Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
Whew! That’s how we felt late last night when we went to bed. Well, Jen may have felt a little “Ughhh” as well, bring very pregnant and all. But MAN did we pack a lot in!
It all started on Saturday morning. I woke up a tad early for a Saturday (8ish) and got ready to head over to our friends’ house for a big prepare-the-house-for-sale clean up day. Jen stayed home with the kids to get ready to send them off with her parents for the weekend. Originally was just going to be overnight, but they asked if they could keep them till Monday. We thought it was a good idea, too. 😉
From 9:30 till around 12:30pm I cleaned, fixed, moved, and more at our friends’ house until Jen was dropped off there by her parents, who were on their way back home to Buffalo with our kids. I came out and said good bye to the kids, and then with a “second shift” of help arriving right about that same time, decided to pack up and get on to some other stuff for the day with Jen.
We got home and had a nice quiet lunch. No kids!! Then got to working on doing our taxes. Did that for a couple hours, while I baked bread for a party we were going to later that night. Once the bread was ready, we packed up and headed out.
It was a surprise 40th birthday party – for a friend who would not be described as a “people person” really – and it was about a 40-minute drive to somewhere we’d never been. But again… we had no kids, so all was well. 🙂 We stopped by the house where the cleaning party had been to deliver something they needed, and to see the progress. Very nice! Got to see another friend there whom we had not seen in quite a while, too. So, a nice – yet very short – visit there, and we were on to the party.
We were on time… until we got to where we were going. Unbeknownst to us, shortly before this weekend, the road sign (along with a light pole and a power line pole) had been taken out by a rogue milk truck! So, we drove at least 5 miles past where we were supposed to turn, going past the next little village. From what we saw on Google Maps, that could not possibly be right. We didn’t have their phone number, but knew that it just couldn’t be right. Already a bit late – and needing to not be since it was a surprise party!! – we turned around and hoped we could see their road a second time.
With eagle eyes we scanned the side of the road where our turn was supposed to be. Nothing. We had seen all of these roads before, and for the second time, none were the road we needed. We did find one road that was definitely NOT labeled, but being in a time crunch, I was not going to drive down an unmarked road! We found a gas station not far from there and found out that our unmarked road was indeed the one we wanted, so finally – just about 15 minutes later than we were supposed to be there – we arrived at our destination.
Oh, and I forgot. On the way there, we were traveling down a very rural, country road… just having a nice conversation, enjoying the music on the iPod, when I caught a glimpse of some shadows directly ahead of us. FOUR DEER crossing the road… and more coming. No way we were NOT going to hit them. I just asked God to make it not too bad!
I guess he did. 🙂
I hit the brakes (not too hard as it was snowing, and skidding would be equally as bad) and three deer managed to cross to our left and “magically” one deer just stopped and created a gap for us to drive through. Don’t know if there were more behind that one deer, but glad for him stopping – or perhaps an angel standing in his way? However it happened, we were thankful for safe passage.
The rest of the evening was fun. Besides two couples, we didn’t really know many of the people there very well. But we were welcomed in their circle (they kind of knew us from our days leading worship at Crosswinds) and had a great evening. We introduced them to Dutch Blitz. Super fun card game! And ate lots of good food, and had lots of fun. Our “not a people person” friend also was quite surprised and seem to really enjoy it. We got to have a few good conversations throughout the night about life with the church as well. Several are in a similar place with all that as we are. Good to think it out together.
We didn’t leave till 11:30 that night – which was so nice! Didn’t have to worry about getting home for the baby sitter! We did go to bed rather exhausted though! Super fun day.
But the weekend wasn’t over!!
Sunday we woke up on our own – NO KIDS WAKING US UP! – and I said to Jen at around 10am or so, “I’m taking you out for breakfast!” So we got up and ready to go in like 10 minutes! Ha! So funny to parents of four young kids. 🙂
The funny part of the breakfast plan was that we were headed to Victor (a nearby town) and we also had an appointment there at 5:30pm. (We also had plans to have lunch with some friends there around 1:30 or so.) So, really, we were heading out for most of the day! But again, we had no kids!!! So we were very much looking forward to it! 🙂
As we left the house, I said, “Oh cool, it’s snowing!” A nice light dusting was on the ground, and some nice fluffy lake effect snow was softly falling. It was pretty cold, and supposed to get colder – and very windy – but for now, wasn’t too bad. We headed down the road toward our destination, and decided to take the Thruway (the main interstate highway) to get there a bit more directly, and quickly.
