Last year, one of the SibSabs (Sibling Sabbatical) we had was a biking trip to Northwest Arkansas where our two sisters live. We enjoyed it so much, that we decided to repeat it this year but with a slight twist. As last year, my brother turned his trip from Philadelphia to our sister’s house into a baseball pilgrimage taking in three games over three days as he traversed the country.
For me, it was just a 5.5-hour drive across the state but with a bit of a scare.
When I drove over to my sister’s house in May prior to us driving out to California together, I got caught in a hailstorm that turned out doing over $4,000 damage to my fun car. Ironically, on this trip I was once again caught in another severe storm in the exact same place. As the large rain drops pelted my windshield with the sound I had experienced in the last trip, it brought back up all the trauma of that previous trip. Fortunately, this time it was just large rain drops and not hail. But, even escaping this storm unscathed, I still felt I needed to make a stop before arriving at my sister’s house.
Our plan was to spend three days biking before making a trip over the weekend. Wednesday morning, we awoke to rainstorms that canceled our biking for the day. We did manage to get in a nice walk between rainstorms but not the biking we planned. However, with the rain, we did get a chance to sit out on the screened-in porch that with the forest of trees around, made it feel like we were sitting in our favorite place, Montreat.
And much to the chagrin of my brother and oldest sister, the rainy weather that day also gave my sister and I a chance to start working on our next miniature project together, a contest to design and build a unique porch.
Based on some architectural inspirations we gained on our California trip together, we decided to make some significant modifications with the new band saw my sister had purchased (more on this in a future post).
Thursday turned out to be a dry day and so we managed to get in two bike rides.
The first was along the trail we had ridden on last year that leads to downtown Bentonville. It was a joy to once again ride along these well marked and smoothly paved bike lanes. In the afternoon, we took in a different trail that even had a coffee shop along the way.
We did not stop for coffee but rather made our way over to a craft brewery where we rewarded ourselves for our strenuous exercise.
One of our sister’s sons and his wife live in the area and so we joined them also for our evening’s activities.
We also decided to add a twist to our traditional SibSab photo by taking advantage of their larger-than-life Adirondack chair giving the illusion that the three of us sitting back look like little kids next to our oldest sister.
Friday, our biking plans again got rained out and so we found other ways to amuse ourselves. In the afternoon, we first went to a hobby store where my sister and I explored further ideas for our porch. Then we drove over to visit with my oldest sister’s family who also lives in the area.
That night, we once again had dinner with my sister’s son and daughter-in-law at a nice seafood restaurant where we all had a delicious meal. Later, we went back to my sister’s house where we took in a movie while enjoying some of the desserts, we had purchased on our first rainy day together.
Thus, came to a close the first half of our SibSab, although not in the traditional sense. Gathering at a location where both my sisters had family, we did not want to isolate just the four of us and so we had taken advantage of getting in a couple of visits with them since it is not often, we get to see each other. It gave us all a chance to catch up with each other on what has been going on in our lives and grow closer as a family. And this closeness took another twist the next morning when we embarked on the second half of our SibSab.
To be continued…