Every Other Summer
Once Keith and I moved to Utah we decided that we would go home every other summer for an extended trip to visit family and friends. We would be driving since we haven’t found another way to transport Lexi; we looked into flying, ground transport for her, etc. Google maps shows the drive right at 24 hours. This doesn’t include stopping to eat, use the restroom or get gas so it would be pretty difficult for us to actually make the drive without an overnight stay along the way.
While in Indiana we stay with family while Keith works his regular job. This would give us nights and weekends to spend quality time with everyone back home. We also plan this trip around the annual family boating vacation, which Keith does take off work for.
The first summer after moving we spent 3 weeks in Indiana, with one week at Norris Lake. This worked out great, but with the drive time it limited the number of weekend days we were in town. We left at 4am on a Saturday morning and arrived to Indiana Sunday evening. The following Sunday we left for Norris Lake and then Sunday after we drove back to Indiana from Tennessee. Then the next Saturday at 4 am we left for Utah to arrive back home late Sunday night with Keith needing to work at 6am Monday. Now, I’m not complaining, however this didn’t give us many weekend days to get together with people. For example; I really wanted to attend church in my hometown, but we weren’t even there on a Sunday morning at 10:30 am to go! Although 3 weeks sounds like a long time, it’s really less since the drive cuts out 4 of those days.
All and all, we ended up getting together with nearly everyone on our wishlist and had the best time catching up!! At this point, we had lived in Utah almost a year and had a lot to share with family and friends about our new hometown. We were also excited to share more about our travel plans. Just one week before heading to Indiana we got back from our first month long trip in the motorhome and already had plans for another trip.
Even though we weren’t planning to go home for the summer, I made a special visit to meet our niece! Between all the visitors in Utah, Keith’s backpacking trip, etc. it worked out for me to fly to Indiana for a couple weeks while Keith and Lexi stayed in Utah. This was a great trip for me to spend quality time with our nearly 1 month old niece, Adalyn … and see the rest of the family too 😉
Read more about my trip here: Home to Indiana to Meet my Niece
Keith and I were already planning on going home for the Norris Lake vacation and visit with family and friends. Once Keith got injured and that changed other travel plans, we decided to make this trip 4 weeks! After checking with the calendar, we decided to leave on July 4th, Keith would use a vacation day for July 5th and that would allow us to arrive to Indiana Friday night. This would give us more weekend days, which is something we felt we missed two years prior. We would then head back to Utah very early morning on August 3rd. Even though we were still busy almost 24/7, this gave us more time to meet up with loved ones!
A Whole Month in Indiana!
Wow, we are so lucky that we got to spend a whole month in Indiana! We filled our calendar with coffee dates, lunch meet-ups, dinners out and lots more! We stayed at my mom and step dad’s house, plus spent a week at Norris Lake. Keith worked during the day and enjoyed lunchtime walks with Lexi around the pond. Most days I planned a breakfast or lunch out with friends and then we visited family in the evenings. It was busy and I loved every minute of it! Keith, on the other hand, was quite sore from setbacks with his recent surgery and generally worn out from working all day and keeping up with get togethers in the evening.
There were a couple times during this trip where we got to reconnect with people we hadn’t seen since moving or in one case, since high school! Interesting enough, we didn’t get any pictures with these dear friends. I think we were just so busy focusing on catching up and having fun. One evening, Keith and I invited some family and friends to our old hangout, St. Leon Tavern. It was heartwarming to see friends we hadn’t seen in about 3 years! The conversation didn’t stop for hours and it felt like old times.
On another occasion, a friend reconnected on Facebook with a mutual friend and we all got together to swim. It’s a good thing we had all day because our conversation started with, “Ok, what have you been up to? ...Start with 1998!" We each took our turn filling in the others with what we’ve been up to since high school! I think it was an interesting day for each of us to learn about the ups and downs in each other's lives and to reminisce about the days when we first met and basically, grow up together!
Highlights From Indiana!
“You can put miles between you and your family but you carry them with you; you live in a world and a world lives in you.” -– Frederick Buechner
"Family: Like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions. Yet our roots remain as one." -- Unknown
"I love you so much more than the miles between us." -- Unknown
“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart." -- Elisabeth Foley
"True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart." -- Unknown
Many Thank You's!
Keith and I are so appreciative of this time to spend with family. We extend many thank you's to everyone that helps make it possible. So many of you contributed in so many ways; coordinating schedules, providing food, sharing your home, watching Lexi, hitching a ride, driving a long distance to meet us, buying us a beer, embracing us with a big hug, sharing stories and memories, etc. Many thank you's to everyone we were able to see on this trip! Even after a month, we still missed out on seeing some important people and hope to catch up next visit 🙂