Monday, October 18, 2010

Girls' Weekend in Ohio!

I've gotta write about the awesome week I just had with my sisters and my mom. Mindy, Susanna, my mom and I all flew back to Merilee's house in Ohio last week for four blissful days without our children or husbands! It was such fun. We spent almost all of our time doing what we Packard girls do best--SHOPPING, of course! Oh, and driving, because everything in Ohio is spread out. I'll also mention that much time was also spent laughing so hard we cried (okay, mostly me. I'm soooo emotional right now!), trying to steal pictures of each other sleeping with Susanna's enormous neck pillow in the car, and staying up as late as possible while managing to get up as early as possible for another car ride into the city. Really, I can't write much about this trip without thinking of a million inside jokes that would make no sense to anyone but us. There is nothing in the world like being with my sisters!

Ohio is so gorgeous this time of year, and Merilee lives on a perfect tree-lined country lane in a perfect country house on a huge piece of gorgeous property. Picture that classic Microsoft Windows computer wallpaper with the grassy hill and clouds floating over it: that's exactly what Merilee's backyard looks like. So pretty! I LOVED it--too bad it takes fifteen hours of traveling to get there. I wish I could visit all the time.  

One day we drove into Cincinnati and met our cousin Wade's wife, Nancy, who lives nearby. She spent the day shopping with us and it was such a fun day. Nancy met us at an awesome Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic clearance center that is basically a step down from their outlet stores. I found some amazing deals on clothes and shoes for the whole family. That day we also made it to Ikea, SugarCraft, and had dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. You'd think three stores and dinner wouldn't take all day, but you don't know us...we shop until we drop (or find some diet pepsi).

Another day was spent in Amish country in Ohio. We visited some stores there including a grocery, a cheese factory, and a bakery. The whole days' travel was mostly focused on one thing: sprinkles! It is a little known fact that the Amish sell sprinkles of all types in bulk in their grocery stores. Merilee knows all the best places to shop in Ohio! So we filled up our baskets with dozens of little containers and later had a little sprinkle dividing/swapping party as well as cheese tasting. It's so fun when everyone buys something different and we all can share. Note to anyone traveling by plane with sprinkles in their carry-on bag: you WILL be searched.

Now you would think that between the five of us, at least one would have remembered a camera; but I think we were all just so excited to get away from home that nothing else mattered. So that's why I have no pictures of my trip. I am so glad Tim was so good about taking time off to take care of the kids. It was fabulous to come home to happy kids and a clean house. I'm grateful to the other men as well- especially Hans, who not only watched his children, but cooked some fabulous food for us and provided scintillating conversation to boot! Thanks, Hans and Merilee! I'm so glad you're mine.