Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Road Trip

This past weekend our family had planned to head to Columbia, Maryland to visit my dad at his house. However, our family suffered a loss last week when my 37 year old cousin (Mom's brother's son) passed away so our plans were changed and we needed to go to Pittsburgh. Heather and I thought breaking up the trip by going to Columbia for one day would work well and it did. It was about a 5.5 hour drive included a 1 hour stop in Richmond for lunch at Chick-fil-a, playing, and hitting Ukrops. As soon as we got there, Anna saw the horses across my dad's driveway at his neighbors. So, we went over and saw them:
Petting the horse at Opa's house
Petting the horse at Opa's house
We also played indoors quite a bit:
Anna and Opa had matching fun toys
Opa, Anna, and Maddie
And checked out my dad's backyard wilderness:
Opa and Anna walking in his back yard

We then headed to Pittsburgh on Saturday around noon. This took about 4.5 hours with a 20 minute break in Somerset, PA. In Pittsburgh, we stayed at the Residence Inn in Cranberry which was very near to where I grew up and within a mile of where I lived my one year out of college living in Pittsburgh. We ate at a couple old favorites within walking distance of the hotel, Quaker Steak and Lube as well as Primanti Brothers. Here is my yummy Primanti Brother Sandwich, ham, bacon, egg and cheese. Of course, Primanti's puts fries and slaw on each sandwich as well:
Primanti's sandwich

We spent 2 nights in Pittsburgh with my mom, sister and her family. My niece Tori (6.5 years old) and Anna (2 years old) bonded and Anna would cry when Tori left every time...nearly inseparable. Here are some pictures of them together:
Anna with her cousin Tori
Anna and Tori
Anna and Tori coloring
Tori and Anna with their cups Opa gave them

In the end, we got some family photos together as well. Here is one of Heather, Madelyn, myself, Anna, Kristal, Tori, and Chris,
Heather, Madelyn, Erik, Anna, Kristal, Tori, and Chris

And here is one of Oma with her three granddaughters:
Oma and her girls

Monday we did the 8 hour drive home with 3 stops (accumulating another hour) making the trip 9 hrs. We did it partially while the kids were awake and some asleep. On the trip home, Anna started having a fever and was whiney most of the time. We are not really ready to try an 8 hour trip anytime soon again, but the 4-5 worked well. Here is a map of the route we took:

View Larger Map

All said and done, we spend about 18 hours on the road in 92 hours (Friday - Monday) and hit 5 states.

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