Home from the Vacation Tour of 2013

Hello, everyone! Guess what? We’re finally home! We’ve actually been home a couple of days now, but I am still trying to rest up from our wonderful vacation travels. I am so glad we made all these trips and drove these miles, but next year? We won’t do three back-to-back vacations like we did this year.

First, as you may recall, we drove to San Antonio, Texas, for my youngest sister Mikaela’s wedding to JohnDavid. We stopped on the way for an overnight visit in Houston with Andy’s best friend from high school and college. It was lovely to see Michael and his wife Clare, and especially lovely to meet their newborn daughter, Elizabeth. Then, we finished the drive to San Antonio to see my family. Here’s a snapshot that our cousin, Crystal, took while we were posing for the official photographer pictures. The Barz family has officially doubled in size from 6 to 12!

Barz Family at Mikaela's Wedding

It was so good to be together. We had not all been together since Christmas 2010 so it was time. We enjoyed spending time with our nieces and nephew. Andy spent a lot of time with those three as the sisters (plus Mom) spent a lot of time at church getting ready. It was nice to create a week of memories together! Besides, who wouldn’t want to spend time with a cute niece like this?

Addison and Aunt Kristen

Andy and I did take some of our cousins and two Aunts downtown one evening – after the wedding. We visited Mission San Jose (my favorite Mission), El Mercado (a fun Spanish market with great prices on pure vanilla), ate on the River Walk at Casa Rio (my favorite River Walk restaurant which is worth the wait), and of course, the Alamo. It’s always a good place to take pictures, too!

The Alamo - Joyfully Thriving.com

Oh, yes! Andy and I also celebrated our fourth anniversary in San Antonio. Once again, we celebrated with my family by attending Mikaela and JohnDavid’s rehearsal. We have back to back wedding anniversaries now (the 11th and 12th).

4th Anniversary

All to soon, it was time to begin the long drive back to Fort Wayne. We stopped overnight in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and made a thorough tour of the Civil War battlefields there. We were home for two days which gave us time to do laundry before turning around to leave for Waashington, DC with Andy’s parents and sister. Andy was in his element, as a history teacher, teaching us about all the historical sites we saw.

Tour of Gettysburg

Over the course of another busy week, we visited Gettysburg, Mt. Vernon, Monticello, Friedricksburg (Virginia), and Washington DC. We actually only spent one day in DC but we walked a lot to see the Capitol, Library of Congress, Ford’s Theater, and all the monuments. I wish I had been wearing a pedometer to see how far we actually walked! Of all the sites, I think Mt. Vernon was the favorite of all the Whirretts. I highly recommend a visit to George Washington’s home.

Mt. Vernon - Joyfully Thriving

Throughout the week out East, we stayed with Andy’s Uncle Tim and Aunt Pam. It was very nice to have a home to go “home” to every night. On Saturday, we begin our drive back home to Fort Wayne. We got home with enough daylight left for Andy to mow while I did laundry again. We reloaded the Tahoe before church, so we could drive to St. Louis as soon as we finished early church. Our final stop of vacation had us spending four days in Maryville, Illinois, with four sets of college friends. It was good to see everyone again! We also managed to make it over the river into St. Louis for dinner at Mikaela and JohnDavid’s new apartment with our brother Joel, one evening.

College Friends

For those of you who like travel statistics (like my father and husband), Andy and I spent 121 hours driving 6,038 miles. Whew! No wonder I am happy to be out of our Tahoe, comfortable as it is! 🙂 I love traveling, but I am always happy to be home again. Now, it is time to jump full swing into school preparations as the start of another school year is just around the corner! What have you all been up to while I was driving around the country?

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  1. You look so cute! I love your dresses! Sounds like a great way to spend some time before the crazy. Blessings on your new year!

    1. Aw, thanks! They were cute dresses…and I think I really WILL wear this one again! Blessings to you, too, on your new school year!

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