Father/Daughter Weekend 2009

Although my dad and stepmom live a little over 2 hours away, we still see them about every other month usually. However, with 4 adults, 3 dogs, and a toddler (that is still so strange to write), it's really hard to feel like I have a good chance to hang out with my dad and catch up on things, especially when we are usually busy spending time with more family/friends. So, a couple months ago, I suggested having a father/daughter weekend for just the two of us. We found a weekend in August that worked for both of us and were ready to go!

My dad had back surgery earlier this summer after having a pinched sciatic nerve. Just before our father/daughter weekend, the sciatic nerve in his other leg started to pinch. Luckily, we hadn't picked out where we were going to go or what we were going to do for our weekend together, so we decided to meet in Fort Wayne, closer to where my dad and stepmom live.

After finishing my first 6 mile run that morning, I drove up to Fort Wayne to meet my dad at one of my all time favorite restaurants - Biaggis. I worked there during the summers when I was home from college to help pay for tuition at Hanover. I CRAVE their food, and for once I could justify eating the Ravioli Quattro Formaggi and its 1,000 calories after having ran for an hour that morning. :)

After having lunch and walking around Jefferson Point, we left to check into our hotel. We got a room at the Hilton downtown, and let me just say, the beds were SO comfy! Then we went walking around the city. Walking and talking...walking and talking...it was really the theme for the weekend. Between Saturday and Sunday, I bet we walked at least for 7-8 hours. It gave us such an awesome opportunity to talk about all sorts of things - our past, our present, and our future. I couldn't have asked for anything more!

BUT...I got a lot more than that! We saw The Hangover together, which was hilarious until the credits rolled. I did not want to see THAT with my dad...YIKES! We also had dinner at The Italian Connection, a mom and pop Italian place, and it was DELICIOUS! It was my first experience with homemade pasta, and boy was it fantastic!

On Sunday some highlights included visiting a beautiful cathedral. My dad was raised Catholic, so it was interesting to learn a few things about that faith. We also went to the Botanical Gardens. They were featuring a Wizard of Oz display, which was a tad lame, BUT...it was still nonetheless! I had always wanted to visit the Gardens.

I think the weekend can be wrapped up as this: great food, awesome conversation, lots of laughs, a bit of seriousness, some closure, and an even closer bond with my dad than I've ever had before. I can't honestly remember the last time my dad and I had the kind of uninterrupted time we had together over our two day weekend. It was awesome to be together as adults, totally open and honest...so different from the child/parent relationship we had when I was growing up. I think that is a huge perk to being an adult - finally getting to be friends with your parents.

As the weekend came to a close, my dad had the great idea to get souveniers for my Danette, Ryan, and Noah. They were all so awesome about letting us take some time away, so we stopped by one of my favorite stores - Von Maur - and picked out some fun new clothes for them. We said our goodbyes (sniff, sniff) and went our separate ways home.

I became so excited to get home to see Ryan and Noah. I had missed them a ton! When I pulled into our neighborhood, Ryan and Noah were waiting for my on the corner by our house. Noah started waving, and while I parked the car in the garage, Ryan put Noah down. He started running toward me as fast as he could! Then he took a slight detour when the mailbox distracted him...oops! Oh well! :) It was still hilarious. I came home to a sparkling clean house, with my dog and my boys. They opened their gifts and of course LOVED what we picked out for them.

I don't know if many of you have special times like this with your parents, but I really recommend planning a weekend away with the people you love. Having a meal together here and there...or even getting together as a big family is always nice, but nothing is better than completely uninterrupted time together. I'm starting to realize just how quickly life goes by, and I am so thankful for the weekend I got to spend with my dad. It is something I will always cherish.

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