And this one was a long way from Wisconsin. It was near Oklahoma City, and it was quite a surprise to see how many of our extended family were flying and driving to this unlikely vacation destination! It was basically the same cast of characters who attended my parents' 50th anniversary party last year. My cousin's fiancee had attended that family event with him, so we all already knew her a little bit, which may have been why so many of us made the effort. She is such a delightful addition to my mom's side of the family!
But for us, the other big attraction was in Kansas, on the way to Oklahoma. My professor brother has lived in a small town there for ten years, ever since he took a position teaching history at a small Methodist college, and we have never made the trip. Our travels usually take us east, to Ohio, and we usually rendezvous with his family there. So it was a treat to see them in their own home, which is a charming older house that they have renovated and decorated together. It's cozy, but they make it work so beautifully. It gave me hope that if we ever have to downsize, we could make it work too!
|Professor Brother, me and our parents--in the history department of his college.|
|The famous 77 steps (click to enlarge and view cousins at the top!)|
|The view from the top.|
|Girlies! Cousins! Blondies!|
|Foolin' around with a college landmark. A kiss for good luck?|
|At the memorial in Oklahoma City where the bombing occurred in 1995.|
|On the site where the Murrah Building used to be, there now stands a field of chairs representing the 168 adults who died in the explosion, with 19 smaller chairs for the children who were killed that day.|
|A good percentage of the out-of-towners went to see the memorial.|
To top it off, on the way home we visited Evangel University in Springfield, MO. It has come on our radar since we have friends whose kids go there, and it seems like an affordable and really good fit for college for B18, who is a senior this year.
On the last day in Oklahoma, we said goodbye to Chicklet10 and B8, and sent them off with their grandparents to Ohio. We haven't seen them in over two weeks! They are having a blast on the farm with their grandparents and their Ohio cousins, aunt and uncle. My parents will bring them to WI this weekend when they come for the closing weekend of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Can't wait to hug and kiss them again!
So grateful for traveling mercies for all--and for the leisure time to enjoy a little vacation!