Well, we spent a full four nights and three days visiting my parents in central New Jersey, having meals, hanging out, helping out, and eventually saying goodbye as we resumed our journey south.
After living within a day's drive of my parents for my entire adult life (with the exception of a year in Europe), this transition to being on the road and potentially living across the country from them is a big deal, and bidding them adieu is a significant life passage. With my widowed mother considering a move south to be closer to my sister in Atlanta, and my brother and his wife relocating to Boston, my father will soon be the only member of my immediate family living in good ol' Jersey.
Driving away from my mother's house, I realized that it's the end of an era, and our family's geographic distribution is now radically and permanently changed. However, the bonds of love and family and the determination to remain connected will help us transcend distance and time, and that is what family is truly about.