As Ben mentioned, we took a "meandering" path to Delaware. After checking the traffic and construction on the most direct route (the one through the DC and Baltimore Metro area) we decided that the scenic route would be certainly less aggravating, if not quicker. Since I can sometimes panic at being the navigator under pressure we decided that Ben should navigate and I should drive. Apparently I zigged when I should have zagged and then all of a sudden Ben said, "I think we might have missed the road." Sooo how does that happen in 2014 you ask? Well it happens when you realize you've blown through half of your data plan on your cell phone and you're only 10 days in, so you try to save data by not running Google Maps as your navigation. Regardless, we had a very lovely ride through West Virginia; there was absolutely no traffic and no tolls - a win in our book. We also went through Lancaster, PA where my parents lived before they had kids and saw something that looked like an Amish Lumberjack Feud. Not surprising, Amish Lumberjack Feud has horrible SEO, otherwise I'd link in here. The only negative was that it took 7+ hours to get to where we were going. Whoops.
This is the path we thought we were taking. 
This is the path we actually took. 
Ben and I are very lucky that we have families that we both like and enjoy. We usually get together with my family around Christmas time and occasionally in the summer. Every year in the summer my family gets together for a Crab Fest. This summer it just so happened to work out that we would be coming through about that time. I've never picked crabs but apparently if you live in the area you start picking crabs at a very young age - most likely so the adults can pick their own crabs and so the kids will be otherwise occupied for a while. Speaking of kids, my niece is the cutest little thing you have ever seen. I'm biased of course, but kids bring such a wonderful dynamic to the family. It's been a while since we had a little one and man she is cute. She was "painting" the dogs' toenails with a brush dipped in water and feeding Mirabelle and Pola her crackers. Adorable.

Ella and Pola becoming fast friends. 

One thing that I think is uniquely wonderful about my family is that the lines of family are pretty lax; family is family and friends are family. I attribute that to the very loving members of the family. You just feel encompassed with warm fuzzies when you get around them.  The rule they seem to follow is if you're nice, you can be part of our family.

Some of the family. 

The Crab Fest menu includes prosciutto and basil wrapped grilled shrimp, Better Cheddar, steamed Maryland Blue Crabs covered in Old Bay, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and antipasto salad. Also, lemon bars and blueberry peach cobbler for dessert with some of the best ice cream ever. At the end of the night everyone left incredibly full with long goodbyes which made it feel like Christmas in July.
Uncle Mike giving a lesson on picking Maryland Blue Crabs. 

The crab after math. 
On the hike in Shenandoah Mirabelle cut up the pads of her feet pretty badly on the rocks, so we had to do a little puppy first aid to help heal them up. This included Neosporin, cotton pads and three booties on her paws - only three because the last one hurt so bad that she wouldn't even let us put anything on it. She looks pathetic here, but I like it.

Mirabelle Lou in booties, letting her paws recover. 

The next day my mom, aunts and uncle went up to Shamokin, PA to further investigate my uncle's pursuit of our family's genealogy. In retirement he's gone back quite a few generations including back to Poland. Ewa if you are reading this, my family is from a city on the border near Lithuania, not Romania. All of his work has been really pretty amazing and so great to see the family tree grow each time we visit. As for Ben and I, we packed up the car and headed north to Brooklyn to see our friends, Sara and Kevin, in Williamsburg. 


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