I just returned from my annual trek to the little south Georgia town of Adel to visit Chad, Tracy and little Allison. As my friend, Christie and I were driving down, she reminded me this was our fifth trip. I thought about recapping each of the past years (which you can read here...trip one, trip two, trip three and trip four) but had an epiphany on the drive home to do something different. To celebrate this milestone, I decided to recap the trip by using five "S" words to describe this year's adventure.
Sashes - When we arrived Thursday evening, we shared with Chad and Tracy our fifth-year realization. Tracy had just returned from a women's meeting from their church where Chad serves as Minister of Music and had told all the ladies about our coming arrival. We joked that there would be sashes for us to wear that stated "Five-Years!" to wear proudly to church on Sunday so everyone could identify who we were. One of the running jokes of the visit was, "well, we'll have our sashes on, so they'll know who we are." Unfortunately, we didn't have sashes, but we were still welcomed with open arms as we have been the last four years.
Spaghetti - Tracy is a marvelous cook. Our visits always involve her favorite dishes of the moment and I always get great cooking tips from her. I can't enumerate the number of cooking tips and products I use today based on my annual Adel visits. This year, one of our meals was Tracy's world-famous (or at least Adel famous) baked spaghetti. The secret, my friends, is in the sauce, as I can attest to by reading the recipe. I can't tell you or I'd have to kill you, but let me say it is to die for. To prove the famous-ness of her dish, she invited their friend, Whitney, over to eat with us and as soon as soon as she heard what was being served, she proclaimed "Awesome!" We enjoyed a lot of great home-cooked meals, as usual, and Chad was a wonderful dish washer since we seem to dirty a lot of dishes during our stay.
Surprise - Before the trip, Tracy informed us they had a surprise for us on Saturday. I love surprises!! Christie guessed the surprise on our way down, and although Tracy didn't confirm...she was right. Great friends, Kevin and Sarah, came over from Tampa to spend the day with us. I had kept in touch with Sarah via Facebook, but hadn't laid eyes on them in a couple of years. We affectionely call them the "Sugar Family" (a bonus "S" for you and an inside joke that would take another blogpost to explain) and it was wonderful to see them and catch up on their lives. They recently moved to Florida as Kevin is active military (Navy) and is stationed at Fort MacDill Air Force Base. Spending the day with the "Sugar" family and Chad and Tracy was a great blast from the past and one of those comfort moments you want to last so much longer than it does.
Swap - As with every trip, we played lots and lots of games. This year we played a lot of cards....Rook...Golf....Tricks....and a game called Swap. Swap resembles UNO but a lot more fun and "active" as you swap your hand multiple times during the game. This is one game we played late into the night one evening and got slap happy...or more appropriately, "swap" happy. This one may be worth purchasing. I can also report that I still stink at Wii Mario Kart...even though I love it, I can't get out of last place. Thank goodness I don't drive in real life that badly.
Sibling - The trip had added fun from 16-month old Allison. Last year she was four months old, and too young to realize we were there. This year we got to love on her and watch her play, babble, and say her newest word, "Okay." "Allison, ready to go to bed?"..."Okay" You could ask her just about anything and she'd reply softly..."Okay"...so cute. I thought it would take time for her to warm up to us since we only see her a couple of times a year, but when we arrived, she came outside to greet us in the driveway and was all smiles. She even took each of our hands and escorted us into the house. Precious. Where does this "S" word, sibling, come into play? Tracy is expecting baby number two in February and in about six months, Allison's world will be rocked. One of our road trip tasks was to come up with name options for the next baby. We were given instructions from Tracy on the characteristics of a name that we needed to keep in mind and we presented a few that fit the bill. We are sworn to secrecy and would have to kill you (see spaghetti sauce recipe above) if we shared any of the names. Come February, we'll all know.
The trip was over all too quickly but our time was sweet...yet another bonus "S." Time with friends...especially the lifelong friends...is always memorable and fun. Thanks to Chad and Tracy for five years of great memories....with more to come.