Airborne SchoolLast week we were road tripping toward Georgia to attend Clayton's Airborne School Graduation. Airborne was a three week opportunity for Clayton to experience military life with the regular enlisted 'Joes' outside the West Point bubble. We were able to add him to the Expedition and head north toward Atlanta. The Varsity was our initial destination... a Kinley family tradition which Clayton enjoyed immensely.
Uncle Danny's FarmWe were able to spend Clayton's 5 day leave on Uncle Danny's farm. There was a lot of good food cooked by Granny Kinley (Granny's deluxe family meal includes macaroni and cheese cooked in a crock pot, the saltiest green beans on the planet, creamed corn that melts in your mouth, sweet tea that keeps you up all night because you drink too much, and banana pudding which is the recipe straight off the Nilla Wafers box, but doesn't taste the same if it's made by anyone other than her. Once they took that recipe off the Nilla Wafer box. Granny promptly wrote them a letter of complaint. The recipe soon appeared back... and to this day she claims it was because of her!)
Good Times on the VerandaThere was also lots of cigar smokin' under the veranda... an awesome spot with a cool concrete floor, fans blowing, an outdoor fireplace for chilly nights (just not this trip), a huge dining table for family gatherings and a kitchen. Uncle Danny's farm is our boys' favorite destination. It was Mac the Labradoodle's first vacation, and she had a fun time running around with no restrictions.
A New HatClayton was able to shoot his new rifle, which we had brought with us. He picked out an awesome new 'Clayton' hat at the Mast Country Store in Greenville.
We told stories, reflected on the past year, and laughed... a lot.
It was a great five day vacation for Clayton and an unexpected surprise for our family to have been able to take him to South Carolina. Last year when the family gave Clayton his farewell party, we didn't know when he would be able to be back...if ever.
We will never be able to predict where his military travels will take him.
Three Brothers TogetherOne of my favorite parts of this family time was seeing all three guys in Danny's attic bedroom on blow-up mattresses laughing, talking, and just being brothers
The Varsity is one of our favorite family road trip traditions, what's yours?