Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Adventure with Andrea and Roar

I've written about Andrea many times before, referring to her as my cousin-sister or my sister-cousin. She's technically my first cousin; her father and my mother are brother and sister. But we're more like sisters, really, than first cousins, and I should know because I have twenty-seven first cousins, and that's not counting by marriage.

Andrea and I don't adventure together often enough, which is a shame because--in all the best ways--she likes to shake things up; she's up for anything; and sometimes I think she has the power to stretch time. Not to mention: she's a good conversationalist, and she loves my kids.

Charleigh and Andrea. Photo by Emmanuel Artis (editing mine).

We decided to take the little kids north to see Grandma B., and I think we both thought Vanderhoop would accompany us, but Andrea called at the butt crack of dawn, traveling day, and asked if she could bring Emmanuel, instead. I didn't know Emmanuel but confirmed there was plenty of room for him in the van, so we set out soon enough.


We stopped, first, at Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church in Sperryville, where we picnicked on a shaded, wooden table. I looked up mid-sandwich to see a man walking toward us and wondered if he'd give us the boot, but he (Carl) turned out to be one of the most hospitable people I've met, to date. It was beautiful, really.

From there: Dinosaur Land in White Post. I'd wanted to stop so many times, but the timing had always been off. This particular day was perfect for visiting dinosaur statues (some of which are fifty years old, and some of which have been created or repaired by Mark Cline)--not to mention a giant octopus, a giant shark, and King Kong--in the middle of the woods. We were talking about our favorite parts of the experience, later, and Andrea said: "My favorite part was seeing how much you loved it." And yes. I was reluctant to ever leave Dinosaur Land.

After Dinosaur Land, we visited Grandma (who renamed Emmanuel "Roar") in Williamsport, Maryland and traveled on to Uncle Ronnie's and Aunt Carolyn's house in Hagerstown. They had warm pizza and beds waiting for us. We visited with Aunt Ellie's family and, the next day, with Uncle Danny (Andrea's dad), our cousin Megan, and again, with Grandma. We delivered a box of Charleigh's outgrown clothes to a woman who works for Jim out of Hagerstown and shopped the Mennonite market, and I have more (and deeper) thoughts to share but will save them for my next post.


  1. Brandee....a day in the life of you and your wonderful family is always a beautiful adventure....always enjoy your awesome pics...I am sorry I did not get back with you on the is mine ( Love ya dear friend. Look forward to your further insight on the visit. :-)

  2. We had a dinosaur place here in Oregon, but now it's all abandoned and the poor dinosaurs are all falling apart. :(