Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I had such a fabulous time on the first leg of my journey. I got to spend time with my Mom, my Grandma, the rest of my family, and some great friends. I got to eat way too much, shopped too much, and just had a good time in general!

Richmond organizes houses with crazy lights every year and calls it the "Tacky Light Tour". People get in groups, ride around in limos (get drunk) and look at the lights. We did it the cheap way and just got in our vehicle and it was great! The is the best house around. A mom and her son who live side by side put up all these crazy lights. They sell hot chocolate, give tours, and must have a monstrosity of a light bill!

My grandma and I! And her little dog, Baby. It has been so much fun to spend time with her. She has been through a lot the past couple of years I've been gone and it was a relief to see her doing well.
We took a day out to go and put out flowers on my Grandfather's grave. Even after 5 years it's still strange not to have him around. I miss him so much, but I know how proud he would be of me.
I got to take a day out and have lunch with a blast from the past! Jennifer and I were inseperable in 10th grade. She moved in and out for just that year. The miracle that is the internet has kept us in touch with one another and she was passing through Richmond. We had lunch and got a chance to catch up! Not to mention at Cheesecake Factory and it was DEE-LISH-US.
Another fun activity was the Cake 101 Class my Mom and I took. Don't we look cute in our aprons?? It was a lot of fun and I learned to make an awesome chocolate cake. Seriously, best chocolate cake I've ever had.
My Mom had all kinds of things planned. Busch Gardens Christmas Town was my absolute favorite! The lights were beautiful and the shows were great! Look at those lights! This was a ride called Pompei, It is a water ride. Can you imagine how many lights it took to make that?? We could see it from the highway!
This picture is typical me. Don't worry, I waited my turn in line with all the little kids to take this picture.
So many pretty Christmas trees!
My friend Miranda graciously hosted a Christmas party at her house. Here we are, the 3 musketeers. (Rachel, Miranda, and I were best friends through high school. Rachel and I have been best friends since the 3rd grade, we lived around the corner from one another growing up.)
I was able to see a bunch of people I hadn't seen from high school and it was fun to catch up with them! Just so you all know, we all went to a high school that was less than 500 people. My class in particular was 75 people. We lived in a tiny little town and we had all been together since kindergarten. We grew up together and I love that we still keep in touch.
Christmas Eve has always been my Mom's family Christmas party. This year my aunt hosted it. It was so much fun to catch up with everyone. Here in the picture (back row) is my cousin Amanda, my Mom, my Grandma, my Aunt Darlene, (front row) my cousin Cameron, and me! The only girl missing was my sister :( There is nothing like family. We drive each other crazy, but at the end of the day, they're mine. And I miss them.
This was just the first leg of my trip. I can't believe I have been able to pack so much into such a little time. But there is a LOT MORE to tell you about! Next up, South Carolina!


Lisa n Javi said...

Looks like you had a great time. All those pictures with the lights are pretty cool.

Betty said...

Looks like you had a great time. But I thought you wrote a while back your sister would be there too? Or did I remember that wrong? I know she lives in Ireland, right?
I´m glad you got to catch up with so many family members and friends!

Stephanie G said...

I am glad you had a great time!!! I love the lights!!

Lisa said...

Looks like you have had a wonderful time in the US. So glad you were able to see your family and friends here.

Lisa Q

Lin said...

Looks like you had a blast hanging out with friends & family. Thanks for sharing your awesome photos. The one with you on the horse totally made me laugh :)

Cant wait to read your next trip post.