So, when you're taking two of three children 400 miles east, one hopes for a trip that is not exciting and not eventful. Fortunately, that's exactly what I got: a nice, boring, uneventful trip.
On Friday, we arrived at Rodef right at 11:42 to find out that the Hannkuah play (which was supposed to start at 11:45) was completed. Annoying. We had a nice latke lunch with The Boy's classmates, then loaded the car back home and left for New Jersey. It was a bright, sunny, warm day, and the boys fell asleep quite quickly. They stayed asleep for almost two hours, waking up right before we hit the first rest stop on the road. Quick stop for potty and snack, then back on the road. One more stop at our usual stopping point - the exit that has the Cabela's and Dunkin Donuts on Rt. 78, which is like #29 - and then we got to my father's house around 8:30-ish at night.
The boys finished decorating the Christmas tree for him, which was kind of surreal. Little Bear loved putting the balls on the tree; The Boy, not so much. He wanted to show off his piano playing. The soundtrack for decorating the tree was "I Had a Little Dreidel." Not traditional, but still acceptable.
Saturday was pretty close to ideal. The exception: Little Bear, in the course of playing, bashed his face against the side of a table. I was fairly sure he broke his nose! (He didn't.) The bleeding was stopped, the clothes were washed (blood stains all came out, hooray for quick washing action), and feelings soothed. We went to the Christmas Ice Caverns, which was lots of fun, then to Bromilow's Chocolates to visit friends and get The Wife's Hannukah present. Back to the house to rest, then a wonderful dinner and presents opening with my brother's family.
More on that later. I'm starting to question a few things about the presents-opening process.
The kids were polite and well-mannered. They got lots of attention, and they played nicely together and with whomever was around. They opened presents and were properly appreciative, although the clear winners of the night were the Mongul & Booster Gold superhero figures and the Trio block sets. The Boy's orange hoodie and Little Bear's blue hoodie were pretty close thirds.
Sunday, we saw a slow parade of friends all day: Uncle J, Uncle T, Dan. Uncle B came by and took me to dinner & The Hobbit; the boys stayed with Grandpa and were good. Monday, we went to the pancake house for breakfast and then hit the road. We stopped at Aunt M's in Harrisburg for lunch (she gave them this year's Hess Truck for Hannukah), and we were home around 6:30.
Nobody got homesick (except for The Wife, who was a little bored having only one child and no husband at home), nobody fought unnecessarily, and nothing was broken. It was a good weekend.