Since we don’t have family in the area and we don’t get to see our families as often as we’d like, our tradition at Christmas has always been to visit both families. This has worked well for us for the past five years. It varies which family we visit first, but this year we started our Christmas journeys with the two-hour drive to Columbus, Ohio to spend a few days with Jeff’s family.
We got the special treat of having Jeff’s grandma with us this year. She moved recently and it’s now feasible for her to come to family gatherings. We missed seeing Doug and Karen and Brian and Tanya, but greatly enjoyed our time with Grandma, Jeff’s parents, and Kevin, Laura, and Max.
Our nephew, Max, is a bundle of fun and energy right now. This is about as still as he gets!
All too soon it was time to pack up the car again and go over the river and through the cornfields to visit my family in central Illinois. This time the trip was more like six hours plus. We switched drivers about half way, and stopped for an eat-in dinner, which really helped to break up the trip. More often than not, we find ourselves driving on Christmas Day. This year was no exception. I just have to say thank goodness for Chinese restaurants! This was the third year we’ve eaten Chinese for Christmas dinner — each time in Champaign, Illinois. They are the only places open on Christmas!
We had a nice 3-day visit (no pictures, sorry!), which was actually a day longer than expected. We started out for home on a Tuesday morning, only to quickly discover the Subaru didn’t want to go home (apparently). We’d had some intermittent trouble with it earlier in the month, but had it checked out only for it to run perfectly while at the shop. That’s the trouble with intermittent trouble!
Long-story short… the oxygen sensors had gone bad, and the shop said they could have the replacement parts in first thing the next morning. We were on the road 24 hours later and $400 lighter. Without going into all the details, it really could have been a lot worse: a longer delay and a more expensive repair. The delay even meant we got to spend a couple hours with our good friends Katie and Rodney, whom we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to see.
All in all, it was a good Christmas!