Well thank goodness the trip wasn't all nursing home all the time. Even though my Mom was working during the weekdays we still got our evenings and one whole weekend with her. She also took the Friday we were there off. Nana, as my kids call her, is madly in love with my kids. I'm an only child hence making them her only grandchildren. To say she is nuts about them is the understatement of the century.
Samuel slept with Nana the whole time we were there and they were both in sheer heaven. Think ice cream sundae with sprinkles and cookie crumbles and chocolate syrup with a side of Doritos and washing it down with apple juice that isn't watered down and you may come close to how Samuel felt about sleeping in Nana's "big bed".
I love this picture of the 3 of them in the nursing home's garden. They are looking at ladybugs.
No one will believe this but by "total accident" our spontaneous trip coincided with Park City Daze and yes, that is days spelled like daze. Or perhaps I should say, 'spelt like dayz' because I'm quite sure somewhere when the concept of Park City Daze originated the conversation went like this,
"We should have some sort of festival where people come from the two bars in town, together for one night, in the middle of the one main road and drink and dance. And it will last all day long and we'll even have a parade with like the one fire engine and the one ambulance and they can drive down main street and throw candy."
"Yes, and we can call it Park City Days".
"But its only one day".
"Well then lets spell it with a "z".
And then there were a lot of high fives and beer can toasting.
First of all, why do I look so pregnant in this picture? Secondly, even though it was Park City Daze, the trip was centered around visiting Gigi but BFF Traci was able to meet me for breakfast one morning. Traci has been my BFF since the 4th grade when we both moved to Park City in the middle of the school year. We moved within one week of each other and knew we were kindred spirits the day we both wore our hair in pony tails with 4 braids. Awe.Some. I'll go ahead and save you some brain power as I know you're still processing the math of my kids in the car for 17 hours and tell you that "since the 4th grade" is equivalent to 22 years. 22 years Traci and I have been BFF's. 154 in dog years.
In 154 dog years we have seen each other through dozens of boyfriends and subsequent break ups, high school graduation, college graduations, several moves, 3 marriages, 1 divorce, 3 kids and 6 Sawyer Brown concerts. Traci is my North Star.
One hot afternoon while Gigi napped, my Auntie Kathy came out and we loaded the kids and Nana and headed to the Yellowstone River to wade in the water and catch some Vitamin D. Cool water, lots of laughs and at the end of the afternoon no one was sunburned or had drowned. In Montana we call that a successful trip to the river.
This picture really has nothing to do with the next vignette, I just loved that Jeff could sit down and eat 4 ears of Farmer Richardson's corn without stopping to take a drink or a breath. Hot Jeff hearts corn on the cob. Hot Jeff eats corn on the cob without butter or salt--I think he may be a communist. Paula Deen wouldn't let him within 30 feet of her home.
Ok, here's how I tie in the next story: one night we had Mark and Jami Broyles over for dinner and we barbecued and had fresh corn.
Mark and Jami are central characters in the Hot Jeff and Jen love story. If it weren't for them I would have never gone to Alaska and would have never met Jeff, the dead sexiest man alive.
Jami and I met in college and have been dear friends ever since. Mark was Jami's high school sweetheart, sigh. Jami is the type of friend that no matter how long its been since we have talked we can hook up in person or on the phone and its like we haven't spent one minute apart. Jami's gentle spirit is a wonderful balance to my wild one. Mark was Jeff's roommate in Alaska (at the sport fishing camp where we all worked) in the summer of '96. Jami and I weren't up there that summer, we didn't go until '97. AND, the summer of '97 is from here on out known as the Summer of Looooove! In '97 Mark and Jami were newlyweds which left me with a lot of time to myself on a remote island. Jeff befriended me and the rest is Summer of Looooove history.Alas, we come to the end of this story. It ends much the same way it began: Jeff and I driving on a combined 4 hours of sleep and waking our midgets up at an ungodly hour to drive 940 miles. The only difference is it took us 18 hours to get home instead of 17. Thank you Portland traffic. Can I get a collective groan?
I'll leave you with this little gem from my verbally advanced 3 year old. As we woke his sweet, sleeping body and put him in the carseat he stuck a thumb in his mouth with one hand and waved and blew kisses to Nana with the other. He tilted his head to lean on the seat and closed his eyes as we drove out of the sleeping town of Park City. About 4 minutes onto I-90 as our car began to climb the big hill that would take us west to Columbus his little voice said from the back, "Mama, remember last time we went to Nana's house and we went to the airport"? I told him I did remember that and he replied, "Yeah, me too. We should do that again; its faster".