I was home in Tokyo for just a few weeks before Andrew and Leigh arrived. I showed them some of the famous sites in Tokyo and Rick took them on longer outings on the weekends because my broken toe was still hurting some. We took a long weekend and went to Kyoto and Nara. They were with us for two short weeks and headed back to Dallas.
A week after their departure I flew to Salt Lake and spent time visiting my mom and helping Kristina get ready to move (she was well organized so she didn’t need much help). I guess I was good for the manual labor part of it. We moved her couch, bed and love sac to a storage unit until Alex and Stacey found an apartment to put it in. Let’s just say I’m not as strong as I used to be. We had a lot of fun. The truck we rented had issues and would only start if you moved the key around and found the right spot. For some reason I could do this and Kristina couldn’t so I guess I was helpful. Then we drove across America. It was a great drive and for most of we saw continuous corn fields. When we realized that we were going right past Kirtland, Ohio we decided to stop and tour the church historical sites there before heading to Palmyra. I am always so impressed with church properties. The spirit at both places was so strong. We saw the Hill Cumorah at dusk and the Sacred Grove early the next morning. Our visit just reconfirmed why I know the gospel is true and that Joseph Smith is truly a prophet of God.
After Palmyra we drove directly to Boston. We checked into a great little bed and breakfast and then went to move the stuff that was in the car into Kristina’s apartment. Her apartment is cute and huge. Check her blog if you want to see pictures. Then we walked to Coolidge Corner for some dinner. I can see why she was drawn to Boston…I could live there easily. It a great city and so much history. Saturday we took the “T” into the heart of the city and walked around a farmers market and Quincy Market.
After a little seafood and stroll to the harbor we headed back to get Penelope and Yolanda (Kristina’s car and GPS respectively). We wanted to go to Target to get some basics for her room, sheets, blankets, towels etc We programmed the nearest Target into Yolanda and drove straight there.
Monday was another adventure. Kris rented a u-haul and we headed to Framingham to get the boxes she had shipped. Again, we needed Yolanda’s help. When the forklift driver pulled up the boxes were very smashed but nothing was broken. Moving the boxes up to the 3rd floor without an elevator wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be and we finished quite quickly. Then we headed to Home Depot to get paint for the furniture that she bought from the former tenant. We spent the rest of the afternoon painting and ended up eating cereal for dinner.
On Wednesday we flew to Houston together and then Kristina went on to Salt Lake to help with my niece Nicole’s wedding. Rick met up with me the next day. We were there for our oldest granddaughter’s baptism. What a great day!!!
The evening of the baptism Rick and I and and James and three of his children flew to Denver. Ruth and the two other girls came on Sunday. Luke flew in from London and Allyson and her girls flew with Kris from Salt Lake. Stacey and Alex were already there and Leigh and Andrew flew up from Dallas early Sunday. Yea!!! We were finaly all together for the first time in four years. Sunday after going to church, meeting Stacey’s family for the first time and having lunch with them, we drove to Breckenridge to the mountain house that we had rented. What wonderful week we had together. We went rafting, ice skating, to a gold mine, on picnics, but most of all we just enjoyed relaxing and spending time together.
Friday we came down out of the mountains to the Denver Temple to witness Alex and Stacey’s marriage. Although it was raining it was a beautiful day and we are all so happy for them and so blessed to have Stacey in our family.
We were in Colorado for a week and I spent another few days there before flying back to Tokyo. Whew!!! The final amazing thing is that after being away from home for an entire month I hardly had any problems with jet lag!