Saturday, January 2, 2010

Road Tripping in Western Kansas

We started the year out with a small road trip to visit some family members that also live out here in rural Kansas. My parents picked up Ethan and me early in the morning and we headed out on our adventure.

There isn't a lot of scenery to look at out the car window.

flat plains of western Kansas

trees are few and far between out here

The scenery inside the car was much better.

After about an hour and a half in the car, we arrived in the small town of Beloit. My Grandma recently relocated to Beloit from Phillipsburg, where she has resided all her life. She's 92 years old and has just moved into an assisted living facility. I think she's got a really good setup in Beloit; however, I do really miss her living in the same town.

Visiting with "Great Millie", Ethan's name for her, in the hospital.

After visiting with Grandma for two hours, we hopped back into the car for another hour to travel to Clay Center, where my sister and nephew live. The snow and road conditions prevented them from getting back to Phillipsburg for Christmas so we were eager to have our delayed Christmas together.

My sister, Shannon, welcomed us to her home with the smell of yummy Baked Potato soup bubbling on the stove. By the time we arrived at her house, we were all pretty hungry so we eagerly sat down to lunch. The warm, thick soup was the perfect dish to warm up with on the 18 degree day.

Ethan and my nephew, Austin, played with their new puppy. He was a little shy, so the boys crawled under the table to join the timid little puppy.

After exchanging presents, (Thanks for the Ann Taylor Loft perfume! I honestly love the scent!) we once again climbed into the car and headed back to Beloit to visit my cousin Brad and his family.

The red barn located at Brad's home.

We stopped at their home for a quick visit, where Ethan and his cousins immediately headed outside to check out the chickens.

It was bitterly cold so we quickly said hello to the chickens and then scampered back inside to warm up. Ethan's older cousins were kind enough to drag out their dinosaurs and play with their little cousin.

Playing dinosaurs quickly builds a hunger, so my cousin's beautiful wife, Renee, treated us to some delicious homemade cinnamon rolls.

The warm cinnamon rolls were served plain and an assortment of frostings were provided for us to choose from and put on as much as we wanted. I love the idea of serving cinnamon rolls this way!

I slathered on this yummy peanut butter frosting.

After piling into the car one more time, we made the drive back to Phillipsburg. Ethan and I took much needed naps in the backseat. Unfortunately, I kept waking up from drooling - ick!

As soon as we got home, we got in our car and headed to a local restaurant, Willers, to meet up with one of Jim's childhood friends. Cody and his wife, Laura, just welcomed their first baby.

Ethan got to "hold" the baby and is still talking about that today. I also quickly took the opportunity to hold the precious little one. Ethan wasn't too keen on me holding the baby and wanted me to return him to his Daddy. After I was done holding the baby, Ethan crawled into my lap and reminded me that he was my baby. I think we'll be in trouble if we ever add a baby to our little family. ;)

After a long day of rushing around, I took advantage of the peace and quiet and relaxed with a glass of wine. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day with family and friends.

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