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People and Places

It is not down in any map; true places never are. ~ Herman Melville

I’ve been lucky in my life that I’ve found many true places. Places that wait patiently for me to return, some are physical places while others are memories and moments in time.

This past week I was able to visit several of my favorite true places and find several more. We went visiting for the holidays. Our first time in a few years. We went south; first to spend Christmas with grandparents and other family in Baltimore then further south to Florida to see old (haha) friends and more family.

We all had a blast, especially the kids. So much fun that Dylan made plans to go visit his cousin at college in Delaware. He'd like to see what her school is all about since it has what he wants to study as well as a lacrosse program, so he’s all in for an adventure all his own. Plus his cousin is very persuasive. Like extremely persuasive!

Hanging out with friends in Florida that we don’t see enough, sleeping late and afternoons spent shopping was exactly what we all needed. We also spent an afternoon in Miami where the kids and I met Welsh cousins and they got to hear funny stories about their grandfather from his older brother. Dylan loved spending time with Uncle Bob and hearing his stories and Emma was surprised that Dad could have such wicked cool cousins.

I fell in love with Miami and can't wait until I can get back and explore Coconut Grove. It helps that I get to see some fun people again. In fact, I'm hard at work planning the next trip! Another true place found.

Oh, did I mention that we decided to drive on this holiday journey?

Happily, it was one of our best car trips ever! Even though it spanned almost 3,000 miles and 12 states it was so much easier to travel now that they’re older and we don’t have to stop, nor is it my responsibility to keep them occupied during the ride. With the exception of some minor bickering over who had more of the backseat and one unfortunate car sickness episode, being in the car was a pretty fun part of the trip. We laughed and talked; we made fun of Pat and his driving.

Even the Homeresque drive back from Florida which found us driving 21 hours had some really fun parts. Like wandering around a rest stop in Georgia trying to figure out how to walk again and wondering what emergency would require purchasing a case of Vienna sausage at a highway rest stop. Or, driving through North Carolina in the middle of the night; the kids sleeping quietly and Pat resting since he would be taking over at some point. I turned on the radio and found a kicking oldies station playing Stevie Wonder, Stephen Stills, Billy Squire, and more. Driving in the dark, singing with Pat, was a high part; a new true place in a relationship filled with them.

2012 was a good year for us and I’m hopeful that 2013 will bring more of the same.

Happy New Year everyone, here’s to finding the places and people that enrich our lives.

Barbara Mulvey-Welsh is a mother, writer and blogger raising kids and a husband in Plymouth. Check out her blog at "Did I Say That Out Loud?"  Use caution when reading around the family, there is some strong language.

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