Monday, February 25, 2008

Families are like Fudge....

Mostly sweet with a few nuts. Haha.
A weekend visit from a large portion of John's entire family- extended and immediate, left me in an empty and quite house. Quite the opposite from a couple nights ago! Although the visit was quite adventurous, it wasn't overwhelming for me... They made it very easy on me- probably because I broke down to John about how stressed I've been since the start of the year... We have hardly had any time to ourselves and every moment has been reserved for some activity or obligation. Other than the kiddies running around, it was easy to forget that I had people staying over. The visit started on Thursday when John's parents and brother and wife came out and were joined shortly after by the Uncle from Louisiana. That night was a low key night of grilling out some shish-kabobs and just visiting. The next morning, more family came in (Aunt and Uncle and cousin from Pennsylvania, Cousin and hubby living in Chicago and the other Aunt and Uncle from Flagstaff) and we all did the fun "go to work with John" day where we all loaded up onto a van...

watched him do his pre flight check, saw his take-off and a select group even got to go up the the tower and watch his aerobatics as he came in to land. A group went bowling on base afterwards. Uncle John is a pro bowler and got to see what his brothers were made of in the lanes.


The next day, the PA crew went to check out the Grand Canyon, which is only 4 hours away. Little did they know that it was a snow storm up there so they got to see the canyon as I never had- completely covered in snow. The rest of the group split up and the men were restless to go to the drag races so they bought tickets for general admission and the women did what women do best- shop. That night we went out to a restaurant where earlier we realized it was Paulette's birthday the next day so we baked a cake and brought it in for our waiter to deliver to our unsuspecting birthday girl. It was intended for a birthday boy too- Paulette's brother was born on the same day, just a few years apart. Unfortunately, the Grand Canyon got the best of the Pennsylvania group and they retired to their hotel for the evening. The show went on and the cake came out.

After dinner, we headed to a local watering hole to grab a family favorite- Irish Car Bombs. Relax- I didn't do an Irish Car Bomb. I think John appreciates that I'm the built in DD.
Sunday was Race Day! We had tickets to the NHRA Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals. I don't know a thing about it, and I could maybe fake it for a sentence or two but I'm coming clean. However- it was amazing to see. I've seen car racing on TV but those televised programs don't begin to do the real thing justice. The experience was made up of not only the sights, but especially the sounds (deafening rumble from the Nitro fuel) and feeling (as your eye balls shook along with your heart skipping a beat). We watched the final day of racing and there were rounds of the big dragsters and funny cars (both nitromethane cars= very loud!), and then it would go to gas cars.
There were a number of elimination rounds, and in between the rounds the cars would go back to their pit where the pit crew would completely replace the entire engine. I learned from talking to Uncle John that the life span of one of their engines was about 90 seconds. You could go back to "Nitro Alley" where all the pit crews were set up, and watch all of this being done and even stand right beside the cars as they started them up and tried out their new engines while the cars were on blocks. I thought it was loud and powerful in the stands... it was almost scary how powerful it felt as I stood within 15 feet of the car.

Here is one of the races of the dragsters. Again, you can't even begin to fathom how loud it is until you're there.
video

So the day at the races left us all tired from all the anticipation and excitement, and covered in a little rubber dusting from the cars peeling out their tires. Some of the family left during or after the races (due to the crazy snow storms going on in Flagstaff) and I dropped John off at the airport too for his Vegas class. Home again, I returned to Uncle John, Aunt Betty, Rebbecca and the boys for one last night of entertainment (the boys are very smart and can be quite funny). Then they, too pulled out Monday morning and headed home themselves. All in all it was a fun filled weekend, and not to brown-nose but I am truely blessed to have such cool in-laws and a great family!