November and December 2022 was all about FAMILY
A month in Foley, AL with Pam's parents
A month in Altanta, GA with Susan and Dan, Hannah and Cam, and Samantha (we missed you, Henry!)
CELEBRATING OUR GROWING FAMILY
Taking a bit of a break
This year we have travel many places and, with the exception of Maine, we have stayed a short time in each location. We wanted to expierence extending our time in one place. Also, campground prices are generally less expensive by the month. When planning, a month seemed like a long time - would we run out of things to do? (Hint: no) Would we get bored? (Also, no)
Our month in Foley, Alabama visiting Pam's parents
Bella Terra RV Resort
An interesting concept - all Class A RV spots were privately owned and the owners could choose whether or not to rent out their space. Some owners had small homes (1BR 1BA) or partial homes (indoor living room, outdoor kitchen and lanai). A beautiful clubhouse with daily activities was in the center. We aren't ready to make this type of purchase, but gave us something to think about as a possibility in the future. For this trip, it was a great location - just a few mile bike ride to Pam's parent's house. Sue and Bruce were gracious hosts and let us use their car to explore.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Pam's parent's home with Pam's brother, Bruce, and his wife, Lo, and our nephew Jack. Bruce cooked a standing rib roast, and thoughts of Thanksgiving turkey disappeared with the first bite. It was a wonderful day.
Overnight trips to Biloxi for some fun casino time
Taste of the Islands fundraiser
Chats, Cards, Laughter ❤️
Zoom baby shower
Our month in Atlanta
A week before Christmas we arrived in Marietta, GA at Dobbins Airforce Reserve Base, about 30 minutes from Susan and Dan's home. We rented a car for the month and got all settled in just in time to hear the weatherman say words like "historic low temperatures" and "freeze-mageddon." Fortunately, we were ready. See Trip's Deeper Dive #13 here.
Our Christmas present from Susan and Dan was tickets to see a live production of A Christmas Carol in downtown Atlanta. What an experience! We left with tears in our eyes and filled with the Christmas Spirit.
Hannah and Cameron came for a few days over Christmas and we all went to experience the Christmas lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Christmas Eve. So magical. Christmas Day was special - but missed those who couldn't be with us. Pam made Beef Wellington for the first time ever and now that is a must for the holiday meal.
We said goodye to Hannah and Cam the day after Christmas and settled down to watch a movie that evening. Susan (then 39 weeks pregnant) complained of off and on cramping - which turned out to be the beginning of labor! 24+ hours later we headed to the hospital. And another 30+ hours later, sweet baby Alden Chester Hoffman was born on 12/29/22, weighing 7lb 4oz. Susan and Dan worked together so well, and Pam was fortuate enough to witness it all at the hospital.
Samantha flew down on January 1 and met her nephew when he was 2 days old. She spent about a week with us - working remotely during the day, and spending evenings loving sweet Alden. Her Christmas present to us was a day visit to the Georgia Aquarium - and what a day it was! We had such a great time with her, and the aquarium is a must see if you're ever in Atlanta.
Susan and Dan have spent the last few weeks geting to know their little boy. We spent afternoons with them and some evenings. We all went for many walks, doctor appointments for Alden, and just enjoyed being with each other. It was a pretty spectacular time.
We leave Atlanta knowing Susan and Dad are on a good path forward for success with Alden. He is such a good baby, and they are quickly learning how to read each other. Our hearts are full with love for this new little boy. Alden Chester Hoffman - see Trip's editorial here.
Taking some time off
Pam has had back problems for several years now, and was diagnosed with a slipped vertebrae about 4 years ago. Since we have been traveling, our active lifestyle has increased her symptoms and we decided to get another MRI when we were in Alabama. The slip has increased and surgery was advised for 2023. We decided sooner rather than later was a good idea, and surgery is scheduled at Johns Hopkins in early February. Our friends in Annapolis have gathered around us with a warm welcome home and we will stay with them for a couple of weeks until Pam feels ready to travel. After that, we will finish recuperating in Richmond at Trip's mom's home. She has graciously allowed us use of her home and car while she is in Florida. Our home on wheels will be in storage while we focus on this surgery and recovery. We have lots of hiking and exploring in our future plans, and Pam would prefer to do it pain free!