We checked into our hotel right at exit 98. James had reserved two rooms for two nights. The rooms were on different floors. We asked whether we could have adjoining rooms. The lady was very apologetic and said with the same last name they should have been assigned as such and she clicked around in her computer to change it.
Of course it turned out to be very nice with Helen and William to have the door in the middle to go through freely.
James and I then continued to Wade's parent's house where the family started to gather for Caleb's baptism tomorrow. From our side (Caleb's mom Sarah) there are not so many. James and I, Helen and William. Ben unfortunately could not come because he was tied up with business. But from the other side (Caleb's dad Wade) there were many. Caleb's "other" grandparents Kathy and Mike, great-grandmother Nana (so called by Wade), Wade's sister Katie and fiancée Tim, and then many aunts and uncles and great-aunts and great-uncles. I am not totally in the know yet about who is who but I am getting there. It was wonderful and a lot of fun.
This is Nana with her great-grandson. These are such wonderful pictures I think he will be very happy to have when he is grown up.
I was not very good taking pictures this time I admit. I failed that evening and next day lunch too. Helen's ETA from Nashville was 6:30pm and I went to meet her and William at the hotel. Sarah wanted to come too to get them to the house. The distance was only a 15 minutes drive. You can see William felt quite at home. After dinner he relaxed with his mom's iPad.
But he had seen the pool at the hotel upon arrival. We had promised him a swim before bedtime.
Helen and I put our feet up and Grandpa had to be the one to get in! William had such a good time.
Sunday morning March 16th.
Christ Episcopal Church 10 o'clock service.
It's a beautiful little church and the service was so nice, so personal.
We were allowed and I took a video (click here).
The Rev.Vickie Houk did the service with so much joy. Heartwarming!
A shell was used for the baptism which James had brought back from Spain from his pilgrimage last year to the tumb of St James. The shell is the symbol for baptism and also the the sign for the Saint James. It's the young Wallers to keep.
The parents and the godparents Katie, Jon and Helen.
And after the service family photo taking.
Coffee time afterwards in the parish hall. I saw this banner (from vacation bible school) in the hallway.
Back at the house for lunch. There must have been 20 people. So nice. Here is Caleb's special cake.
The cookies Sarah had asked me to bake. With my "German gadget" to make the lettering imprint. That was a lot of fun. I had mail ordered the shell-cookie cutter in a hurry.
I had to show the above bowl to Helen since we collect elephants. Kathy told me that it used to be her mothers.
Kathy is getting the ham ready.
And while all those people celebrated and swarmed over the house, Caleb slept and was "parked" in the hallway.
Helen wanted a picture of the cousins. I tried but it wasn't quite what she had in mind. They are cute though!
The opportunity was gone because now Caleb was hungry. Well, so was his mom. Mom is juggling ... with help while Caleb holds his own bottle.
Goodness, another opportunity came. More pictures.
After lunch the party disbursed. Sarah and Wade had to get back to Richmond, Katie and Tim had to drive to Charlotte NC and others had long ways too. James, Helen, William and I went back to the hotel.
By now the weather was miserable and the forecast is scary. What's the saying: desperate times take desperate measures? Well, the gas tanks in both cars are filled or topped up. Snacks and water were bought to have in the cars "just in case". Now all we can do is see how it is when we wake up tomorrow morning.
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As I wrote above, the weather was miserable in the afternoon/evening. We had gone back to the hotel but decided that William needs to get a little run-around time. Since we were not familiar with the area but could see a Walmart from the hotel we thought that was better than nothing. He got his exercise and so did Omi, ha-ha. When we left the hotel we saw these creatures in the planter at the entrance. They didn't seem comfortable either even in a fur coat.
After a Mexican dinner we did what we had promised William. He got his pool time. Since Papa had had a turn yesterday, it was Helen and me today. I think Helen was actually surprised and pleased that I had brought my bathing suit. I asked James to take a photo with his phone because I needed proof that I did do my turn. The little guy is so much fun in the water though. He laughed and giggled.
And Helen's turn.
Monday morning ..... looking out of the window it didn't seem so bad. We could see traffic on the interstate running in both directions. And cars on the streets around the hotel too.
James and I were ready so we went down to the (included) breakfast. William was still asleep and Helen was busy packing. But not long and both showed up. I guess William wanted to show Papa which button to push so two pancakes come out of the machine.
William is not a morning person but I think this picture is soooooo cute.
James and I had packed before breakfast and said our good- byes. Helen was heading south and out of the weather-mess, but we thought from all the reports that we were heading into the ice and snow. So we took our luggage to the car and surprise, surprise ... it was covered with a thick layer of ice. James could open the driver's door and start the car to warm up. I could not open the doors on the passenger side! James borrowed an ice scraper from the hotel and I wanted to warn Helen that she needed to let the car warm up to make clearing the windows easier (and the doors open). They had just arrived in the lobby so I stayed with William and their stuff while James and Helen scraped. James was very impressed how much elbow power Helen put into it and eventually the cars where ready too. Good-byes again and off we went.
Yeah for VDOT! The interstate was very good taken care of and with careful driving everything went fine even the mountain part.
We pulled into the garage at 1:08pm. Look at the ice still on the car.
When I opened the back door you could get an idea what the problem might have been in the morning.
Ha-ha, Sarah arrived with Caleb at 1:30pm. She had to work from 2 to 10 and there was no telling about Wade's working hours today. He had had only two hours of sleep since he had to report to work at midnight last night after only 2 hours sleep. He came to claim the very tired Caleb around 6pm. I wonder who of the two will be asleep first?
And since we have a report now that Helen and William have arrived safely at their home too we can now enjoy a G&T and contemplate this special weekend!
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O.k. ... Just saw these pictures on Facebook posted by Kathy. Had to "steal" them (I hope Kathy doesn't mind) because they are so much better then mine.
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I thought about it ... when the boy is older and can read, it might be good for him to know all the relatives who came to celebrate with him:
Mike & Kathy (his grandparents on his Daddy's side, and we gathered at their place)
Wade & Sarah (his parents)
Aunt Katie (his daddy's sister) and her fiancé Tim
Grandpa James & Omi Christa (grandparents on his Mommy's side)
Auntie Helen and her son William (yes, Caleb, your cousin)
Nana (great-grandmother on his Daddy's side)
Jon (grandmother Kathy's brother) & Carolyn and Cooper
Uncle Dennis & Aunt Barbara (grandfather Mike's aunt)
Uncle Chester & aunt Carol (grandmother Kathy's aunt)
Aunt Leslie (grandfather Mike's sister and Nana's daughter) & Andrew
ha-ha, I hope I got this right!