Two adults and four kids walk onto a plane…

We now has passports in hand for Josie and Joseph. I was surprised how fast they processed the applications. In fact, they did it so quickly, we may have enough time to apply for Bolivia visas for them.

So now my attention turns to other things, like how the heck we are going to survive travel in a plane with four children, two of whom will be on our laps.

Yeah, we are taking them as lap kids. I mean, there’s really no way around it. The tickets are going to run about $1,100-1,200 apiece, and I am willing to endure 8 hours of insanity on a plane to save a couple grand.

Plus, there is a decent chance they will put us at the back of the plane with some empty seats, at least on the flight to Bolivia. If that happens, BONUS.

I came across a cool blog entry today about a clip toy a mom made for her toddler. This looks like something that’s right up Josie’s alley:

I think I’ll try to make one myself.

Passport photo collage: Josie

Later this year we are planning to visit Bolivia. It has been two years — and two babies! — since our last trip there.

In the past we have always shot our own photos for passports. Heck, I did my own passport this way even before I met Yoli, sending in a (pretty bad) snapshot taken against a wall that I happened to have two of.

Taking photos of babies and toddlers can be pretty tricky. And each round of photos we took had some problem that made me decide to redo them. So we ended up with almost 100 photos of Joseph and Josie before all was said and done.

For the heck of it, I decided to grab six photos of each child and make a little collage. Josie’s is maybe a little more interesting since she was making all sorts of faces.

The Hermitage … and then home

The last part of our trip was an overnight in Nashville. I had booked a motel room in Hermitage, since it was close to the highway and along our route from Bristol. At the time I booked, I had no idea the significance of the name “Hermitage.” In fact, it refers to the estate of President Andrew Jackson.

On the first day of our vacation, as we drove from St. Louis to Bristol, we had kept our eyes open for the Hermitage exit we would be taking 9 days later. As we neared it, I spotted a huge dam with four big spillways. It was right before our exit. I made a mental note to check it out when we came back through.

Continue reading “The Hermitage … and then home”

Beautiful Bristol

There are uncertainties in any big trip. For me, one of the biggest concerned our time in Bristol with my great-great-uncle Jerry and his wife Thelma.

Jerry is the younger brother of my great-grandma Becker. I first connected with him almost exactly 2 years ago as a result of my family tree research. I had found a lot of documents relating to his parents and their immigrations to America.

We have been in touch semi-regularly by phone and online since then. The idea for our trip to Washington had its roots in a conversation I had with Jerry about how beautiful the leaves and trees were in Virginia in the fall, and what a scenic drive it would be.

Continue reading “Beautiful Bristol”

Purple mountain majesty

We traveled across 3 states yesterday (Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee) and stopped just inside the border of Virginia to stay with my uncle Jerry and aunt Thelma. We had a great time last night eating spaghetti and telling family stories.

The trees have been very lovely everywhere (except Illinois, which was somewhat drab), and now that we are in mountainous country, everything is so scenic.

This morning uncle Jerry took us to a lovely park in Bristol and later we took a walk through a wetland, which the girls really enjoyed.

We are all in one piece, and the girls did amazingly well yesterday. The hardest part of the journey is over. Today we continue on to Harrisonburg!