Last year, we had to take a break from our traditional trip to Virginia for Thanksgiving because we needed the vacation days to lay tile and get our house ready to sell. We were grateful to restore the tradition this year.

The temperature dropped a bit as we headed north, but that just made it seem more “autumn-y.” Despite the seemingly dreariness and starkness, the scenery was still breathtakingly beautiful. Don’t we live in a beautiful world?

Wayne doesn’t like to be idle, even on vacation, so he asked Dad if there was a project he could do. The answer was yes. As soon as we arrived, he got busy!

The new door is a vast improvement over the old door. (Note to builders: Don’t use an interior day on a shed where it rains and snows; it results in warping and other damage.)

Grandpa decided he could use a couple of shelves in the laundry room, and these shoe shelves were the perfect solution, because he wanted to be able to move them around. Isn’t it nice that Michelle’s already an expert at putting them together? Holly has perfected the role of supervisor!

Holly also demonstrated her “amusement park ride” contraption. Wouldn’t you like to get a swinging ride every time you went to bed? (Actually, I’m very grateful that I can crawl into bed all by myself, but I marvel at the technology that is available to help those who can’t.)

On this trip, 1) Michelle helped Grandma update her Facebook “friends” list, 2) we played a few different games, 3) Michelle drove on the freeway with Dad as a passenger for the very first time, 4) Holly did some cooking, and 5) the men moved the freezer to make the ice cream more easily accessible.

Because my parents have never tried deep-fried turkey, we decided to haul the turkey fryer north and share that delicacy. It was delicious. Once again, Holly did a great job of supervising!
Our “Black Friday” tradition doesn’t include shopping, it involves hiking. So, Dad dropped us off at Foster Falls and picked us up at Buck Dam, and we enjoyed 10.7 miles of the beautiful New River Trail. The weather cooperated and we didn’t have to bundle up in hats and coats and scarves as in previous years.

This trail follows an abandoned railroad, and along the way we saw a few interesting things, including a tunnel, some abandoned mines, an old “shot tower” (where the made musket balls or something), and a poor mannequin that rode his bike into a bale of hay. We even passed 55 people (not quite the crowds of the malls, but still quite a few people), a deer, a rabbit, a squirrel, a few dogs and horses, and a flock of wild turkeys.

There’s one of them flying off into the sky.

We had a beautiful trip, and hope you had a wonderful holiday as well. We are so blessed.