Vacation 2004

We returned home in Kansas City last night after a week of vacation that took us to stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa. In a word, it was--exhausting. I was happy to be able to see some of my relatives. It seemed like the week went by in a flash. I didn't get much exercise, which I am disappointed about. I think that is one of the reasons I probably felt tired most of the time. We were definitely tired of being in the car! Dominic was happy to be home. He had a good time though, and got to play with his second cousins Jake, Justin and Patrick. The following is a summary of our vacation on a daily basis:

Friday, September 3
Sharon and I picked up Dominic at La Petite at approximately 3:00 on Friday. This was later than we planned, but we still left earlier than we would have if we hadn't been able to get out of work early. We needed gas right away, so it wasn't until about 3:15 that we officially left. I started out driving, but I got drowsy quickly. I drove to a town east of Columbia, MO, where we stopped at Nostalgiaville. We shopped around a little bit, and then Sharon took over the driving duties. We put in a movie for Dominic, and I tried to take a nap. I don't think I really slept, but I was able to rest my eyes for awhile. Sharon drove for a couple of hours, through St. Louis and into Vandalia, Illinois. Here, we stopped at a McDonald's to eat supper and we refueled. Dominic got his first of several Happy Meal toy cars on our vacation. He had a good time in the McDonalds, and surprisingly didn't beg us to use the play area. I took over the driving again, and ended up driving the rest of the way to Granny's house. We made several more stops for snacks, potty and gas. We stopped near Indianapolis (I think), and then again in Ohio, probably several times. It's kind of foggy in my memory. Speaking of fog, it was foggy in the early morning hours, especially as we approached Columbus. We arrived at Granny's at about 7 AM Saturday morning, where she was awake and ready for us. Everyone else (Mom, Dad and Lynae) were sleeping, but Dominic quickly changed that.

Saturday, September 4
It didn't take me long to go lay down. I was exhausted. Unfortunately, I don't think I slept very well throughout the morning. I remember Dominic coming downstairs a few times as I was trying to sleep. The poor guy--he wanted to play, and I was getting annoyed, because I was so tired. I'm not sure if those overnight trips are worth it after all. I wasn't really able to catch up on my sleep Saturday, and I think my sleep cycle was thrown off for the next few days. I know that I remained tired for several days. I didn't feel like I was getting much time to myself, even though Sharon suggested that I didn't know what it was like to need alone time, because I would disappear for hours. Uncle Rob and Aunt Barbara came over Saturday evening to visit. Sharon, Lyane and my mom went to Weirton, to Wal-Mart. Aunt Barbara was telling us about all of the "casinos" in Weirton, and the appendage of "and more" at the end of their names. Aunt Barbara also gave me a ceramic pot that had the inscription of Keokuk, Iowa on it. Granny made wedding soup, and even Dominic ate some. I got some evil glances from the others when I told Dominic that there was spinach in it.

Sunday, September 5
Picnic at Uncle Rob and Aunt Barbara's house. Dominic and Jake had fun playing together. We watched some old home movies that had been dug up from somewhere. It was fun seeing some video of Grammy and Pappy in their younger days. There were a few frames of Mom as a little girl also.

We had hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Uncle Gene and Aunt Diane came down for the day. Roger Furno and his wife were there. Uncle Ernie, Aunt Becky, Clayton and his two kids were there.

I had my video camera, but I didn't have any blank tapes. That was unfortunate.

Monday, September 6--Labor Day
Sharon and Dominic visited Lisa's house for a bonfire.
I went to the Mountaineer Lodge and Racetrack with Lyane, Mom, Dad, Leslie, Uncle Rob and Aunt Barbara. I won about $40 on slot machines. I think everyone else lost money, but nothing substantial. Lynae had been winning on the horses, but she lost her money on slot machines. Uncle Rob, Aunt Barbara and Leslie left the racetrack after a few races to go to the casino. Mom, Dad, Lyane and I stayed for all of the horse races. We thought that we might see Damon Leeds as a jockey, but he was not on the roster. I'm not sure if he still races at that track.

Tuesday, September 7
Dominic, Sharon, Mom, Dad, Lynae and I went to Pittsburgh to Station Square. We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.
At night, Leslie, Lynae, Sharon and I went to see a movie, "Wicker Park".
Jake slept at Granny's house with Dominic.

Wednesday, September 8
Sharon, Dominic and I went to Washington, PA to the courthouse to get our wedding certificate and birth certificate applications.
We went to Jim and Fay Scott's house, where Sharon was to meet Lisa so that they could go get tattoos. Dominic and I went to Todd's house, where we waited for Todd to get home. Sharon and Lisa ended up not getting tattoos because the shop was closed.

Thursday, September 9
We left Granny's at about 3:00, and travelled near Apollo, PA to visit Sharon's Aunt Lynn and Uncle Wayne. Unfortunately, Dominic was not feeling well this day, and he threw up in the car as we were stopped for gas in Tonidale. However, he was remarkably well behaved at Lynn and Wayne's house.
We left Lynn and Wayne's house at about 7:30, and drove to Elyria, OH to Uncle Joe and Aunt Sue's house.

Friday, September 10
Aunt Sue, Mom, Sharon, Lynae and Aunt Kak went shopping. Uncle Joe, Dad, Dominic and I went to a nature center. Dominic was feeling better, thanks to his "bubble gum" medicine. He enjoyed his day at Uncle Joe's, and had fun playing with the toys there.

Saturday, September 11
Sharon and my anniversary. I went down the street from Uncle Joe's house to Puffers flower shop to get Sharon some flowers. She gave me a Halloween tree villiage accessory. Liz rode the unicycle. Amy and Patrick came over to visit. We left for Iowa at about 2:00 EST. We arrived at mom and dad's house at about 11:30 CST. It was a long trip!

Sunday, September 12
After watching the Steelers beat the Raiders 24-21, we drove back to Kansas City. We arrived in KC at about 10:30--vacation over!

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