We haven't been back to my husband's hometown in years.
It's a function of the fact that he grew up approximately 1500 miles from where we make our home and our three kiddos are little and well, 2.5 days of driving or 5 flight tickets are expensive anyway you slice it.
So, we've been lucky. His parents have come to us for visits or we've found ways to meet in the middle.
But this Christmas, we were blessed to fly back to his home for a good long visit.
And, it's been fun.
He grew up in the Reno/Tahoe part of the country and well, it's just downright beautiful.
Today, we drove our oldest back to the house he grew up in, down the streets of his neighborhood schools and to his university and old fraternity house, only to lament that the Beer Barrel is well, a Jimmy Johns.
We talked to Sam about growing up in the desert, learning to ski and snowboard when you're little, wildlife out on a acreage where his grandma lives and spent time comparing life in Omaha to life in Reno...and it's different. Neither good nor bad, just different.
For me, I'm not used to sage brush or horse ranches or archery or shooting or going up to Mount Rose and skiing/boarding or explaining to my kids why there are slot machines in the grocery stores, the airport, the gas stations and casinos on every corner (okay, that's an exaggeration).
But my husband is in love with it all...it brings back the glory of his childhood, all of the outdoor fun of skiing and mountain biking and life guarding and wake boarding pre-mortgage payments and kids. It makes him proud to show the kids how much fun you can have outside in the wintertime when you're not freezing your arse off in the midwest. And I love that our kids get to experience his world and the place he came from before he came to us.
This part of the country is stunning and if you haven't made the trek, you should. I foresee many fun summer visits for our kiddos helping to shape pieces of who they are via their roots.