Surprise Thanksgiving trip through New England: a photo account

IMAG0470[1]

At 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, I left my house in Wheaton. At 6 a.m., I flew from Chicago O’Hare to New England for a surprise trip home.

IMAG0436[1]

Besides my parents, my cousin Jonathan was the only one outside of Wheaton who knew I had no way home. I’d tried all semester to find a ride to CT for Thanksgiving, but everyone from CT was either flying back or staying around campus. A week before break, I still had no way home. Because I couldn’t afford a plane ticket, Jonathan let many of my other cousins, aunts and uncles know so they could chip in to buy me one. “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without you,” he told me when I thanked him. I told my dad about God’s provision before another cousin asked me to keep it a surprise, but my mom and sister had no idea I was going to Thanksgiving with them.

12308188_1865187243707599_5918446717276646137_o

My Aunt Carol and cousin Becky picked me up from the Providence airport, and we visited a park in Rhode Island that Wednesday. Here I pretended to be queen of the castle.

12307474_1865188503707473_6302619814320138737_o

Becky and I ran up hills and climbed trees. I loved seeing hills, rock faces, and tunnels of trees again! New England is beautiful–especially Connecticut! 😉

12314179_1865188903707433_3109789775481695197_o

Rhode Island has a unique beauty, though. It’s quaint, with lots of little streets. We had fun adventuring around the city (a.k.a. being lost on the way to the park).

12291930_1865189197040737_4736546594543712992_o

Then I visited a tropical island for a minute…I mean, we stopped at a smoothie place in Massachusetts since I hadn’t eaten. Next we continued on to my aunt’s house in New Bedford, MA, where I played with a three year old the family nannies, ate lunch, and napped for eight straight hours. (Oops. I had meant to play family games, but apparently two hours of sleep before a red eye flight exhausts a girl.) I woke up for a couple hours to eat dinner at 10:30 p.m. and wrap presents, and then I slept for another six or seven hours until the morning!

 

12309663_1865189430374047_1411784972385708102_o

We proceeded on to Connecticut, my beautiful old home, for the family picnic in Cochester.

12248236_1865189620374028_4916948008535778295_o

At the family picnic, I met some soon-to-be relatives, baby London and cousin Matt’s fiance N’Gella. I also surprised mom by being there. It took forever to get her attention, but she finally turned around and saw me. Becky Bailey captured her initial reaction on camera. Mom’s words upon seeing me? “Oh now that’s not even fair.” (She didn’t like that I had deceived her.)

12314740_1865189653707358_8781834873705415599_o

But mom was happy I was there!

12291730_1865189777040679_2615784539800363121_o

*mom hugs*

12309969_1865189713707352_6550583513426619496_o

My sister Hannah was excited, too. She exclaimed, “WHAT?!” and then did a jig.

12291040_1865190053707318_5115452293247257404_o

While my dad made mashed potatoes for most of the 52 people in attendance, I mashed a small bowl for the dairy free among us.

Bennett family photo Thanksgiving 2015

After eating, we played football. I made a touchdown at the start of the first game! We ended up losing that game, but my team was 2-1 in the end. Typically those who play football shovel coal afterwards since that’s how Aunt Penni and Uncle Rick heat their house for the winter, but they had already done that, so we went straight to the pie eating, conversing and hymn singing. I spent 10 hours total at their house this Thanksgiving Day!

IMAG0452[1]

On the way to the house in which I was staying overnight, my subconscious dream came true: we went through Hubbard Park and saw the lights!! I hadn’t seen them for two or three years!

IMAG0455[1]

The lit globe has always been my favorite.

IMAG0458[1]

On Friday morning I went to Cheshire Coffee with my friend Jared. It was SO good to catch up with him!! He was the only friend I’d told about my visit since I thought I wouldn’t have time to see anybody. I also thought I wouldn’t be able to visit my old towns, Cheshire and North Haven, but both expectations were surpassed: we drove through both towns, and since Jared had to work at 9:30 a.m., I had the rest of the day to see other people. First I had the pleasure of visiting my old hangout, Music Center of North Haven. I even saw Mark, Mary and Donna Minotti!

IMAG0460[1]

Then, since I was free until 2:30 p.m., Daddy Vecchio picked me up from Music Center and brought me to East Haven, where I saw the whole family–including cousin RiRi. Tyler was even home from Niger, which was a surprise to me!

IMAG0461[1]

I loved being back with my second family, the Vecchios! We’ve all grown, but some things definitely stayed the same. 😉

IMAG0462[1]

Mia and I played our original song, “I Like Cats,” as well as “Safe and Sound,” “Oceans ” and others on guitar, just like we used to do every weekend in high school. Although I hadn’t seen nor sung with her since May 2014, we remembered our harmonies! Then Mama and I dropped her off at work because she’s an adult now! (Side note: I feel so old when I say how much time has passed since I saw my old friends and family!)

IMAG0468[1]

Silas practiced blowing bubbles–he just learned on Tuesday–and Mama fed me. She and I talked with her for an hour or so. I can’t express how happy I am to have seen them! Then several other cousins tag-teamed to get me back to the Providence airport that Friday night, and by 10p.m. I had landed in Chicago again. What a beautiful whirlwind of a break!

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s