Saturday, October 16, 2010

the place I called home

as you all know, I made the trek to Blacksburg, VA last weekend for my family's annual apple butter making. most of all, I was excited to spend time with my cousin, Amanda, who I hadn't seen since my wedding, which was August of 2009. 

I spent every summer in Blacksburg, since I was a year old, visiting my grandmother, until she died when I was 13 years old. she lived on a gravel road in a small town with a few houses placed on the adjoining land... one being my cousins childhood home. 

during those summers, we spent every waking minute together. we'd buy walkie talkies every summer and stay up all night talking to each other. we made up a spy club... we had our own official "spy club member" notebooks and everything... hey, we had to make sure we reported all our findings, like who our great-grandmother was talking to on the phone as we hid silently in her attic. we'd call the radio stations to request songs, and get super excited to hear our voices on the radio live. we were so close growing up, and when I think back to the best times of my childhood, those memories always include Amanda and my summers in Virginia. 

I left Friday morning at around 11AM, and after a beautiful four and half hour drive, I arrived at her house in McCoy. I love driving down there, especially during this time of year. I literally drive through the mountains, to the point where my ears pop every couple miles. the trees in the hills look so beautiful with their changing colors of green, to yellow, to red.

fun fact: I am actually a McCoy family member, and we have a whole city named after us. 

we took it easy on Friday, mostly taking the whole day to catch up and love on her kiddos. when her husband, Shawn, got home from work, we took the kids out for some pizza, and then came home to relax. 

I think it's awesome that she also has a husband named Shawn (my real name is Amanda, but if you call me that, I will cut you). they got married in July of 2007 and their wedding was the first trip that my Sean and I took together as a couple. 

on Saturday, we woke up with the kids and got them ready for the day. we then made the short drive to eat lunch at Sonic (motherfucking YUM... we don't have a Sonic here where I live, so I make sure to get as many blue coconut slushies as I can if I'm in the vicinity of one), and then headed out to my great-aunt's house where the family was making apple butter.

they had already started making the apple butter on Friday, so all that was left to do was to churn it over heat for hours on end. luckily, I was too busy walking around taking pictures and playing with the kids to be bothered to help out at all. I loved having the opportunity to see my family, though. I haven't seen my great aunt and uncle since Amanda's wedding three years ago, and they're all I have left from my grandmother's family. 

the kids started to get a little grumpy and tired in the afternoon, so we left and took them home to relax. we met Amanda's parent's for dinner, which was delicious. we spent the evening at her house watching some TV and chit chatting. 

I was supposed to leave on Sunday, but I decided to stay another day to spend more time with my cousin. we had a lazy day, laying around the house and keeping the kids occupied. we walked up to Amanda's parent's house and visited them for a while, and then her grandmother's house. we I spent the rest of the day/night watching football.

sadly, I had to come back to reality (and work... since I do have a mortgage to pay), so I made the journey home on Monday. unfortunately, it took me 6 hours to get home, as I got stuck in traffic on Route 66. yes, it really does exist. I had a great time visiting the place that I spent every summer, and I miss my cousin and her family already.

Happy Weekend, lovers!

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