Friday, October 4, 2013

Vacation - Part 2: Fambly

Friday morning following the concert, we slept in, packed up the car, and drove to a Prince William Forest Park. The park was a little over half-way between home and our first destination. I miscalculated a bit, so we didn't arrive at the campsite until past midnight.  After haplessly wandering around by the office building to make sure we didn't need to sign in; we managed to find our site, pitch a tent in the dark, and get some sleep. We took a risk and skipped putting on the tent's rain fly. With the exception of one bit of bird poop, it proved to be a wonderful decision!

My view upon waking

On Saturday, we drove another three hours or so and checked into our hotel room. Once everything necessary or melty was in the air-conditioned room, we headed over to Shane's brother's house.

You know the expression "You can't choose your family"? Well, these family I would choose. Shane's oldest brother, Avery, lives in North Carolina with his wife, Heather, and their rapidly growing children. The kids are very dear to our hearts. Shane feels especially close to them since he acted as a sort of "third parent" one summer years ago to help out during a medical emergency. I just think they're amazing!

We went out to Chick-fil-A for dinner and hung out a little bit afterward. The next day was Sunday, so we attended church with them. We met lots of folks there who were sincerely welcoming in a beautiful way. We went out to lunch at a nice buffet, and made a pit-stop to buy injera before going back to their home.

Injera is an Ethiopian bread made from teff flour; traditionally with special yeast cultures passed down through generations. It tastes a bit like a bitter beer-bread pancake. We needed injera because Heather made Ethiopian food for dinner!

I requested this meal specially because I had never had Ethiopian cooking, and it's a semi-regular thing for their family. It was amazing!! For one thing, I have never liked beets before in anything. For another, no matter how full I am, I cannot look at the above picture without craving more! The meal was also accompanied by Ethiopian coffee and herbal tea in beautiful little cups. Even the kids drank the coffee! (They did put tons of milk and sugar in it.)

After dinner we played a board game, and stayed up past all our bedtimes. The next morning we stopped by for a few more hours. (...and some leftover Ethiopian food!) The girls performed a cups song for us. It was super impressive, and must have taken lots of practice!

Leaving was tough to do. Every time we see these fine folks, I wish we could see them more often. But we do have friends and jobs and stuff in Pittsburgh. Besides, we had a lot more fun vacation plans ahead of us!

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