Saturday, January 01, 2011

Christmas Road Trip: Day 11

Road Report
Today's route: Tioga, ND to Dickinson, ND via Hwy 2, Cty Rd 21, Hwy 1804, Hwy 23, and Hwy 22 (148 miles).  Minimal drifting on the way to New Town; some compacted snow and ice between New Town and Mandaree; lots of wind and drifting while driving through the Killdeer Mountains and on into the town of Killdeer--otherwise, nothing too bad and an uneventful drive overall.

Notable Events
Beverly had extra pasta left over from our spaghetti supper the other night, so I volunteered to make dinner for us today at noon and made use of those noodles.  Suzanna helped by browning some Italian sausage while I diced an onion and a green pepper, which Suzanna then saut√©ed with the sausage.  We added the leftover spaghetti sauce from Thursday and added cans of garlic- and cheese-flavored tomato sauces, into which we added the leftover spaghetti noodles until they had warmed and separated and become coated with the sauce.  We stirred in shredded parmesan, asiago, mozarella, and white cheddar cheeses and served the bowl of pasta with grated parmesan to shake atop individual servings.  Susan made garlic toast in the oven to complete the meal.  Pretty danged good.

Then we packed the vehicle, bid Dad and Beverly farewell, and made our way home.  The road report didn't sound too bad, but I still wanted to drive during the daylight so as not to be taken by surprise by some unexpected patches of ice or gusts of wind on the curving, rising, and dipping roads.  It was cold and windy in Tioga when we left but still and warm in Dickinson when we arrived.  After a quick stop at the grocery store, we went home to find not very much snow in the driveway, either, after a week and a half away from home.  Yay!  It's a Christmas miracle!

We got the vehicle unloaded and the driveway cleaned off and some delivered-while-we-were-gone packages picked up from the neighbors (thank you, Chuck and Reba, for getting and storing those while we were away) and some homemade pizza made and eaten for supper before it was time for . . . (wait for it) . . . another Christmas celebration!  Yes, we opened gifts with Jeff and Janelle's family on Day 1 of our road trip; with my sisters on Day 4 (Christmas Day); with our "game night" friends on Day 8; and with Dad and Beverly on Day 9 . . . but we came home to stacks of yet-to-be-opened gifts that we had left behind when starting our road trip.

Well, actually, we had let the girls open a couple gifts at home on December 20.  In particular, we wanted them to open the wheeled, rolling duffel bags that we gave them so that they could use them as their own luggage for this road trip.  (And they worked very handily.)  What remained, then, to open included other gifts from us to one another; gifts from Susan's sister Cassie's family and from their brother Jerrett; and the gifts that Santa delivered to Dickinson while we were in Omaha, NE at my sister's.

Hillary got some snazzy clothes from Cassie's family.
As did Abigail.
As did Suzanna.
As did I.
Oops, broke the pattern!  From her Christmas wish list, Susan received a crock pot to replace a current one that is falling apart.
We had a lovely time with all our loved ones over the past 11 days, but we are so very glad to be home again and sleeping in our own beds tonight.  Tomorrow: washing the laundry, cleaning the house, putting away Christmas decorations, putting away Christmas gifts, sorting old items out of closets and toy shelves to donate to charity, and prepping for the end of vacation with the return to school on . . . Monday!

Merry Christmas, Faithful Reader, and Happy New Year!


  1. Highlight of our car ride from Tioga to Dickinson? Playing Password with the girls -- they were being so thoughtful in their clues and taking their guesses very seriously. A nice way to spend the time!

  2. Glad you had a great time and made it home safe and sound. I know you had lots to deal with on the roads most of your drive. Thanks for coming to my house! It was fun to host all of you! ;-)