Tomorrow starts my DC family trip

My mother and aunt are in town for us to start our DC trip in the morning.  I am already having doubts about this trip going smoothly.  It is easy to forget how Mom and I interact when we don’t live near each other.  It will be a long long week/weekend.  Plus, they don’t know how long they are staying here in WV with me after the trip.  I expected them to leave for NC the day or so after we returned from DC.  Wasn’t too happy to hear of their sticking around plans.

I need to just remember this is a trip I am doing to be nice, and for it to be memorable for them.

They have informed me that the VW isn’t going to be big enough for all of our stuff, and they brought tons of crafts to do in the evening.  Therefore, my aunt should drive her car since it is bigger.  I squashed that in one breath.  There is no way I was going to let these two become Magellan and Ponce de Leon in the front seat, while I get frustrated in the backseat.

To solve this, I will be driving my sweet Lucy.  Lucy the Lexus is my faithful Lexus RX that has been through life with me.  She has been an awesome vehicle for living at the beach and in the mountains of WV.  Lucy doesn’t have satellite radio, so I don’t usually drive her unless i need 4 wheel drive.  I should start driving her more often again.

The driving issue has been solved, although i am perplexed that they thought i would be ok with them driving.  The trip starts bright at early tomorrow…this is going to test my patience!

2. Tennessee

I’m going to count the roadtrip to the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville to fill in the state of Tennessee on my map.  We lived right over the mountain from Tennessee, so we have been there many times.  I think this trip was pretty cool.  After looking through our pictures from this trip, and knowing everyone’s personalities… I’m surprised we didn’t kill each other.

This trip included my parents, my aunt, uncle, and their two kids, and me.  We all rode in a small two-door hatchback, and my cousin and I sat in the wayyy back- where they put the groceries.  It was a three hour each way death-trap!  This picture is right before we left, and we are definitely in the hatchback part.  I’m on the right.  I’m almost positive we did this trip in one day.  I can see my dad driving the entire way.


Yay!!  We made it to the World’s Fair!!


 A picture of mom and me in Tennessee…check this state off the list.  The headband I was wearing had the wires going up, and at the end was the gold glittered hearts.  Glittered.  Everything I was around must have been glittered with those bouncing around on top of my head.


Somehow I ended up having to go to the infirmary due to having three eyelashes in my eye while we were at the event.  How did I get three in my eye?  Let me look through the archives in the shoebox…


Looks like my cousin was having the time of her life, and I am having difficulty with my eyes.  I’m guessing this was taken prior to the infirmary.  Also, I think my cousins used to always have the knife/gun holster attached- see my older cousin above.  I guess I was pretty miserable at the time, but the nurse helped me out.  She gave me a pin that was a pickle for being so good while she fished out the lashes.

Here is my World’s Fair souvenir shirt with my pickle pin attached.  I’m not sure why I would pin it in the middle of my shirt.

with the cucumber

1. North Carolina

This is the first state filled into my “Exploring the US with Mom” map.  We both were born and raised in North Carolina, and we have explored all over this state together.  She actually still lives there, so I go back several times a year.  I miss living there, but I have to admit it was a much cooler state up through about 10-15 years ago.

She would kick my butt if I posted a picture of her on here, but I really love this one.  This picture of my mom, her grandfather, and her uncle makes me smile every time I see it.  This was in WNC on the family farm in 1948-ish.  It is nice to see a happy candid photo from back then.  I really need to frame this and put it where I can see it all of the time.  It puts me in a happy mood.

mom,gp, and uncle 48

As you can clearly see below, I grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s.  This would be the family trip to Mt. Mitchell in 1985.  I specifically remember loving this outfit because I thought it was something Daisy Duke would have worn.  Mom also cut my bangs in 1st grade to be like Daisy’s, but that didn’t quite work out so well.  No, It wasn’t Daisy.  She cut them to be like Farrah Fawcett’s bangs.  Still didn’t work.

1985 MtMitchell

I’m also adding this picture of the 1983 Cherokee Trip, featuring my cousin in her cowboy hat and gun.  I’m guessing I really liked wearing my hair this way.  We may have been visiting the reservation that day.  My cousin must have purchased the holster at the gift shop, and already had the hat and gun on her.  Sounds very possible.  184

North Carolina has been a great home state for both of us, and I am planning on moving back soon.  We both went to college in NC, and I am slowly getting her college stories out of her.  The more I hear of her when she was younger, then more I think we would have been friends.  Her sister (her daughter is rocking the cowboy attire above) keeps telling me that we are more alike than I think.  Scary, very weird hearing that…but it also humanized my mother in my eyes.

My travels to the Dominican Republic

Casa de Campo

Last week, we were fortunate to vacation in the  Dominican Republic with 8 of our friends.

I created a spreadsheet for things to pack, and I ended up having everything I needed.  If anyone wants the list, I will gladly post it.

I wanted to take school supplies for the students in the area we were staying.  I have read about bringing school supplies to the local kids.  Some places are so poor once you get off the resort.

Our resort was Casa de Campo, in La Romana, which was beautiful.  Beautiful, and very affluent.  The home we stayed in had a full staff and chef.  The staff lives above the kitchen.  It was odd to have them do everything, and we wanted to just tell them to relax with us by the pool.  We would definitely visit again.  They had breakfast at 9 am for us every morning, and made a beautiful Dominican dinner one night.  I can’t make breakfast for myself, much less ten people!  I usually skip breakfast, due to time.

Before our trip, I purchased two books about the Dominican.  One about the culture, and the other about places and things to visit.  This helped a lot on the trip, and made things easier with understanding the culture.  Men, don’t forget to bring long pants, collared shirts, and close-toed shoes if you want to eat in a restaurant.

I knew of a few charity organizations on the island, such as Dominican Dream.  The only problem is that it wasn’t in our area, so I hoped for the best once we got there.

The property manager for the home was a Canadian named, Gordon, who lived on the island.  Gordon and his wife have lived on the island for 15 years, so I asked him how I could make sure our gifts made it to the students.  He smiled real big and said they volunteer for the two orphanages in the village, and the students would love the gifts.  Gordon came back the last day to pick up the supplies, and said that he would make sure they are given to the students who would benefit the most.  He spoke with me about how little the students had, and about sending things straight to the school from the United States.

We donated wide-ruled loose leaf paper, protractor and compass sets, pencil cases, masking tape and sharpies in different colors for the teachers, a pencil sharpener that mounts on the wall (old school!), #2 pencils, colored pencils, packs of dividers for notebooks, pink erasers, and folders with three holes punched and pockets on the inside.

If I had more room I would have packed the three ring binders and calculators.

When I donate items, I always get items that I would use.  I know a lot of people get the cheapest stuff, but anyone who has colored with RoseArt crayons knows they are useless.  Just because the kids need a little help doesn’t mean they don’t deserve quality items.

School Supplies