Last week we continued our Epic East Coast Adventure.
On the last episode of Family Friday, our heroes had just left Aunt Sue and Uncle Craig’s house in VA and were heading west and south on what would turn out to be the longest driving leg of the journey. We were heading into Tennessee to visit another of Ryan’s Aunts and Uncles that live out there.
Aunt Renee’ was so excited to see Evie. She dug out all her kids’ old toddler toys, and even found a little teepee for Evie to play in.
Best of all, Aunt Renee has a kitty cat!
We decided to take the scenic route part of the way from Tennessee to South Carolina. That is, we took the interstate through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and then jumped on a snaky little highway to head south as soon as we emerged from the park. This road was basically a black top roller-coaster, and it wound for miles and miles and miles around hairpin turns and switchbacks, sticking mostly to the geographical center of nowhere.
Eventually, around about the time Evie woke up from her nap, we arrived at a T-intersection where a cafe and a fire station were pretending to be a town called Cedar Mountain. Since Evie needed a break and some food, we stopped at the cafe.
The food was good, and surprisingly yuppie for being so far out in the boondocks of South Carolina.
After that we were on our way to Uncle Chris and Aunt Sharon’s house!
Uncle Chris was anxious to show us his new hobby, a.k.a. primitive woodworking. He built the bench himself using only hand tools, and he uses it for shaping wood with a draw knife in order to build useful things like clubs and chair legs.
Uncle Chris and Aunt Sharon have one of the nicest homes, full of books, tea, conversation and quiet… except when their kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces and great nieces show up.
Then it is full of noise and hilarity!
Abby and Eric couldn’t stay very long, but Benjamin insisted on eating. Eating is very serious business in Benjamin’s world!
Which is probably why at 6 months old he is just as tall as Evie and a full pound heavier. And it isn’t all rolls and wrinkles. He is solid. That kid is a Hoss!
But to Evie he is still a baby, and she enjoyed doing her big sister thing.
We got to go to Sunday Mass at Saint Mary’s in Greenville, one of the most beautiful churches we have ever seen. Their 11:00 A.M. High Mass is one of the most beautiful and reverent liturgies in America, I think.
Of course the High Mass is quite long. Evie did very well, but afterwards she needed to run around and shake her wiggles out.
She practiced climbing stairs.
And she and Mommy got to meet Great Grandpa Pelicano.
Ryan has always said that G’Pa P would have loved to meet Kathleen. She and He would have gotten along really well. She is the kind of classy, sassy, old soul that he enjoyed talking with and hanging out with. I wish they could have met while he was still alive, but that was not to be.
One of Ryan’s cousins came over and brought his two kids and they had a blast playing with Evie.
Anna Grace can “big-sister” even better than Evie does.
Because she has lots of practice.
And of course no Pelicano Gathering would be complete without Pizza. Aunt Sharon lovingly made the doughs before we even arrived, and slow raised them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then she and Kathleen and Anna Grace put the pizzas together, and Uncle Chris baked them.
In his hand made, home built outdoor woodfired brick pizza oven.
Because that’s just how they roll.
We did a lot of hanging out over the next two days, enjoying not having to be in the car.
Audrey and Evie got along pretty well. This is what you do at that house. You relax.
Then it was time to go home.
Evie pushed Oswald the Otter around in her stroller for a while as we waited for our first flight.
The second flight was a bit trickier, because there were storms brewing in the Midwest and we couldn’t get authorization to take off. So we sat on the plane on the tarmac for an hour and a half, before they deplaned us.
Then we waited at the terminal for another two hours, before they finally got clearance to get us out of there. It was a very long night, and Evie was a very tired baby girl. But, she was still a trooper!
But we did make it home, unfortunately bringing a couple of stomach bugs with us. But it’s still good to be back.
That’s all for now folks! Until next time, God Bless!