I suppose I'll start off where I left off.
We left Tampa with a plan and since leaving my original nest with my mom I've missed out on a lot of visits with family from out of state so you could say this swoop of ours was sort of a 'catch-up' for me. Plus B had not met any of them either! (She's such a sport, y'all.) With our plan we only had 4 days to make it to New Orleans for a Glass Animals concert so we were on a slight time crunch.
We traveled north first to visit my cousin, Evelyn, whom I haven't seen in almost a decade, and her family. We had a really great visit that included lots of playing with Ryder, her son, and catching up over dinner at ___ in Ocala, FL. It definitely won't be another 8 years before I see y'all again! Way too long. Thanks for having us. Next time we'll do it at our place. :)
We departed the next morning before dawn so that we could get to Georgia for breakfast with my great uncle, aunt, and little cousin, Erick. As it turns out we also showed up on my uncle's birthday! Yay birthday breakfast! It was such a treat to spend time with them. We ate at Cracker Barrel, went to the flea market, and got to check out a project my uncle helped with at their church. He did a total revamp of an old Ice House and turned it into a beautiful Children's Church next door to theirs. It's really great to be reminded where you come from, especially when it's such a humble and talented beginning. Thanks, Aunt Joan and Uncle Bubba, we loved our visit and can't wait to do it again!
After breakfast we hit the road running, so to speak. We had a date with my cousin, Jessie, and her family to go out onto the Chattahoochee River for the day. (Way down yander on the Chattahoochee, it gets hotter than a...well you know the song. Lol.) Anywho. We left Lake Park and head toward Columbus. Neither B or myself had ever seen that part of Georgia so it was a pleasant drive full of new scenery. We even made a small detour to an estate sale where we scored a never used tent that we totally needed. Such a great find. When we finally got to Jessie's we were greeted with big hugs from her and her boys. My very strong cousin is the proud mother of 3 boys and the oldest is merely 10! Add in their dad, Lewis, and she's just a little more out numbered, haha. We all loaded up and headed to the river to make some memories. It was a great day for the river, hot and clear. That night we all just hung out and played dice like our parents used to do when we were kids. It's so funny how aging happens and traditions are made without your young eyes noticing. Jessie and I are the two granddaughters that are closest in age so we've always been really close. It was so good to see her living her dream of being a wife and mother. I'm super proud to see how she and her babies are growing, and I can't wait to play dice with those boys one day when they're old enough! Love you guys!
Sunday we woke up and made breakfast with the boys, which was just adorable. Cayden, 10, helped Brittany cook and Masan, 5, helped me do the dishes while Carson the 2 year old ran around like a wild man. They're some really cute kids, y'all. After the breakfast extravaganza we hit the road again heading for my oldest cousin, Stevie, who is also watching my precious Eleanor. Who sees the foreshadowing of a cuddle session? Hehe. :)
Getting to Stevie was the longest drive time we had to accomplish in this particular journey, from Georgia to Louisiana. We left around noon but didn't get to Albany until after 9 because of some insane traffic at the LA border. We got there just as everything was winding down from the activity we were supposed to be a part of. It was good though, we all piled on the couches and had a pretty great Netflix party. Unfortunately Stevie had to work early the next morning, but we did get to watch more Netflix with Kayla, her partner that we love so dearly. ;) If you haven't started watching Sense 8, you are missing out! It's a good one. :)
Next time I insist on more quality time and less TV time though. I sure do miss getting to just hang out with my cousins. You're all so different and wonderful in your own ways. Love you guys! Don't forget about me while I'm on the west coast! Just kidding...kind of.
That Monday we had a date with Glass Animals in New Orleans at the Civic Theater and we made it out there with enough time to hang out with our friend Joel beforehand. Another friend of ours Dustin from Mississippi that we met at the Purple Hatters Ball in May also came in for the show! It is definitely our favorite to revisit the friends we make on the road. Like I've said before the connections made on this journey have the biggest impact on us. We learn something new and different from everyone; it's important to recognize each lesson and grow from every experience. Speaking of beautiful connections let's get back to the concert, shall we? Glass Animals put on an incredible show. The music they make is the type that you feel all the way to your core. The Internet describes their album Zaba as a heady mix if tribal beats, shimmering percussion, and alien - sounding grooves, which I thought was too perfect not to quote.
After our night in NOLA we had a quick week of visits to get to. We made it to Baton Rouge on Tuesday where B dropped me off to hang out with my grandma while she went to spend time with hers. Grandmother's are so special, wouldn't you agree? :) Along with grandma time, I also got good family time with every one else too.
I'll have to write again later about our second adventure west! Thanks for reading this one! I'll try to make the next one soon. Love to you all!!
~°~until next time, Jordan.