And the fair-haired wayward girlfriend returns to the nest. I must say my hair is longer and Jorden is taller. And I was only gone 10 days. But really 10 days is a lot. And it was just enough. Thanks for missing my blog Sandy.  And here is the travel blog…complete with pictures.  It’s long – 10 days of catch up.

My visit started on Friday November 21. Coldest day ever once I got off that plane. I thought I was ready for it but it was COLD. Met my boy Zach in the Southside. Tried out a new restaurant that we haven’t been to before, Pipers Pub I think was the name. Nice menu. We chatted it up, then went for coffee at some back street coffee place and had a lovely lovely afternoon.


My attempt at a selfie to send to Jimmy I mean look at me, Ridiculous. But my boy sure is handsome, albeit goofy.

Took me forever to get through the Southside to get home to Sewickley. Why?  Light up night.  Who knew.  Then on to Bunko at Di’s. Had ½ a quorum so we just ate. It was lovely. Loved catching up and seeing everyone.


Really Di? Is there food on my face?


Must be texting my man. Yes babe, having a wonderful time. xoxox

Saturday’s big event was dinner at my sisters. I went to the farmer’s market to get apples for my duty of baking my delicious apple pie. I had BIG pangs of missing home (i.e. Sewickley) while at the farmer’s market. Donevan and I walked around buying stuff. I bought a roast from the meat man to take to Jimmy’s the next day. The weather was cold, but it was great. A nice little remembrance of fall, albeit late fall, in Sewickley. It was great to be there for the final day of Sewickley’s farmers market.  Kerry had her Thanksgiving that night, a tradition she started years ago to free up kids to go other places. Dinner was delicious. All the kids were quiet while they ate everything on their plates. I should have gotten a picture of that. Actually a video to show how quiet. And unfortunately I have no pictures of that night. We have a new baby though so that was very fun. My sister has 5 grandchildren – the oldest in 1st grade. She lives with 3 of them now. God bless her. This is her life now:


Donevan and new baby Kai


another one of Donevan and Kai – I didn’t know which pic to show so I picked both


Stinkin cute Mya


such a regal look – obviously a reincarnated queen


I know ahhhhh right? Adorable kids.

Sunday morning I drove to Columbus. Got to Jimmy’s in record time. Beautiful day for driving. He has a great place. Reminds me of my old apartment but the complex is three times the size. He has it fixed up very nicely. I threw the roast in the crockpot and off we went exploring. He showed me where he works, the downtown area, some parks and then we went to lunch. I love Columbus. Can’t wait to go back in the Spring/Summer. We went to Target for lightbulbs. $100 later …and off we went to the movies. We saw the new Hunger Games.  It’s good. Back to his house for a delicious home cooked meal, then mom stuff which included unclogging the bathroom drain and various other cleaning details.  Do you know that the best thing to unclog a drain is baking soda and vinegar?  It really works.  His place is very nice and my futon bed very comfy. He was gone to work before I got up. I did a couple more mom things and then off to Virginia.  Jimbo pic tomorrow..

What another beautiful travel day. And I think only two roads. One straight south and then 300+ miles on Rt. 64 through the mountains. The scenery was beautiful everywhere. Ohio was flat but pretty. I saw a field of pumpkins, fields of birds, fields of nothing and then into the mountains. Absolutely beautiful. I took pictures, while driving at high-speed in 50 mph winds, and since I didn’t crash I have them to share with you. The trip was an extra 100 miles from Columbus but really it was beautiful. I was liking God a lot that day.


So wind gusts were like 50 mph through Ohio and I got behind this. I was like SERIOUSLY? But we all survived. It was REALLY windy though.


Ohio fields – the camera doesn’t do it justice.


God saying hello


Charleston, WV – a pretty city, at least from the road


A little gas station stop – how cute is this porch? this is the gas station

Mountains through West Virgina and Virginia.  I mean gorgeous.  A must trip when the leaves are out and in the fall.  I think I’ll plan my visits around this timing and this drive.  The mountains are beautiful even without leaves. There are no mountains in Florida.


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Sunset on Route 64 – just past Charlottesville. What the heck is on my lens?

Visit at mummy’s is always nice. The weather is usually nice but not this trip. Well, wait I take that back. It was 70 when I arrived but already dark. The stars were beautiful though. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many. The temperature dropped the next day while we were doing errands. We did our normal routine, Dollar Store, Health Food store, Grocery store, although this time we went to the mall so I could get Jimmy’s watch band fixed. We ate at Nordstrom’s café. Had a turkey sandwich since we decided to have Salmon for thanksgiving. She was less than thrilled with my lunch place selection. Turkey was very dry. Oh well. But still nice nice day.