The snow kept getting a little worse, but still not too bad on the roads. I was glad we left when we did. For about two more minutes. 🙂
Not long after getting on the Thruway, we found it more and more difficult to see, with much more accumulation on the roads. I ended up needing to follow the tracks from the car(s) who went before me. As a small truck tried to pass us on the left, I began to feel the vehicle losing traction, and shimmy a bit. So I slowed down for the truck to pass and realized that I couldn’t really see very far in front of us. Not far at all. Within another minute or two, I really couldn’t!. It was a HUGE white out! Seriously couldn’t see five seconds in front of us, so we slowed way down, hoping to not be hit from behind.
Thankfully I happened to catch a glimpse of the green highway exit sign as we passed (surprised I could see it that far away!) and decided to exit. With a large semi behind us, I just signaled and HOPED I was getting off on the exit! Could NOT see it!!! Slowed to almost a stop and found the road. (Quite glad for those reflectors for the snow plows!) We slowly approached the toll booth and literally could see nothing. NOTHING. Finally, once we were about 50 feet from the toll plaza, we saw the flashing yellow light. I tried to center the van under the light (so we could go through the toll booth) and we made it through… but then couldn’t see the road on the other side!! 🙂
We practically inched ahead for a while till I saw a McDonald’s sign on the right. I said to Jen, “How about McDonald’s instead??” 🙂 She agreed, and I pulled in where I THOUGHT the road was!! Still couldn’t see it! Finally got into a parking spot and went in and enjoyed some breakfast. CRAZY snow!!!
The snow died down rather quickly. Was a super fast white out. I was thankful later that we were again granted safe passage. It did not turn out as well for many to the west of us in Rochester. A multi-car pile up resulted from the same white outs, and killed one girl, and injured a bunch more. So we were grateful to be safely eating breakfast at McDonald’s.
From there, here’s the rest of the day…
We went to the 11:15am service at Willowbrook to see friends and family, then joined some of them for lunch at Wendy’s shortly after that. Not having kids, we just enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch and chat with the two families there. Good times! Then, with three hours to “kill” we headed up to the mall to do a few things we needed to before my 5:30pm appointment at the Apple store.
First, we just SAT and talked. 🙂 There’s a nice sitting area at the front/center of the mall. So, we just sat and talked 🙂 (MAN! Pretending you don’t have kids is FUN!) 🙂 After a bit of that we went to a store to look for jeans for me, but were unsuccessful. But, while we were there we checked out the couches. Ours are about 22 years old, and probably nearing the end of their life… 🙂
After that we headed over to Sears to pick up Ian’s 9th birthday photos. Since Friendly’s is right there – and Jen seemed to need a break – we stopped to get some ice cream. 🙂 Again. Even more fun without kids. 🙂
When we were done with our ice cream it was almost time for my Apple store appointment, so we headed that way and thanks to me knowing most of the people there, I got in about 20 minutes earlier than my appointment. That went very quickly which was good. (And, I did get to play with the new MacBook Air a bit… so it was a fun visit, too!) Having finished a very full day out, we decided to head home.
On our way home however, I remembered that Jen’s brother had said we could maybe get together with them after 8pm… so we called and confirmed and made plans to head BACK to Victor around eight that night. 🙂
We got home at 6:30… Jen crashed. I ate dinner.. then crashed while watching the TiVo delayed Pro Bowl. We both woke up after a nap – somewhat refreshed – and ready for more! (OK, I needed aspirin to be ready… but, after that, I was ready!) We headed out at about 8:30, and ended up chatting with Jen’s bro and his wife till midnight! We swapped photos and stories from our trips the past fall (hadn’t gotten to do that yet!) and just had a nice, kid-less time.
I finished the Pro Bowl after we got home – AFC lost 🙁 – and even watched another show, and finally got to bed around 3am!
CRAZY SUPER FUN WEEKEND!
Tonight, Grandma & Grandpa are bringing the kids back, and I can’t wait to see them. But getting a couple days without them is definitely a very good, enjoyable thing. 🙂