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Travel 2022 – Outbound

The way my year began in 2022 with lingering COVID spikes impacting our travel, I was not sure if I would be doing much traveling as I did not go anywhere during January, February, or March.  I typically don’t like to plan trips in the first quarter due to the uncertainty of the winter weather but prior to the pandemic, I did often take a few trips in the first quarter, sometimes out of necessity.

But then starting in April, my travels took off like a rocket with seven separate trips during the second quarter.  Some of these trips I previously wrote blog posts about so if my brief synopsis here piques your interest, I have included a link to the post from last year.

A few days after April Fool’s Day, my wife and I took our first trip together out west to visit our son, daughter-in-law, and their two children.  Beyond just the chance to see them for the first time since last September, the purpose of the trip was two-fold.  First, it was a chance for our son and daughter-in-law to get away by themselves for a couple of days, their first chance in almost a year.  Second, it was for me to complete some home projects of theirs.

Last year, they purchased an almost 100-year-old home and had been doing some major renovations since then.  Before, we left home, my son e-mailed a list to me of all the things they hoped I could do while there—it was a lengthy list.  Between building several different train layouts with my grandson…

…I managed to install curtain rods and curtains in their bay windows…

…replace window shades and install some outdoor lighting.

A few weeks later, my wife and I took a long overdue trip by ourselves, our first since 2019.  With or busy schedules, we really only had time for a weekend getaway and so drove to close by St. Louis.  With the weather being perfect for outdoor activities, it was a really nice weekend and was absolutely what we needed (more details here).

A couple of days after returning from this trip, I drove over to my sister’s house in Northwest Arkansas on the first leg of what would be a westward trek for the dollhouse that she and I had been building for her grandchildren.  It was just a fast trip driving over one day and driving back the next for the delivery.

A week later, my wife and I were flying back out west, this time to Seattle to see our daughter and her family.  Like our trip out to San Francisco, this visit was also to allow our daughter and son-in-law to head off by themselves for a few days, their first time also since 2019.

Since the kids were still in school and preschool, once we dropped them off, my wife and I had a chance to spend some time by ourselves shopping and eating lunch out.  Then once picking them back up, we had some special time with just the two of them.  Once our daughter and son-in-law returned home and we heard all about their fun trip, we realized it was a win-win-win for all of us (more details here).

Three days later I was off again on what would be my longest trip of the year—a 10-day trek away from home.  After working on the doll house and furnishings off and on for almost six months, we were finally taking the doll house out to my sister’s grandchildren.  I first drove back over to my sister’s house in Northwest Arkansas before heading out early the next morning.  The drive out to California was about 1,550 miles and we did it in two long driving days.  The receipt of the doll house by the grandchildren went extremely well and it was most enjoyable to see them play with and make plans for the doll house (more details here).

My sister and I stayed with them through the weekend celebrating a couple of birthdays before driving south to visit with her other son and daughter-in-law who also live in California.  Then, I was flying back to Northwest Arkansas where I picked up car for my drive back to Memphis.

Two weeks later, I was again driving back over to Northwest Arkansas, my third trip over in less than two months.  The purpose of this trip was another biking SibSab where our two sisters live.  This trip, we also combined a drive down to north central Texas to visit our last living uncle and several of our cousins.  Both trips went very well and were very enjoyable (more details here).

Then less than two weeks later. We were heading off again on a driving trip to Orange Beach, AL with our youngest son and his family.  This is where we went last year and had such a great time, we decided to do it again this year.  Unfortunately, this year, rainy weather on most of our days there made it a different trip with the need to take in more indoor activities than the year before.  But mostly nice afternoon and evening weather gave us a chance to enjoy many of the pool and beach activities we had so enjoyed the year before (more details here).

    To be continued…

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