The rest of the time was just hanging around the house. No big Christmas party this year to clean for. Our cousin Harwood just tuned 102. He is the one that wanted the Christmas party at my mom’s last year. Apparently this year he is not up to it. Maybe next year. His daughter compiled this wonderful ancestry book and I had lots of fun looking at old old pictures and reading civil war letters. You know this side of my family are all southerners, since 1620. A lot of history there and they sure believed in their God and their fight. Fascinating stuff.

We had a delicious dinner of salmon, scalloped potatoes, twice baked sweet potato, a Brussel sprout dish, cranberry relish and a delicious carrot salad, and old recipe that my mom had. Not your traditional turkey but we were very happy.

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My mom even asked me to decorate for Christmas this year. Which consists of basically putting stuff on the mantel. That was a first. You can’t see it in the picture but there’s stuff up there.  I think.


and yes I am the master firebuilder. MASTER, Scott.

And then back to Pittsburgh on Friday. Another beautiful driving day. Another day I was liking God. There was lots of snow in the mountainous areas on 68 but the roads were clear. The snow was still hanging on the trees and it was just beautiful. I tried snapping pictures again. Of course they don’t show how beautiful it was. Another long driving day but just so lovely and honestly I like the quiet time.

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I stayed the weekend, Friday and Saturday night at the Candlewood Suites in Robinson. Which would have been so lovely but I had so many issues with the room and was moved twice. It was less than ideal. To know more read my many reviews online… it was disappointing to say the least. BUT I got to just lay on the couch or bed and watch TV for part of the time. That part was really great. I really needed some down time. On Saturday both boys came over for Zachary’s birthday breakfast. Then my sister and the kids came for cake. It was really nice. Those kids were LOUD so I’m sure my floor was happy when they left but it was a lot of fun. They’re so cute. The place I stayed was in front of Target. Both boys went back and bought TVs. They were pretty happy that they were so cheap. So all in all, Candlewood Suite disaster aside another lovely weekend.


not a bad room – I tried decorating to make it feel like “mom”


Zach and my niece Evan with brand new baby Kai on her lap


They loved Dimmy


Brand new baby Kai – sleeping through it all

Then back to my sisters to bunk with the children who I absolutely love.


I also met Sally for coffee for the afternoon – was great great catching up. Monday morning was breakfast with Lisa, babysitting Mya, then walking to the library so I could print my boarding pass (and wow was it quiet there), then to Romas with Kerry, Di, Jer, Janice for my final night. By Monday I was really missing “home” and couldn’t wait to get back. It was great timing. While I was there I completely enjoyed myself and when it was time to come home I was completely ready and I am sooooo happy to be HOME.


leaving Pittsburgh – had to de-ice the plane – Pittsburgh sky – 20 degrees maybe?


Touchdown Florida two hours later – a different sky and a different temperature. 70!

I have absolutely embraced my new surroundings/geography and my new living arrangements and new family. I love it here. I love them and I really feel at home here in Florida, with them. And I loved my visit back home/North. I did a lot of visiting and a lot of traveling. I put over 1000 miles on my little rental car.  I’m going to try to make it until April this time before I come back (go back) up. I can do it. Especially if we can get those boys down here before then. Then maybe by April I’ll be ready for another 1000 mile trip. Who has April bunko? It was a great visit and I got to spend just enough time with everybody. Maybe next time I can drag my boyfriend along.

Now it’s on to Christmas decorating.  Can’t wait to get started.  Neither could Phil apparently.  The tree is up (without ornaments)  It’s sooo cozy already.


Christmas in Florida. I can’t WAIT!!!

Until mañana



4 Thoughts on “I’m baacckkk

  1. Ja Nelly on December 5, 2014 at 9:43 am said:

    You had a great visit! It looked like a lot of fun! Ja Nel

  2. Debbie Monahan on December 5, 2014 at 11:00 am said:

    Good to hear from you safe and sound. That was a very interesting read and the pictures were great. I’m glad you had a wonderful visit back home/North and especially glad you got to see your mom. Now for the Christmas in Florida…without SNOW! Different, but I’m sure it will be enjoyable. Thank goodness you don’t have an “out of the house” job. All the traveling plans might not happen. Be thankful for that.

    • I am thankful EVERY day Debbie. Next visit we will get in a cousin visit I hope. And I am perfectly fine without snow for Christmas. Let me tell you. Watching/seeing on TV is good enough for me. All I have to do is turn on the weather channel.

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