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O'Canada! Let Operation Find Snow Commence! Part 1 of 2!

Wow. I'm a bit behind, but life has been a bit CRAZZZZYYYY! And, honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way! We did it! Alex and I made it to Canada! Spring Road Trip 2022, was fun, full of family, and adventurous, for sure. Steve decided at the last minute to go on part of the trip with us, which was great for many reasons. 1. family time is always the best. 2. a 3rd driver (who is an adult). 3. I got to relax and nap, because...see #2!

Left home at 4pm after my oncologist (Dr. NK is the BEST) said my surgeon got all the cancer. The weight of the past year rolled right off my chest. Steve was with me (the 1st time anyone had been to any appts with me), and as we came out I handed him the keys to the car and allowed the tears to flow, the relief to wash over me, and the joy of the moment to truly sink in! We ran home, grabbed Alex, and hit the road. I told Steve our goal was Valdosta, GA, and there was a WalMart we could sleep at, he was mildly uncomfortable, but Alex started the trip as 1st driver, he and Steve took turns, I watched a movie and napped in the backseat, and ultimately woke up in the WalMart parking lot!

That day we visited my parents for lunch, then went to my sister, Cherrise's, where we all walked into downtown Woodstock, had dinner, then ice cream, and the absolute best time! We parked in their driveway and woke up in the morning to Cherrise bringing us individually made coffees made with her AWESOME coffee maker and lots of love!

Next stop was Fishers, IN, but 1st we made a pit stop at The Candied Rib, just outside of Nashville, TN. If you get a chance, stop in, try their amazing barbecue and original sauces! Tell them The Crazy Lady sent you!!! You will NOT be disappointed - Lisa and Craig are the BEST! After a quick catch up, we headed to Howard and Simone's, and it just so happened to be their 2nd son's birthday (he's a grown man, but, it was soooo nice to celebrate a birthday with Christian after all these years). We also got to meet Xerxes, feline or not, Xerxes is family! Simone and I talked well into the late hours (and could keep talking, were I not falling asleep). And, it was good to see Howie and Steve catching up after what was too many years!

I'm sure you're wondering where O'Canada fits in, be patient young padawan, the journey is half the adventure!!! The next morning we left IN and headed to PA, where Carri planned a get together for our family. I cannot begin to describe the overwhelming emotions I felt walking into her house. It had been 6 years since I had been to my hometown. Family has always been important to me, but I cannot describe the love that I have for my family, and seeing so many of them (Jason and Stacy drove from WV) did my heart good. Time and circumstances get away from you, but the past year has taught me the importance of keeping my priorities in check - and that begins with doing things that make my heart smile - seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles meant everything to me. I hope each of them knows how very much I love them. After a wonderful evening of catching up and meeting my 3rd cousins Jaxon and RaeLynn (Jennifer's grandbabies) I tried to figure out how I could ever thank Carri and Joe enough, We spent the next day with the guys doing guy stuff, Carri and I traipsing around the Washington Cemetery looking for our grandma and great grandma's gravesites (which we found with a little help from the office). Then on Tuesday, Joe took Steve to the airport at 4am (yikes), and Alex and I headed North in search of snow and access to Canada.

We stocked up on food at a WalMart (yes, it really is a great place for travelers) in New York, then headed to Niagara and the Rainbow Bridge. Apparently, last year, when they wouldn't let me in to drive to Alaska, I was red-flagged, so had to explain to Border Patrol why, then I was informed that we still had to do ArriveCan, and have a Covid test, which everything I read that morning said otherwise. So after NOT getting in, I had to go explain to a disgruntled US Border Patrol WHY I was coming home and couldn't get in to Canada. We then drove to a tent offering Covid tests for $65 a piece - lucky us. After a very unpleasant testing, we went to Niagara State Park to wait for our results. $10 to get into the park $4 to cross the bridge. Anyway, the falls were MAGNIFICENT. My 1st time seeing them in the winter, and I was not disappointed. There was still ice and snow, we got amazing pictures, then drove back over the bridge to gain access to Canada. After going through all the questioning again, showing our results, telling them where we were going (to which they asked me where that was, and my response was "140 miles north"), they FINALLY let us in. We made a quick call to Meghan, turned off our phones and drove 3 hours north arriving at Derrick and Irina's at 7:45pm. We were elated, so excited to see them after 2.5 years! The next day, there was ice rain and snow, we slept in Natasha, took pictures of her with the snow and ice, we had a fire in the fireplace, Derrick cooked curry chicken for us, Leana came over with Landon, 8 months old and sweet as can be, it was just the best time catching up and we are so grateful for the last minute hospitality!

Do you have someone you can call who lives over 1,000 miles away and show up 3 hours later? Our families encourage my crazy, inspire me, and are even a bit crazy themselves!

We left and wanted to see a bit more of Canada. I've never driven west of Toronto, so drive through that area and went into the USA on the eastern side of New York. I loved that we finally made it into Canada, but there is nothing quite like coming home into the USA. A sense of patriotism and gratitude for living in this country.

Embrace your crazy, you never know what your next adventure might be!

CrazyLady - BeCrazy!

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