This year, we drove to Georgia for Christmas and celebrated with my brother and his family. My parents went, too. It was the first time since 2010 that my entire family was together for the Christmas holiday. It was a long drive to northern Georgia - it took us 12.5 hours to get there because of holiday traffic & accidents. Ugh!
In the past year, my brother purchased several acres of land, sold his house, and built a new house on the newly purchased land in the mountains. We stayed in the small town at a hotel, not at the new house, and the first time we drove to the new house, my brother had to meet us at the intersection of his dirt road and the paved road because the turn is very difficult to spot. It's not marked. Then he gave us a lesson in driving our car up the mountain road of dirt and gravel and warned us to keep it in first gear, keep it at 10-12 mph, and beware of going too far left or right and into the ditches!
She does, however, beg. She would look at me with those sad, hopeful eyes and I would be suckered into sharing my food. She won't touch any food unless it is offered to her. You can leave a plate of food on the coffee table and walk away and she'll just sit there, staring at it. She's allowed some people food, but she also likes dog biscuits, which is what she's eating in the below photo.
My dad got to drive my brother's big red tractor:
I'm already looking forward to our next visit. It was so nice to hang out in the mountains, have a fire in the fire pit, smell the smoker smoking meat, gaze up at so many stars in the clear sky, enjoy a gentle and calm dog, and terrorize the cat.