I've been away for the last week.
Spring break time at school, and once again we were able to squeeze in a trip west to visit with the "kids" and the grand kid.
The "kids" are, of course, not kids at all -- all well into their 30's and making their lives as they will -- as they do.
The trip is grueling. Two long days of driving to get there -- about 19 hours total, across some of the most desolate and empty country on the continent. We know all the places to stop; the places where we can get a decent meal and a halfway comfortable hotel room. Still, even with all of that, we arrive exhausted. The first night, we took some of our "on the road" snacking food down to the hotel breakfast room, and met my son and daughter in law for a late night "dinner." Then it was off to bed for the three of us.
The next day, we got up and walked for just a short while -- much less time than we usually spend doing that. We met at the restaurant where my daughter is working, and then took off to play tourist in one of the close in mountain towns. We had an interesting dinner at a place that my daughter in law's mother likes (don't even get me started), and headed back to the hotel very late.
Thursday was better. He and I walked early. We linked up with the "kids" and took a picnic to the park where boy child had great fun playing on the playground equipment, and everyone was able to just relax and enjoy the lovely weather.
Friday morning dawned bright and clear and warm. We packed the car and headed east again. Tired even as we started out. Some 10 hours later, as we dragged off the highway and into the hotel, it was hard to imagine the next day's drive... The last day is always the hardest. Another long day on the road. Tired. Nerves frayed. Joints aching. We made it about 9:30 last night, and we are home.
Like most travelers, we find coming home to be sweet. Time away makes us appreciate the simple pleasures of home. Tomorrow, school starts again. The laundry is all done. All my plans are made. Papers are graded and ready to go. I am as ready as can be.