I haven’t gone home for Christmas since 2009. We were still at Ft. Leonard Wood then and wouldn’t move to Okinawa till the next year. I can’t believe it’s been seven years. We hadn’t planned on going this year either because I didn’t have vacation days left, but sometime in early December my boss gave me a few days between Christmas and New Year’s off, so we made plans to go. And I am so glad we did.
It’s a 12 hour drive to my parents. We spent one day driving, three days there, and one day driving home. Still worth it. The drive is pretty boring. I normally try to find a few fun things to stop at along the way, but there really isn’t much on this route. We did stop in Texarkana. The courthouse/post office straddles the state line. That’s picture worthy in my opinion. Once we got further into Arkansas, we did a drive by of Johnny Cash’s boyhood home. There wasn’t much to see and we were too late for tours. It was also getting dark, raining, had been foggy all day, and was slightly creepy out.
My sister flew in from Seattle and my aunt, uncle, and cousin came down from Iowa. Everyone else still lives close. We maybe kinda planned the weekend around food. There are always places my sister and I want to go eat. One day we had lunch at Taco Johns (best fast food Mexican out there IMO), the next day was lunch at a local place that everyone agrees has the best potato skins ever, and the last place, a hole in the wall BBQ place, I managed to squeeze in on Saturday night.
We took the kids to see SING, mostly because my sister made my daughter promise not to see it without her. We did a little shopping, had Christmas with my parents and sister, and took the kids down to the river (as in the Mississippi).
We had one evening with one side of the family, one evening with another side, then a day with one of those sides again, plus a few extra people. I love my family and I hate that we aren’t around. I hate that the kids don’t get to go to all the get togethers and run around with their cousins. I am so glad we got to go home, even if it was such a short time. It was seriously good for my soul (and my stomach).