'my peoples'. At 8:00 that evening, when Mom and Dad picked us up at the Atlanta airport, the temperature was somewhere around 70 degrees. It was nice to walk outside and not need our coats!

We drove down to Perry to my Grandparents' that night and then got up Saturday morning and went to Tifton, birthplace of yours truly and location of the extended Tyson Family Christmas Gathering. After spending the day with Grandad's siblings and their families, we hit the road and made the drive up to Colbert (near Athens) to Mom and Dad's. (Less than 24 hours in Georgia and we had already logged more than 400 miles on the highway - a trend that would stick for the remainder of our US trip!)

That Monday, Dad had planned a trip to Atlanta to see the King Tut exhibit and visit the new World of Coke. The cold weather from Iowa caught up with us and Monday was pretty dadgum cold - luckily, it only lasted a couple days before returning to unseasonably warm.

My parents, two 'little' brothers, girlfriend of my baby brother, and me at the entrance to World of Coke

The next couple days Eric and I finished up our shopping and made some visits in and around Athens to catch up with friends. He and my baby brother (I use the term loosely, since the 'baby' is now 23 and over 6' tall) went out golfing one day, and he got invited to join my Dad and brothers in some sawmilling with Dad's newest toy.
Not having packed any work clothes, Eric asked to borrow some of my brother's - I could certainly get used to seeing Hubby in cowboy cut, slim fit Wranglers. But judging by his uncomfortable-looking stride that day, I'm not sure that he would agree. ;) (I'd contend it's probably like a friend told me once about going commando - the first two days it drives you crazy, but by the third day you'll never go back . . . not that I tried it or anything . . . I strongly encourage underwear use . . . I'm just saying . . . well, never mind.)

My cousin and her boyfriend who dropped by to say hello. (Eric had just gotten back from playing golf, and I don't know what my excuse was - but don't my cousin and her beau look cute!)

Wednesday night, Christmas Eve, my immediate family had our Christmas celebration (minus my older brother and his wife, as they were with her family that evening.) We had our traditional Christmas Eve chili and potato soup along with sausage cheese balls and lots of other yummy appetizers and desserts before our gift exchange.

My two younger brothers who we have forever referred to as 'the little boys' (which they always hated, but they managed to get us back, since they are both over 6' tall and have significantly outgrown my older brother and I!)

Christmas Day we went to Perry to Grandma and Grandad's where we were joined by all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, and my older brother and his wife. Grandma prepared the usual delicious turkey, ham, noodles, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, etc., etc., etc., for all 19 of us, and we stuffed ourselves, as usual, before piling into the living room to tear into the all presents.

The next day, everyone stuck around for lasagna followed by angel food cake, strawberries, and the opportunity to pick on me about getting old (27, if you must know). Well, mostly I guess it was just my husband who did the picking on me . . . everyone else was just there for the food. :)

That afternoon, we headed to Dublin to visit some dear friends.

My best friend since we were about 4 years old, Amanda, and her husband had boy-girl twins four days before we left for Brasil in 2007. We finally got to meet the kiddos for the first time!

Eric put in his request for my Dad's ribs some time before our return to the US. Since the weather was so cooperative, Dad obliged and fired up the grill Saturday afternoon.

By nightfall, the scent had attracted quite the gathering of hungry supervisors!

After a mighty fine supper with the fam, Eric, my sister-in-law, and I drove down to Swainsboro (in southeast Georgia, just a few miles from where I grew up) to watch my older brother's band play. The event venue was marked by a sign labeled only "The Barn". I knew at that moment Eric was in for quite the treat! I hadn't really had the opportunity to take him down to that part of Georgia much yet. After a little bit of me translating for the first few minutes of our arrival, a good time was had by all, and my Yankee husband walked out of the party with a Southern accent that night! He went back to Iowa using "y'all" with disturbing regularity, and I couldn't have been more proud! hehehe

The night of the 28th, we spent a couple hours figuring out how to fit all of our belongings and newly acquired baby gear (thanks to lots of generous family and friends) into just three bags for the journey back to Iowa. We must have gotten a little too creative with our packing since the rather disgruntled Airtran Airways employee at the check-in counter greeted Eric with a scowl and "What's that?" when he walked up and placed the first of our bags onto the scale. One extra checked baggage fee and another oversized luggage fee later (one bag was 63", not 62", and she was in no mood for sweet talking by Eric), we left The South and it's sweet tea, camouflage, and warm weather behind.


Amanda said...

Awwwww, I'm sad now! But so so so glad we got to see y'all. I laughed out loud picturing Eric all up in the scene at "the barn"!!

Mrs. S said...

Love all the pictures!! Glad you had such a wonderful time!