So I'm finally back! So sorry to have left my cafe' for so long! It was good to get away for a vacation and just relax, walk on the beach, read a book and frolic in the ocean with my sister (Dana), bro-in-law (Blake) and my bro-in-law's brother (Zach). (The mom and dad would sneak in for a wave or two, as well.) There was lots of laughter and enjoyment to be had.
When we got back from the beach I was preparing mentally to get myself in check and in order to get back to work and the real life. All of a sudden, at the snap of a hat, plans were altered and I was suckered into making a roadtrip with Dana, Blake and Zach to Oklahoma. Dana and Blake moved there for Blake's job and I was so excited that they wanted me to tag along! I'm always up for a spontaneous adventure!!
Day 1: We drove through beautiful Asheville, then stopped in the "Music City" (Nashville) the first night to experience a little bit of country livin! The next morning we road around Opryland and the downtown areas to take in the sights and culture of the city.
Zach and I let the married couple take the Penske truck, while we trucked behind eating candy, singing (of course that would be me) laughing, doing impersonations of famous people and acting just crazy silly! Zach can be JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Johnny Depp in Pirates, and Bill Clinton. I couldn't stop cracking up and couldn't have asked for a better roadtrip buddy! (It was a Hubert and Sally experience ;)
Next stop: Arkansas! My cousin and his wife live in Little Rock and we were able to visit the newlyweds' first home together and take a walk around a nearby park, watching the pups run around and revel in their own delight of the open fields! Of course we couldn't eat anything else that night but some delicious BBQ for dinner, and how mouth watering it was!
The last leg of the tip: Driving into Oklahoma. At this point we were driving through more great scenery and getting anxious to make our arrival. When we finally made it in, we were welcomed with open arms by Blake and Zach's parents and siblings. My cousin, Tripp, also lives in the barn house on their farm and it was especially great to see him too!!
Their farm is just gorgeous and I loved waking up to coffee and cooler weather on the front porch every morning, swaying back and forth in the rocking chairs and watching the pups play around in the yard.
My cousin, Tripp, is a horseshoer and he let Dana and I hop on his horse, Jack, one day and take him for a little ride. I felt like a kid again, repeating "Giddy Up" every couple seconds! I can see how therapeutic it can be to ride horses and take pleasure in the sights of such a farm.
Look at that professional in action!! Thanks Tripp for such a thrill!!
An experience I'll never forget on the farm is watching the boys haul hay! It's done about twice a year at the Gastelum's and how great to have been there the day it took place! The three girls (Olivia, Dana and I) took turns driving the guys behind the truck. Those 8 boys sweated, joked and had such a great time picking up bales of hay. Who knew it could be so fun! We blasted country music inside the truck and jokingly called out for them to "hurry up," "run faster," and "geeet it!" And boy did they do just that!
Aside from all work and playing, we took time to relax in the pool, eat out, and act silly on the couch in the living room at nights. All of the pups were great entertainment, as well! There were six altogether and made me feel right at home!
What an unforgettable trip I had! The unexpected getaways seem to be the best! I couldn't have thought of a better way to end the summer and I'm looking forward to more trips to Oklahoma in the future!
Many thanks to The Gastelum's for welcoming me into their home for 2 weeks and treating me like part of the family. What love you showed and how generous you were <3