The travel was a challenge, for sure. On the way over, I hit a stretch of curvy, canyon road that was suffering from blowing snow, in a very bad way. There were periods in which I could not even see the tall orange markers they attach to the roadside reflectors for the snowplows. It scared me to death. Like driving in that white realm in The Matrix. Only there were unseen vehicles before and behind me (mostly 18-wheelers). *shudder* Shortly thereafter was the first mountain range to cross, which seemed a breeze after what had already transpired. All trucks were required to use chains, and that kept the snow (that was not blowing) chewed-up and treadable. And I could see. My folks had mercy on me around that time, and set out in our direction in their Audi. We met before I had to cross the second, larger, mountains, and I gratefully moved myself and 3 carseats into their car and let my mom chauffer us, whilst my dad took charge of Mary Jane (our Camry). By that point I was aching and tired and drained and completely worn out. When we flew by an overturned pickup in the dark, I was glad all over again to be a passenger for the last 4 hours (mostly -- when my fingernails weren't being bitten or sunk into the dash).
When I wasn't researching home-care details, or visiting Granny, I was chasing kids, of course. It is always busy at my folks' home - my stepbrother and his two kids still live there, they run a business from their home and various people who work for the business are always dropping by for this or that, friends stop in, my cousin works in their office some mornings (and socializes there other times), and there is always a table full for dinner (at least, when we're there). WOW, I miss that... Sometimes. We cooked for upwards of 12 at times. I made a great lasagna for my stepbrother's birthday dinner, and after my brother arrived, we got in touch with another cousin (from my real mom's/Gi-gi's side of the family - just happens to live in the same small area - let's call him Cousin E) and enjoyed hanging out with him as well. Considering the 'general opinion' Gi-gi holds of my dad, I've totally enjoyed seeing this Cousin E meet and get to know my dad these past couple visits. Certainly without that exposure, he'd have nothing more to go on than Gi-gi's claims (well, and my brother's and my rebuttals). They get along fantastically, and Cousin E even brought over an arsenal to target-shoot with when my dad talked about shooting his black-powder pistol the next afternoon. They, and my brother, enjoyed that. :)
The older girls spent one day - last Sunday - sick and in their PJs all day. Now all of us have a cold, which seems to get worse if we don't sleep well, etc. It's not terrible, just annoying.
Our trip home was a bit easier... I broke it into two days, took a different (farther) route, and stayed a night with a dear friend whom I haven't seen in nearly 8 years (at her wedding, where I was 6 months pregnant with Big Sister). She has a little boy 10 days older than Organique, and she and her husband were fantastic hosts to this travel-weary mama. They even moved their little guy into their room and let us use their crib! I really wish we might've stayed longer, but hopefully we can meet up again before another 8 years is up.
We took a 2-hour pit stop at Gi-gi's, ate dinner, bathed the girls and put them in pajamas, and washed a load of laundry. Gi-gi had thought we were staying overnight, but there was no dissuading me from getting back to my home and hearth once I was so close! We got in about 9:30 Friday night, and even with the many evidences of a man-alone-at-home-for-2-weeks, home looked pretty good. :)