As I write this, we’re about an hour outside Tony’s hometown of Winner, South Dakota, on our way to the airport.
The hills are gently rolling by as we zip through towns of just a few hundred people. Occasionally the landscape is broken up by grazing cattle or a homestead. You can see in this picture that there are several inches of snow on the ground here.
We had a lovely visit with the Snethens this week, including Aunt Karen (Blog Follower! : ) and Uncle Craig from Oregon. We actually stayed with Craig and Karen out in Oregon a few years ago when Tony asked me to marry him! We also got to spend time with Aunt Dawn and Uncle Dan for a few days, in addition to Tony’s parents and brother.
Our few days here were filled with gifts and games! On the night we arrived, we all participated in two White Elephant style gift exchanges, one being a book exchange. This is a relatively new tradition, but one that is very fun. Each person brings a book they’ve really enjoyed and they’re exchanged. The expectation is that you read the book you’ve received by next Christmas. I was a little late in completing my assignment from last year, but I did finally finish it yesterday! I think I’ll start on this year’s book a little earlier.
After exchanging gifts it was time to get down to the real business of the holidays – the games! The Snethens are definitely game players! There was, of course, some Settlers of Catan, and the Snethen family game: Rook. Ben brought another game that I really liked, called Ticket to Ride, in which you must build train lines across the country. We brought a new game we received from Mike and Monica where you have to build your own Alhambra and score the most points.
In addition to the fun with family, Tony had several requests for food while he was back at home. Jeanne (Tony’s Mom) made a fabulous roast turkey and a ham for Christmas dinner, which actually lasted several meals. Tony also enjoyed Pizza Hut buffet, Dairy Queen fried chicken with cheese balls, and his mom’s chili.
Last night we stopped by the Winner Warriors Snowball Basketball Classic and Tony got to speak with his former basketball coach. Coach Drake was an influential person in Tony’s youth and has really influenced his practices as a coach now. You’ll remember that Tony was named the best basketball coach in the BVI during last year’s league, and I think he can credit Coach Drake with much of his success.
Now though, it’s about 5 hours back to Omaha to catch another plane. Our next destination is Atlanta, where we get to spend New Year’s with Amy! Then we’ll be back to the warm weather of the BVI… I think we’ll be ready. It’s cold up here!!
PS – Thank you Omaha airport for having free WiFi so I could upload this post!!