So this two weeks ago Alina and I left on a trip together driving the 26 hours from Salt Lake to Baton Rouge Louisiana. Our daughter Laura and husband Taylor are getting ready to move from Louisiana back to Mexico where he is from. We thought it would be a good time to come and see our grandson and spend some time in an area we have never been before. We just got back. While I had a great time it got to where I was really missing the family. I have never been two weeks with one wife my entire married life. It was hard being gone from Vicki and Valerie and the rest of the children so long.
However, we have had an incredible time spending time with our grandson and his young parents whom we miss so often. I thought I would share some pictures of our experience and talk about our trip. Being grandparent is an amazing experience, though it seems a little surreal to me as I feel too young to be a grandpa.
Our first day there Taylor’s family tended the baby and we went on a swamp kayaking tour with Laura and Taylor. Even though it is winter there the beauty of the swamp is breathtaking. The Alligators, turtles, cranes surrounded by Cyprus trees and Spanish Moss made me feel like I was in a different world. It was sad that so many of the old growth trees of the swamp no longer remain. As we kayaked through the swamp I though about the TV shows I have seen on this area, and I thought it would be funny to be filming at this moment, I could imagine a new reality show, Swamp People of Sisterwives.
We then got to experience a lot of cold and rain as we headed for the Florida coast. It was still a lot of fun, traveling through Mobile Alabama where we visited the USS Alabama Museum sight, saw the cruise ship that broke down recently and the source of controversy in the news. We decided to try some deep fried Southern Food. It has not been good for my waistline but I enjoy taking in the culture and the food of the south, especially all the seafood.
Asher is cutting his front teeth so the drive was not always pleasant. He is a good baby though and loves to explore and learn so we spent a lot of time playing at the beach.
I enjoy watching my daughter blossom as a person as she stands in this place of unconditional love we call motherhood. She is such a beautiful person, but seeing her expand outside of herself and laying her whole life down for this child is so inspiring. It is rewarding to see your children come to a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices you have made as a parent.
I also have enjoyed spending time with her and Taylor. He is a dedicated and devoted father and adores my daughter. Their playful interchange and tenderness to each other is comforting to witness. I had to give her a little teasing about the sign above her stove when I saw it. I told her, “I thought Taylor married you for your cooking, not your kissing. Though I must say her cooking was enjoyable as she made me breakfast nearly every day I was there. That was something I did not get when she was under my roof.
We spent some time visiting some of the Southern Mansions in the area. I found it interesting. One thing was the way slavery was minimized somewhat in the history tour in the same way that polygamy is minimized in tours in our area of the old pioneer homes. It is not that it is denied but it is not discussed much. I am sure the shame in the telling of the story is understandably there. Slavery is a dark stain of our country’s past, and particularly the South, and nothing like polygamy to me even though Lincoln ran on the Republican platform of eliminating the “twin relics of barbarianism, polygamy and slavery.” History, even our unsavory parts, should always be owned in my opinion.
We were able to go to New Orleans while here as well. That is an amazing place to visit as well. I don’t think I have ever been in the United States in a large city and yet felt more like I was in different country than this city. The culture is so unique, the food and music were incredible. I must say that going on Bourbon Street with a baby was in itself a culture shock to most the people there. Not a place where you expect to see too many young people. After some sight seeing and shopping we made the trip back to Baton Rouge. We spent the rest of the week helping them load, pack and get ready to move out, before I headed up to Oklahoma to finish some work I had. I already miss my Grandson who now gets excited when he seeps Grandpa. It is times like these that I truly feel so grateful.
Coming home was an amazing reunion. Trips in the past have been difficult to do. Jealousy can often become strongest in times like these. There is a reason I have never been that long with one person on a trip. Anything more than a few days was not only financially difficult to do, making it a rare occasion, but difficult emotionally on whom I would choose to take and whom to leave. There is nothing worse about living this way to me than when I feel I am having to make a choice where one gains and one or two don’t. I am constantly trying to find the best way to be fair in my choices, knowing that at times it is simply impossible. Vicki and Valerie were so supportive the entire time that without them being in that place of complete acceptance and trust for what I stand for there is no way I could have felt good about taking such a trip. The homecoming has been incredible and long overdue.