Friday, December 30, 2011

Home for the Holidays

“Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays…” :)

We were so BLESSED this year to be able to travel home to Plymouth for the holidays. Rob’s Command was on holiday stand-down, so he was able to take leave for Christmas. We packed our car (/sleigh) and hit the road on Tuesday 12/20 at 2PM. Rob was just getting over a nasty head cold and I started feeling crummy late Monday night. I felt AWFUL by the time Tuesday night rolled around, and spent the entire drive in the passenger seat blowing my nose and praying my misery would subside in time to enjoy Christmas at home.

Rob drove STRAIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT Tuesday night (like a maniac) and we arrived at Ed & Judy’s around 6AM Wednesday morning. Charlie settled in to his temporary home just fine, and Rob and I went to bed until about noon that day. We spent the day laying around and catching up with his parents, and went to bed early on Wednesday night.

Rob and CharlieDog napping after our LONG trip home.

On Thursday we had dinner with Mary and my parents at the Cabby Shack and I practically died when I finally had the clam chowder I’ve been craving for the last 7 months. NOTHING beats Plymouth seafood.. not even Magnolias! Charlie stayed home that night and got LOTS of love from Ed & Judy :)

Cabby’s clam CHOWDAH.

Rob and I had lunch at the Water Street Cafe with Jenna and Ashley Friday afternoon. We ran errands afterward and I had my FIRST Marylous iced coffee of the trip. Mmmm I missed MLous. On Friday night we went to Chandler’s Christmas party and caught up with our Plymouth friends. After the party we went to the BBC and then headed home around 1AM.

We woke up early on Saturday morning to help Ed & Judy get ready for Christmas Eve dinner. We ran a few errands and then went home and napped (whoops!). Lauren and Ryan came over around 2PM and the rest of the family, including my parents, came over around 5:30. We had a delicious dinner and it was great catching up with Rob’s family. WE stayed up really late that night (in our new Christmas Eve pajamas - a tradition we started this year as our own little family) chatting with Ed, Judy, Lauren & Ryan. It felt really nice to have some family time and we wished we’d be able to spend more time with them.

Ed & Judy’s Christmas tree.

Ryan & Rob on Christmas Eve.

Lauren & Ryan on Christmas Eve.

Judy woke us all up at 7AM to open our gifts on Christmas morning. Everyone enjoyed opening presents, and I was SO EXCITED to finally be able to give Rob his BIG gift - - a trip to San Francisco to visit Matt, Sandy and Ashu! I thought it would be really nice for him to have one last “guys weekend” before he deploys and Matt & Sandy were more than accommodating and helpful. I had been planning this trip for MONTHS and Rob was so excited when he opened his gift. It was all worth it.

The ticket I made for Rob’s BIG Christmas present :)

Christmas morning at Ed & Judy’s.
We packed up our bags and went to my parents’ house to open gifts around 9AM Christmas morning. We received SO many wonderful gifts from both families.. we are so lucky! Charlie loved tearing apart the wrapping paper and was a happy dog all morning. Mom made day-ahead-breakfast casserole and we all scurried around to get ready for Christmas dinner at Gram & Bumpas. Christmas dinner was a blast as always. I love my crazy family.

Mom & Dad’s Christmas tree.

Saunders Family Christmas!

Our 1st Christmas!!

Christmas Charlie.

Jamie arrived on Christmas night and spent two days with us in Plymouth. It was SO GOOD to see her and I was so happy that she made the drive just to see us while we were in Plymouth. We ran errands/made returns on Monday 12/26, and played a really fun game of Catch Phrase with the whole family that night. We had breakfast with Jackie, Seth and Alison on the morning of Tuesday 12/27. Mary, Jamie and I got our nails done on Tuesday afternoon.. and Jamie went home :(. Rob and I drove to Belmont to have dinner at Lauren & Ryan’s with Ed & Judy. It was nice to spend some more time with them, and I was really sad when we had to say goodbye to Lauren & Ryan that night.

On Wednesday 12/28 Rob and I went out to lunch with my mom, Gram, Auntie Jo, Elyse, Tina, Ashley & Mary. THEN we drove to Braintree to meet up with Christopher and surprise Amanda at dinner (thanks Ry for helping me plan that!). It was so good to catch up with two of my best friends, and I left dinner feeling refreshed that night.

Surprise dinner at Joes!! 12/28/11

On Thursday 12/29 Rob and I took Charlie for a nice long walk through Pinewood, had lunch at his parents house, had dinner at MY parent’s house with Mary & Mike, and then made our rounds to see my aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents to say our goodbyes.

We finished our last load of laundry, packed our bags, and hit the road at 6AM on Friday morning. We stopped in Virginia to visit with Dan (one of Rob’s fraternity brothers) and his fiance, Tina. We had a great dinner at the Dogfish Head Restaurant and Rob even helped Dan move a big piece of furniture while we were there. We were back on the road around 7:30 and eventually stopped at a hotel in Chester, VA for the night.

We woke up early, took advantage of the free continental breakfast, and hit the road again. We took our time and even stopped at JR’s in North Carolina where Rob bought a few cigars and a new humidor. We were home in sunny Charleston by 5PM and it was 72 degrees!

We’re settling in for the night now - planning to lay low for our first New Years Eve as a married couple.

Missing home already. 

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