This year, my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. Where was I? Just getting back from Asia. My dad celebrated his 60th birthday. We were in the midst of moving that weekend. Sadly, that wasn't the only event the family didn't get to celebrate together. So, I was trying to work out a plan with my brother to have a surprise party for my folks, but this boy is utterly useless when it comes to helping to orchestrate a family gathering, lol. Literally months were passing without anyone being able to agree on a time we could all get together. I had hoped to have the gathering at our "new" place so we would be able to handle the prep beforehand, but I told my brother he could always host something at their place if he preferred. I don't think he was quite up for this responsibility lol - although I told him we'd help plan as much as we could, but it's hard to prep for a party your hosting at someone else's house when you live 4 hours away.  :-P

Long story short, we got like two days' notice that the family was coming down for a visit. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue at all - I would just be happy to have them over! - but with our work schedules, that left very little time to plan anything near the extravagant gathering I'd been hoping for. :( So, that left us with simple handmade signs and store-bought cake - we didn't even have time to cook anything, so we ending up making a Skyline Chili run to get everyone some of those famous Cincinnati 3-ways!
Graeter's Fudge Delight and Strawberry Streusel
My mom has been trying to quit smoking, so she was feeling particularly antsy, so we decided to go for a walk at Mt. Airy Forest - which is literally like a 2-minute drive from our condo. It's actually a really great forest that I would love to explore more. Our first stop was naturally Everyone's Tree House.
The weather was especially warm for late October, the leaves were gorgeous, but we all exhausted fairly quickly and headed back to fill up on the aforementioned Skyline Chili. We had made some homemade Kiwi Spiced Jam, so we served up a simple cheese board for everyone to munch on and mixed up some Pear Mule cocktails.
This was my parents first visit at our new place, but they of course had heard about the abundance of deer and turkey we often get in our backyard. I was hoping one of them would make an appearance while they were visiting, and then Francisco remarked "there goes one now." This guy had traveled out of the field they usually hang out in and was apparently making his way across the street. I have no idea where he was headed, but I hope he had safe travels.
Despite the four hour one-way drive, they had decided to drive here and back in the same day...kudos to them - I'm not sure I'd be willing to make that drive in a single day if there was another option. Despite it being a short visit, it was a gorgeous day with some long overdue - albeit subdued - celebrating with the family.


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