Jan 1, 2011

National Bishop’s Christmas Vacation – Road Trip Style

It’s sad, I know. Holiday Season 2010 / 2011 is almost over. A few more bowl games today, maybe a beer or two, and we’ll all just have to wait for MLK Day or President’s Day or something like that. And you know that these will never compare to the fun and excitement had during the Bishop’s Christmas Vacation.

December 17th, 2010 – Left work early to get a jump on the drive. The 12 hour drive! Loading the car up with snacks, energy drinks, and DVDs (for Ben) we left Oak Forest around 2pm and arrived in the good ol’ RVA around 3am. Exhausted, we three all collapsed to rest for the onslaught of cheer and good will toward men.

December 18th, 2010 – Shopping and resting. Enough said…

December 19th, 2010 – Happy National Macaroni and Cheese Day! We filed into Grandmother Shirl’s house for the annual Christmas Gathering and Gift Lottery. The Coors Lights were as cold as the lingering snow was slushy. The food was excellent as always. The company was at their best. However, I think he stole the show – whether we wanted him to or not. Patti and Karen were honored as having gone to college. The rest of us played a round of UVA / Tech red rover and the losers got to console themselves with college branded tissues.

The winners (fortunately) got tissues too. After a long day, we all returned home and crashed. Well, crashed after watching Hot Tub Time Machine – Karen’s favorite movie of all time. It’s true! Google it!

Morning, December 20th, 2010 – This may turn out to be the weirdest day of the entire trip. We wake up at the crack of dawn to drive down to the Richmond Children’s Museum to see the Legendary Santa. This is the “same” Santa that saw my father and me as children – so we pulled out all the stops and signed up for the special morning with Santa. Watch him come down the chimney in a private room and have an audience with the snow queen and the jolly ole’ man himself. Well, that was the plan until we realized that Richmond has one too many Children’s Museums. After driving around Richmond, we finally made it and were the VERY last people to go into see Santa. However, this was great!!! No line to stand in, no people pushing us from behind. Ben LOVED having the run of the place and took advantage of the situation. It turned out to be a wonderful morning. Then we had a pancake breakfast with the Harlem Globetrotters. Maybe next time you go to the Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House on Broad, you’ll see them too. It was a Christmas MIRACLE!

Evening, December 20th, 2010 – What says Christmas better than spaghetti and pie? Nothing that I know! Pop, Betty, Jane and Chris all came over to Casa de Bishop for a gift giving extravaganza and italiano dinner. Pop and Ben immediately bonded over some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Salsa, wine, books, and bird feeders were the gifts du jour. Everyone had a great time, and probably too much wine.

December 21st, 2010 – Bishop Family Christmas 2010

After a day of prep for the chaos that was to follow, we all settled down for a long winter’s nap. No, what am I saying?!? We opened PRESENTS! Evan and Allison, Patti and me, Barry and Karen – we ripped through that paper like it was – well – like it was wrapping our presents. The evening even had its own 80’s flashback, but this one didn’t involve a hot tub. THE Bo Jackson made a Christmas wish come true and Allison got her very own signed football. Her collection is now complete. Finally.

December 22nd, 2010 – Airington Family Christmas 2010 – And the Chaos that was Christmas began. And what a wonderful Chaos it was. Nineteen – yes, nineteen – people crowded into 14621 West Salisbury for a night of chowder, white elephants, and the Drink. You knew it was going to be quite a night when Allison and I were sent to the store for pomegranate juice, cigars, and Chaser.

Well, there was a 20th person at the party. His name was Jack. Whoever this Jack fellow was, he seemed to find his way into a few of the presents. And wherever Jack went, hilarity ensued. Bud and Stella were not far behind though. Everyone had a great time – Thing-a-ma-sings, Lenker honey, drinking dart games, and a tire pressure gauge made the evening special. How could they not?

December 23rd, 2010 – The aftermath was better than expected. As the hangers on (and hangers over) straggled in to house, the smells of breakfast pizza brought everyone to life. And as for every day this vacation, more presents were opened. Ben made off like a bandit – shape sorters, farm playlands, monkey stackers, cars galore, and clothes – glorious clothes that actually fit! It was almost too much to stuff in our SUV. Well, everyone finally filtered out of the house to go back whence they came. And so did we, pulling out of the driveway around 1pm. The drive back was good – minus the brief flurries in West Virginia. It was good to drive up Afton Mountain again and by Exit 118B. I didn’t miss the small town Ohio that the GPS diverts us through. We made it back to Oak Forest by midnight and once again crashed. I think it was fitting that the trip began and ended with us crashing.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Holidays everyone!

More to come….including VIDEO!

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