On and Off the Beaten Path

Wow, what a blog break, huh?   It was somewhat unintentional.  I knew that the week out of town would involve some heavy travel days, but I had no idea that the nights would be so busy, or that I’d be too zonked to do anything except rest when I wasn’t driving.    Plan A was to write during some of the hotel down time.   Here’s to Plan B.  It’s good to be home, but we have memories well worth capturing.

The first leg of the trip took us to the home of a lady who, though I’ve not known her for very long, I consider a dear friend.   In fact, my friendship with Karen is a true testament of the power of social media.   We met as blog buddies several years back, and its rare that I’ve found someone with soooo much in common with me–even down to our jobs as college instructors online and our love of professional football.   How cool is that??!!    Our first time meeting face-to-face was in 2009, and when she offered us her home for the night in route to our final destination, I could not pass on the opportunity to see her again.    The youngest, remembering their littlest angel from our first meeting, packed up tutus and heels for dress up, and off we went.   Right before we left, though, I “dug” through my Photobucket album in the anticipation of some then and now shots.

Here are the youngest ladies two years ago:

And then on last week:

Of course, both moms have changed a bit, too, in two years.   This was our first connection two years ago:

And aging like fine wine today:

One of the realities of growing kids and dynamic families is that you can’t always catch everyone at the same time.   So between work, school, and extended vacations, these were what was left of either family:

As much as we enjoyed the Shaw family, we moved on to the second leg, and the primary reason for our trip: a visit to one of the most gorgeous college campuses I’ve ever seen, minus the 40-degree drop in temperature–  🙂 .

It’d been a long time since I’d walked a college campus!   That’s me in the bright yellow hat, taking the stairs one groan step at a time.

At times, I thought I heard the distinct moo-ing of cows as we were being herded through the campus as one group of many, but overall, I felt really pleased with the information we received, the connections we made, and the potential for our daughter to consider this campus home for four years.     But, as is often the case, the more memorable part of a vacation is the trip you didn’t plan to take.

One of the many things I love about my husband is his willingness to coordinate a trip, inclusive of finding all kinds of fun, inexpensive, out-of-the-way family stops in or near whatever town we plan to visit.   I’m always tickled when we talk about a certain trip and tell people where we went, and they’ll say something along the lines of “I never even knew that was there!”    This time, we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere at Purina Farms, milking cows,  and seeing dogs do more things than I think that food we buy at the store is totally capable of (smile).

Most of the dog shows happened at a speed that was entirely too fast to capture on our cameras, but the above shot is of the border collies herding ducks.   The trainer was demonstrating why border collies aren’t the best dogs for children because of the nipping they do at cows, ducks, etc., to keep them in line.   After this show, she only had to convince me once.


Well, with 1-1/2 weeks away, I’ve much on the brain!  Get ready for some serious rambling!  God bless.

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4 thoughts on “On and Off the Beaten Path

  1. Welcome back! We missed you. What a nice looking campus. I love the off beat place you found to have fun. Your new hair style is coming along very nicely. It frames your face in a lovely way.

  2. It is a beautiful campus!

    I am so happy for you and K. that you all got to visit. I am sure it was a blessing to all.

    My little girls would absolutely LOVE going to Purina. I can imagine their squeals to see a dog show and milk a cow. We’d all need ear plugs, that’s for sure. That is great that you all got to go on that little side trip 🙂

  3. Wow! What great photos!! I just love you, Belinda. (((hug))) I’m so glad you guys stopped by. I just wish we had more time together.

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