This month my mom celebrates her 30th year of working for an airline. I grew up flying for cheap...but it was mostly to relatives houses where we could stay and not have the added expense of hotels and rental cars. I am so grateful for that opportunity. Not many people I know have the privilege of knowing their 2nd and 3rd cousins, aunts and uncles, great grand parents, etc. And if it weren't for my mom's job my brothers and I would not have had the opportunity either. But being a single mom, even though flying was cheaper for us than most of the rest of America, it wasn't something we did all the time.
Growing up I told everyone I was either going to marry someone rich or someone that worked for the airline so I could continue to travel to exciting places and so my kids would have the opportunity to get to know their extended families that live so far away...you guessed it...Greg works for the airlines!!! (but we are rich in so many other ways!!!)
Thanks to a wonderful husband who works hard for the airlines so our family gets to travel to ALOT of fun places!
Spring Break 2007: Lake Catherine, Arkansas
We found heaven on earth...and it was only a days drive from Texas. Every year we try to go to Mena, Arkansas and put flowers on my dads grave. This year we did it over spring break instead of over a weekend. We drove a few hours east of Mena to Lake Catherine and rented a cabin on the lake. It was BEAUTIFUL! Camping in comfort. We had a kitchen, fireplace, built in screen porch, and flushing toilets! We took some day trips to dig for quartz, check out the hot springs, and rented a pontoon boat (during off season you get the boat all day for the 1/2 day price!) Our friends met us there for a few nights with their boys and we played cards, fished, had smores, and can't wait to go back!
Ty and Chad fishing off the pier
Outside the Pemberton Drug Store in Jefferson, Texas
Christmas 2006: Caribbean Cruise
Grandpa was going to turn 80 in Feb 2007 and he loves to go on cruises so we figured if we all wanted to celebrate his 80th birthday with him what a perfect activity. Grandma and Grandpa introduced all the grand kids and our spouses to cruises in Oct 1997 when they took a group of us on a 2 week cruise from San Diego to San Juan...no kids allowed! It was difficult to leave Ty who was almost 3 and Dylan who was only 8 months at the time, but we did it and it was an AWESOME experience. This time it was our turn to treat grandpa. It was sad once we started reflecting on that first cruise because 5 of the 18 who went on it have passed away. Anyway...this was the first cruise for all the "younger" generation. It was fun but not something I plan on doing again anytime soon. And really I don't think it was the kids being their, but more of just trying to coordinate with 23 people and being gone over Christmas was challenging. Overall, it was all about grandpa and I think he enjoyed just having us all together.
Summer 2006 vacation: Beach House, Lincoln City, Oregon
We flew to San Fran and rented a car and drove up the coast to Lincoln City, Or to join the some of my family. We stopped in Rio Del to visit Greg's brother Brian and his family.
Melissa, Ty, Dylan, Brian, Chad
We met my side of the family and rented a beach house. It was so much fun. I have never spent time on a beach in the Pacific Northwest and all I can say is it is way different than the beach I grew up going to in Galveston. It was so pretty, very rocky, and very windy. And even cool enough for a jacket in the evenings. Greg's sister Jenny was able to drive over and spend time with us as well. She was a great tour guide...we went crabbing, road dune buggies on the sand dunes, spent time on Devils Lake, and just hung out.
Chad and his cousin Collin
Kids and the beautiful sunset
Spring Break 2006: Berlin, Germany
My brother Steve did 2 tours of duty in Germany in the late 80's early 90's. He was there when the Berlin wall came down. He loves it there and if Continental had maintenance there he'd live and work there. He tries to go back every few years. This year he went as our own private tour guide...I'm not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Remember he was in the Army...we thought we were in boot camp at times with all the walking he had us doing. But it was overall a big plus to have him around. My grandpa, my aunt, and my cousins daughter went on the trip with us. We saw some amazing sights...Brandenburg Gate, Sacksenhausen, where the Berlin wall used to be, Olympic stadium, museums, Checkpoint Charlie...lots of trains and subway rides and beautiful countryside.
Waiting for a train
In front of Brandenburg Gate
Steve, Kim and Chad at Saksenhausen