(Post by Susanna) This Thanksgiving, we continued the years-long tradition of traveling to Dallas to be with Susanna’s aunts, father, brother, grandmother, and cousins for the holiday — but this time, because we had an infant and because airfare was sky-high when we checked it, we decided to drive. And since we were driving, we decided we might as well add a stop on the way there and on the way back to visit other family and friends. Augie was 5.5 weeks old when we left.
On the way to Dallas, we spent two nights in Kansas City to visit with John’s aunt Pat and Uncle Tom and cousins Ryan and Beth, and his maternal grandfather Mo. It was fun introducing Augie to the family — and Pat and Tom doted on him. They gave him a bath, and Tom brushed his hair, and they looked after him from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. one morning, which meant John and Susanna slept a longer stretch than they had in 5.5 weeks.
The second night in Kansas City, we visited with family from John’s father’s side, including his aunt Rhita and Uncle Phil, and almost all his cousins. August met the newest member of the Zaroor family, Aixa, who was only 2.5 weeks older than he was.
The drive from Madison to KC was about eight hours, and it was another eight hours to Dallas. In Dallas, August met his great-grandmother, Nana, his uncle and maternal grandfather and step-grandmother, and both of his great-aunts. He spent a lot of time sleeping in the arms of his extended family (and a ltitle time sleeping in the arms of a waitress at a barbecue restaurant). We spent four nights in Dallas, including Thanksgiving day.
The longest leg of the trip was from Dallas to St. Louis, to see our friends Curtis and Matt. They gave us Vietnamese food and beers and made us waffles and held Augie and laughed at his funny faces and compared him to a billiken, the SLU mascot. We have since called him Little Billiken.