Patti and Kenny - Live Oak, FL

Trip Start Feb 19, 2011
Trip End Mar 08, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, February 21, 2011

Tracy was able to get some shut eye but woke up when I hit the backroads and the turns began.  We passed up the drive due to it being unpaved and our exhaustion.  So we arrived in the wee hours of February 21st and were greeted by a warm welcome.  Mom and Linda were awake with my aunt Patti and uncle Kenny and they showed us to our room where they had a huge bon voyage card made up and signed for us. Very sweet and appreciated! 

February 22nd

 After waking up we laced up our running shoes and hit the pavement.  It is always interesting how at the beginning of our trips we conserve money and exercise diligently but our good habits tend to dwindle.  Hopefully this trip will set a new precedent!  The funniest thing to me was the pc repair and supply business that was along the country road in what looked like a regular house.  We logged about 3.68 miles and got back for a shower and breakfast.
While I was cleaning up Tracy went for a walk with the all the girls and they saw some of the dairy farm.  It is a huge farm with 1000s of cows so it is pretty undeveloped around there.

Kenny took us to see his shop and small engine.  He builds the engines by machining the parts from blocks of metal and it is very cool.  He redesigned the one he is currently working on to make it servicable.  It is a single stroke, but it is still being worked on.  I am excited to see his progress after the next couple of years.  He is going to build another single stroke next and then a 2 and a 4 cylinder.  He has a really nice setup and plenty of room in the garage.

My cousin Paul, his wife Yun, and their baby Saoirse came up from south Florida to visit and stay overnight.  I may be partial but she is precious.  So cute and she did not fuss much at all.  She seemed to have an independant streak, but also very cuddly.  Paul and Yun make great parents and Patti and Kenny were awestruck with her smiles and giggly nature.

Between pouring affection on Saoirse and eating the copious amounts of bananas (everybody brought some!), we began an epic game of Tripoli.  The rules seemed to change every other hand as we were remembering how to play and exploring the many variations.  It is like monopoly in that respect - gets a kind of "house rules needed" feel.

February 23

We mostly sat around talking and eating a breakfast of eggs, ham, fruits, and toast.  Simple yet prefect.  We picked up some small oranges and I have caught up on any vitamin C deficiencies.

After the relaxed morning, we all piled into a couple of vehicles and drove out to the Suwannee River, west of Live Oak.  The area was beautiful and great for a nice walk.  It has been made famous through song and dance and Saoirse enjoyed the outdoors quite a lot.  The others had to run some errands so we saw one of Florida's fresh springs and it must have been a good year for frogs.  The bank had a ton of tadpoles swimming about.

When we got back, they had a small birthday celebration for Tracy and we all took some family photos.  Patti used her new crockpot (thank you Linda) to make up the most delicious ribs! There were enough left over for us to take for lunch the next day.  Paul's family headed home to south Florida and we played some more Tripoli which Patti ran away with.  She had lots of good poker hands!  We watched the british version of the movie 'Death at a funeral' and wound down.  It is always the oddest atmosphere after having a child in the house for a few days and then they leave.  It makes the heart ache a little bit.

February 24

After eating and packing up lunch we are back on the road.  We also got an email about updating our resumes and esl experience from the Peace Corp placement office.  Not sure if this will end up making our departure earlier or not... stay tuned!  : )
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