So let's go back in time to June 2007. Dave and I were a few days away from being married, and Tim and Janice gave us our wedding gift -- a week of their timeshare. I think their original timeshare is in Florida but it can be exchanged for anywhere in the world. They had already shared a week with us when we traveled to Europe the previous summer. We couldn't wait to use it!
Fast forward to Summer 2012. We had just moved back to Ontario and I linked up with Kelly's Korner for some "Show Us Your Life House" posts. I started getting to know some really great bloggers. Like Kelly. (Who was my first regular commenter starting with this post. And really?!?! Was Miss Rachel ever this small?! sniff.) And Erika. And Amy. (Who both came to my blog through this post.) And eventually I met Sherry (through this post). And many others as well.
And through all of you I started learning more about the Southern US. I was introduced to Ro-Tel. And bows. And Sonic. And "Bless your heart." And smocking. And about a million other things I'd never heard of. And I decided that someday I would need to continue my Southern US education and come visit you all. So I started mentioning "our Southern Road Trip" to Dave. Because that's how plans get made :)
And I continued to get to know all of you through our blogs and through e-mails. And you have all changed my life. I am currently drinking tea out of a cute mug Sherry sent to me. I have green onions growing on my windowsill thanks to a money-saving tip from Erika. One of Kelly's recipes is on my menu plan for next week. And the first mail Amy ever sent to Canada is sitting on my desk! And, thanks to a trip to the States, there's Ro-Tel in my pantry :)
The other part of this story goes back to Tim and Janice. I met them when Tessa was nine months old and I was single. They adopted me into their family and I got to travel to Virginia with them when Tessa was 2 1/2. Virginia is where Tim and Janice met, where Tim's parents live, and where a lot of Janice's extended family lives. You cannot officially be a part of their family until you've been there :) And poor Dave has never been. And Virginia is not that far from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Can you all see where this is going?
This past summer Tim and Janice had to cancel their family vacation, so at the end of August, Janice asked me, "What if we all traveled together to Virginia in March, and then went to a timeshare somewhere for a week?" (Because over six years later, we still hadn't used our wedding gift from them!) I thought about it for 2.3 seconds and said, "YES!" Because who is going to say "No thank you" to vacations?! Then I checked in with Dave, who also said, "YES!" and the planning began.
We are headed out around mid-March. We'll spend a few days in Virginia with Tim's parents. Then we're headed to Hilton Head, South Carolina for almost a week. We're looking forward to exploring Savannah (yep, I know it's in Georgia!), maybe finding some dolphins, and just hanging out together.
Then, Dave, Sam, Rachel, and I are driving home through Georgia where we'll get to meet Erika, Matt, and Millie (whose presence in Matt and Erika's life I've been praying for since 2012!!!) in person. We're connecting with Kelly before we head off to South Carolina. Amy and I will get to live the same lives in the same place for a day, and then we're meeting up with Sherry and her family in North Carolina. I can't wait to hold Baby Mattox, introduce Rachel to her twin, Brody, and celebrate Sam and Evan's birthdays together.
But most of all, I can't wait to meet each of you blog friends, hug you (if that's not too weird!), and just spend time with you. I just wish I could visit Texas, Oklahoma, and Indiana and meet in real life some of the amazing bloggers I've met in those places. Next time...
So this trip was planned before my parents asked us if we wanted to come to Mexico for two weeks, which is why the timing of all of our vacation this year is compressed into about six weeks.
It'll be crazy.
It'll be great!
And, most of all,
I CAN'T WAIT!!!