Thank God for Hometowns

On our trip to Indiana a couple weeks ago we did spend a lot of time with our nephew, Chansler, but we did other stuff too.  And I’m here to share because, well, why not?!

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Saturday night we had a gathering at Forest’s parent’s house with Mark, Katie, and Robbie.  Mark and Katie introduced us to s’mores with a Reese’s instead of Hershey’s and I can’t even think of the proper adjective to describe it… divine?  Perfection?  Mmmm….

We went to our church Sunday morning with our moms, since it was Mother’s Day.  We saw the new things that have been built.  We said hi to people we hadn’t seen in a while but still say “I remember when you were so little” every time you see them.  We had lunch with Forest’s family (after a brief scare of a street fight out front), visited his grandparents, and bought dinner for my mom and grandma while we visited at her house (it was Arby’s – the 2nd meal from there in 2 days – don’t judge).

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Monday was spent taking pictures of the baby and family pictures in the afternoon and dinner + a movie with our friends Megan and Ronnie.  We had a short list of restaurants we had to go to while we were in town so we were glad that approved our suggestion of Steak-n-Shake for dinner.

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Tuesday we watched my dad crack open a coconut.  The coconut water is an acquired taste and the raw coconut seemed dry to me, which is weird since there’s water in the coconut…?  But we shredded all that coconut and whipped up some coconut macaroons!  They didn’t turn out exactly as I expected but they were good nonetheless.  We did lunch with our parents at another restaurant from our list, La Cha’s.  Sooooo good.  Followed up with a couple games of Euchre (Me+forest vs my mom+Forest’s mom).

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Wednesday evening, Forest headed to his parent’s house to visit with family and I went with my mom, Pizza King (a restaurant from my list) in hand, to Leon and Shelby’s for some aunt and nephew bonding time.

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Thursday evening we met Brooke, Kyle, Cait, Megan, and Ronnie at Ivanhoe’s (you guessed it, yet another restaurant checked off of our list).  Forest and I both had tenderloins, since folks in NJ don’t know what that is (I guess it’s a Midwest thing), and indulged in a shake because you have to when you go to Ivanhoe’s.  Catching up with friends over good food is seriously the best thing ever.  Kyle and Cait left us (something about leaving for vacation – totally acceptable) and the rest of us ended up at Brooke’s house for a few rounds of Catch Phrase and countless laughs.

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Friday morning we went for a run.  It was drizzling and cold and we probably shouldn’t have gone. That night we did a cookout at my parent’s house with all of the family there.  My Uncle Rusty made a new pasta salad and I loved it.  I didn’t bring the recipe back with me but I’ll be getting my hands on it soon.  The food was great, the company was better and it was an awesome time.

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Saturday afternoon I had a sore throat but was determined to spend as much time with Chansler as possible.  I watched from afar while my mom and dad took turns holding him.  Was I completely bummed that I didn’t get to hold him on the last day we were in Indiana?  You bet!  Did I take pictures?  Duh! J  That night was a cookout plus surprise birthday party for Forest’s mom.  Lisa wanted to have a cookout while we were in town so she invited the family over.  But behind the scenes Forest and Amanda told everyone we were also having a surprise birthday party for her.  Essentially Lisa invited everyone to her own party and it was great.  The night was spent eating too much good food and grandma’s mayonnaise cake.

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Sunday morning we packed up and hit the road at 6am. We were able to watch the sunrise.  And we actually had nice weather driving back to NJ.  90% of our trips to/from Indiana have involved hail, insane amounts of rain to the point of pulling over so we don’t crash, and/or tornado-like winds.  This trip did not and we are forever grateful.

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[You really can see the difference in the flat Indiana land vs the mountainous Pennsylvania landscape in the pictures above!]

We pulled into our driveway at 5:30 pm and Forest calmly said “I guess I’ll start mowing, you want to start dinner?”  Our grass was seriously so tall!  I was momentarily embarrassed until I saw the lawn down the road, it was much worse than ours.  Phew.

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And that was our trip to Indiana in a very condensed nutshell.  We loved being back in the Midwest, surrounding ourselves with family and friends, reminiscing days past and making new memories, eating too much and sleeping in late, and, yes, going to restaurants we don’t have in NJ.

I love the Carrie Underwood song “Thank God for Hometowns” and I think of it every time we come home from being in Indiana.  Here’s the chorus:

Thank God for hometowns // And all the love that makes them go round // Thank God for county lines that welcome you back in // When you were dying to get out // Thank God for church pews // And all the faces that won’t forget you // When you’re lost out in this crazy world // You got somewhere to go to get found // Thank God for hometowns.

 

Until next time — Cindy

all images are original to A View from the Shore.

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