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Posts Tagged ‘Albany’


We had a really great vacation with family over the holidays. They went up on the 17th and I followed behind on Christmas Day. There was plenty of time with family as 4 of CavWife’s 5 siblings were there for New Year’s and the annual White Elephant Gift exchange which gets more interesting as the kids get older and start participating. For the 2nd year in a row I got the Taylor ham- a NJ breakfast meat that I have grown to love.

One sibling built a pond this summer and this winter it was a skating pond. So our daughters learned how to skate. The boys were not so inclined, though the youngest enjoyed playing on the ice and with a hockey stick by the time we left. There was a guys night out as the 4 of us went out to Bar Vino for a few beers and appetizers. I like for us to get away and talk: sometimes serious and sometimes not.

There were a few snow storms, including Hercules who dumped over a foot of powder on us. As a result there was some sledding. On the downside, I didn’t have a good window of snow-less driving to visit my parents. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease this fall. Since I haven’t driven in snow much in the last 20 years I really didn’t want to get stuck in the mountains of VT in a snow storm. Another factor was the older CavGirl’s birthday and our 12th anniversary. Not really the days I want to be away from family to visit my parents.

Since we had an early flight home, my in-laws used some of their points to get us a hotel room for the night before we left. Sunday night, after one last get together and skate party the snow turned to rain as the temperatures soared. Monday was the great meltdown before the temperatures plummeted as a result of the arctic blast that crippled the country. It was slippery near the house but after we got off the hill the roads were much better. The only problem was our rear tire. While loading the Envoy I realized the tire was nearly flat. Usually my father-in-law is all over these things. This winter I was the one to catch 3 really low tires. The other 2 were on our lunch trip to Glens Falls. Up there in the mountains, there are no gas stations right around the corner. I thought I could get to Warrensburg and inflate the tire. The last 100 yards or so I could hear the thump-thump-thump because it had moved past low to officially flat. I filled it and off we were to meet our in-laws in Albany for dinner and they would drive both vehicles back to their home.

While driving we learned that our friend who was going to pick us up had his own flight home canceled and was re-booked to arrive home Wednesday. He’d be stranded in Dallas. So we left a message with another friend to see if they could pick us up.

I made a big mistake though. There was no sun on the way to Warrensburg so I kept my sun glasses in my briefcase. By the time we got to Glens Falls the sun was relentlessly beating into my right eye as we drove south to Albany. As we drew closer a migraine began to set in. I felt pretty lousy. It was also much colder in Albany as we unloaded the Envoy at the hotel.

We heard from our friend that she was willing to pick us up, but the other friend had gotten a flight from Dallas to Phoenix so he would be home in time to pick us up. He would have to go to the airport anyway since his bags were going to Tucson.

CavWife had inadvertently started the movie for the kids that we rented from iTunes. It was now going to expire the next morning before we got on the flight. So the kids started to watch Despicable Me 2 while I napped. Around 4:30 we left to meet with my in-laws for dinner at Moe’s. We didn’t want to eat too late since we didn’t want the roads to freeze on their way home. We love Moe’s and wish there was one in Tucson. CavWife got her usual John Coctostan, while I got the Home Wrecker which I re-dubbed the Hotel Wrecker. Then it was time for good byes in the cold.

The kids were going to shower before they finished the movie. Still feeling the effects of the migraine, I sat in front of the TV. That was when two things happened.

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With General Assembly over, I could have a relaxing morning getting packed up. Check out time was 11 am so I enjoyed a cup of tea and did some reading. One of the other pastors asked me if the Paul Tripp book I was reading was new. Indeed! With some time to spare I called old friend Dr. Chris Probst to see how life in St. Louis was going. And I refrained from abusing him since the Red Sox are in first place.

Leaving Flat Rock took longer than anticipated for CavWife. You know how goodbyes can go. So they showed up a little late at the hotel. It was nearly time for lunch after I squeezed the burdened bags (all the free stuff and my notebook for GA were heavy), so it was off to Chick-fil-a for some lunch. Sadly, there was no play area at this C-F-A. But I enjoyed a reasonably healthy salad after all those not very healthy meals during the week.

We then made our way to the home of a childhood friend of CavWife’s. We enjoyed their hospitality, including crashing on the hammock in the backyard. My friend Eddie and his family joined us for a rather large dinner. We eventually put the kids to sleep in the room we were staying in. Yes, all 6 of us were in the same room- on a bed, on a futon and on the floor. After more conversation, and a phone call to an elder back in AZ I was ready to go to bed later than expected. We had an early morning coming.

Thanks to the white noise we used to help the kids sleep, a rain storm, I kept waking up having to go to the bathroom. It was a restless night and 6 am came way too soon. By 6:30 we were dressed, packed up and ready to head back to Atlanta for our flight up to NJ. This time it was a largely uneventful ride into Atlanta … until the airport. I found the signage inadequate again. But we figured it all out and returned the van. We had to re-arrange some things and rebuild the boxes for the booster seats. It took awhile with 4 kids continually finding a way to be in the way.

There were a number of differences between the rental Town & Country and our Town & Country. I enjoyed the improved fuel economy (5-6 mpg more than ours!) and the video when you are in reverse. I was not wild about the new placement for power supplies and shifter. But it served us well. And so did the car seats we left behind. Yes, they were set to expire so I didn’t have to lug them around anymore. My knuckles were thankful. New seats awaited us in NJ.

Now we had to make the trek to the tram, then ticketing, then the tram and the gate. All went well, and soon we were on our way to Chicago. This time we had a good layover so there was no rushing around. I was able to make a few calls. And then we were off to Newark- the flower of New Jersey. Thankfully another uneventful trip.

Dan picked us up in Mike’s Denali. Apparently the new Denalis have less storage space and more leg room. That was not the equation I really wanted. While CavWife properly installed the car seats I played puzzle with the luggage. We all fit in for the ride to Newfoundland. After passing the infamous Hibernia Diner, we got to the Hric home in time for some dinner.

After putting the kids to sleep, Dan and I tried to watch the Bruins’ game. They have Apple TV so there was no live network TV. Soon we found the NBCSports App to download so we could watch the game on my iPad. Good game, lousy outcome.

I had a rough night’s sleep on the Tempurpedic due to the heat and humidity sans a/c. We went to worship in the church CavWife grew up in. Of course it is much bigger, and different. The worship has changed considerably since the last time we were there about 10 years ago. Gone was the organ trying to play more contemporary songs. They had a worship team, and had a low or free worship style (pick your term) and some of the songs were new to us. Good, but new to us (and easy to learn). The sermon was from a series on Galatians, so that is always good. It was not a very long service, and we also enjoyed seeing some old friends.

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