The Big Trip, Part III – The Rest of the Story

Finally, vacation was at an end, and it was time to go home. It was going to be a pretty long trip, so we decided to stop and go to a u-pick fruit place and get some raspberries.

The whole thing was sort of a disaster, from start to finish. It was really, really hot and the kids were tired and in a bad mood. We were there later in the day and the raspberries were pretty picked over, so it was tough to get many berries. Eventually, Sara took Evie over to pick peaches and I just tried to amass as many raspberries as I possibly could in a short time. We ended up getting a decent amount of raspberries, some peaches, and a big bucket of cherries, pre-picked and pre-pitted.

Later that night, after we were home and the kids were in bed, Sara and I made a big batch of raspberry freezer jam. Our strawberry freezer jam was quite delicious, so we have high hopes for the raspberry variety. It was actually quite simple to do.

This was followed the next night by a big batch of (sort of) cherry pie filling, with the fresh cherries. Our previous canning experience had been very successful and had left us with a lot of confidence and a lot of canning supplies. This time was no different, everything went smashingly. So we’re looking forward to our next canning experience as well as the delicious cherry deserts in our future.

In terms of what I was up to while the family was gone, it wasn’t all fun and games. Usually when something like this happens, I get excited thinking about all the free time I’m going to have. By the time it gets here, I have a big list of things to do, and I end up being busier than I usually am. So I said to myself, “I’m going to get all of this stuff done early in the week, so I can relax at the end of the week. The problem was, Sara called and updated the list midweek!

Sara: “I thought of some other things you could add to the list!”
Me: “I wasn’t really looking for more things…”
Sara: “I know, but it’s just stuff that we never have time to do.”
Me: “You know what else I never have time to do? Relax!”

The exciting thing about not having Sara there is eating all the things I don’t normally get to eat. In this case, that meant venison burgers and ham and noodles. Ham and noodles is one of my all time favorite meals, and is simply fried ham with slightly crunchy fried noodles. It was so good, I ate it twice.

There were two stories that I didn’t manage to fit anywhere else in these blog posts, so I am including them here:

  1. After I dropped the family off in Michigan and was driving back to Chicago, I ran into one of the worst rain storms I’ve ever seen in my life. I couldn’t see anything except the tail lights in front of me. That was all fine and well until about 5 cars in front of me simultaneously pulled over to the side of the road. After that I couldn’t see anything at all, so I pulled over as well. It was raining so hard (just rain, no wind) that even parked I couldn’t see out of my windshield. After sitting for 20 minutes or so, I decided to keep going. Just to occupy myself, I started counting the number of cars pulled over on the side of the road, waiting it out. I passed 52 cars! I can only imagine how many were pulled over at the height of the storm. Basically, the entire highway was shut down.
  2. When I was loading the car, I put the suitcases in the trunk and then went back for another load, leaving the trunk open. When I came back, I discovered that a bird had pooped into the trunk and onto the suitcases. Thanks a lot, universe.