7.17.2014

Summer Road Trip - Recap

Well our trip has officially come to an end. Now we begin the uphill climb of Mt. Laundry. If I don't come out alive within three days send in the search & rescue team. 

In all seriousness, though, we had a really great time. The kids saw places they'd never heard of or imagined. They met family and friends for the first time. There were plenty of recreational experiences, including giant swings, rides, games, midnight swims, fireworks, spray parks, and I think even a trampoline. Thanks to my activity binders they even learned quite a bit along the way. 



We tried to have a little fun amidst our endless driving. At one point there was an impromptu sand castle (ish) built while I relaxed on a bench at the rest stop. We made use of our jump rope to burn off a little energy. And we were just plain silly. 





And at another rest stop we saw some corvettes...



Occasionally there was ice cream or Popsicles...


We represented our school (this wasn't planned!)


We bumped into an animal on the interstate and broke our car a bit. This guy helped us patch it up temporarily:


We looked at the space needle (too cheap to go up...maybe next time.)


Rode the monorail...


Sat on the pig at Pike Place Market


Walked through the fountain at Westlake Center


A train ride at my uncle's house 



The swing was his doing too...


The spray park at Angle Lake


This bit of insanity...



An old, faithful geyser


Jumping on the bed


New hats 


New friends 



Family



One of my favorite people. An amazing hostess, beautiful person, wonderful friend. The time flew by and I miss her already. 


Now it's time to switch gears and get ready for school. Meet and greet is in two weeks and first day back is the next Monday (my birthday). At least I get to replenish my stash of crayons and spiral notebooks on the cheap. 

Thanks to all of you for following along on our journey and sending words of encouragement. It means a lot to me. I'm sorry I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to. It was a busy time for work and that took up a huge chunk of my time in Seattle. But don't fret...my 20 year reunion is just two years away, so I'll see you then! And I'll be flying for sure. My road trip days are over, per husband mandate #417. 

~fin~

7.15.2014

Summer Road Trip Day 18

I am almost home! I have about 4 hours left which I will tackle tomorrow. We stopped for the night at a friend's house, arriving around 2:30 a.m. It's been a long day - all business. We didn't make any unnecessary stops at all. Potty, food, gas, and changes due to skipped potty breaks ;)

16 hours on the road and about 1,000 miles. The epitome of cray-cray. 

Today we traveled:
-Nebraska
-Iowa
-Missouri 
-Illinois
-Kentucky
-Tennessee

High point: 
Arriving in fair condition.

Low point:
Driving in the dark in the rain. It was basically the only rain I saw the entire trip and it happened to be at night (when I'm blind) and this night (when I'm exhausted). 

I have been terrified of hitting an animal ever since our initial driving day when I hit the dog/wolf/coyote/hyena thing. I have been particularly nervous about deer because there are always signs warning about them. Excellent warning sign but how do I avoid them?? In Wyoming and Montana the signs have pictures of big horn sheep, bison, antelope, and elk. As if deer weren't enough to be worried about. Tonight I actually saw one standing next to the interstate. He was sort of looking and waiting, as if he knew there would be an opportune time to cross eventually. I'm so glad he was still and not leaping in front of my van. 

I guess I should mention kid behavior today. The offenses were directly proportionate to the age of the child. Andre started off on the wrong foot and went downhill from there. Adriana was a little rowdy at times in the car. And Isaiah was pretty normal, maybe even less antagonism than usual. I have to hand it to them, though. They travel cross country like professionals. Not too much whining and never did I hear, "Are we there yet?"

7.14.2014

Summer Road Trip Day 17

Tonight we rest our heads on fluffy Holiday Inn pillows. There's something to be said for comfort. I was tempted to cheap out and stay at the Super 8. So glad I came here instead. The guy gave me $25 off the rate. They have a 24-hour pool, so I surprised the kids with a midnight swim. The littlest things give them the greatest joy. 

The day started in our little cabin. Hubs woke me up early-ish but you'd be surprised how long it takes to get three kids up and out the door. We managed to check out an hour under deadline, but then we spent the next hour deliberating in the gift shop. We finally settled on cowboy hats for the kiddos and a little something for their daddy. I tried on several hats but walked away with none. The one I liked best was $64 and I just couldn't do it. It's not like it was a Coach cowboy hat. 

Breakfast ended up being lunch in the McDonald's drive-thru. We went in one restaurant that was far too quiet for my brood. The next place, although louder, had a 25-minute wait. We didn't have that kind of time to waste. So happy meals would have to do. We hit the road and saw some beautiful scenery. The Wind River Canyon was amazing. Pictures can never do it justice. The only way to truly experience it is to truly experience it. Here is a borrowed picture anyway. 

I guess I was having so much fun that I ended up with a speeding ticket. 85 in a 65. What's the big deal? Oh, right. Rules are rules. My kids were so chatty with the officer; you'd think he could cut me a break. He did give me a $10 discount for having all seatbelts fastened. Yeehaw. 

While it didn't seem like we made many stops today, we still only made it about 600 miles. It's discouraging because there's no way we'll get home tomorrow night. Also I have a cold and my ears hurt. I wish I could beam us home. We made it out of Wyoming, which I had sworn I wasn't going to go through again. Darn adventures ruin everything. I have about 1000 miles to go. It's impossible. Impossible. 

Today we traveled:
-Wyoming
-Nebraska

High point:
Midnight dip in the pool/hot tub (per the kids).  

Low point:
Would've been the speeding ticket but then Adriana ran a door over her toe. It was all bloody and she was hysterical for about 30 minutes. 

Wish us luck and progress tomorrow. 


7.13.2014

Summer Road Trip Day 16

Let me start by saying my last post was written around 4 a.m. and I fell asleep many times during the process. I can't be held responsible for what was written. 

Today was a decent day. We woke up super late (11:15) because housekeeping was banging on the door. She was so diplomatic. Rather than saying, "Get out already" she said, "Do you need anything?"  I was a little taken aback. What kind of place is this? What is she offering exactly? Then it dawned on me that perhaps I had missed my designated checkout time. Oops. 

So we got a bit of a lazy start. We had to go to IHOP! Duh. Kids were not awful at the restaurant either. As a matter of fact they were pretty good all day. They only embarrassed me twice and annoyed me 18 times. We (I?) decided to take the scenic route. You know, more scenic than Montana. We got off the interstate (gasp!) and headed to Yellowstone. Along the way we saw Earthquake Lake. This was an interesting area; I highly recommend you research it. 

Yellowstone was really pretty, but we did not see any wild animals. Boo. We watched Old Faithful do its thing, ate some dinner and then high-tailed it to Cody, Wyoming. We have our own little cabin, which I was wise to reserve in advance. Apparently every hotel room in the United States is booked. 

States traveled today:
-Montana
-Wyoming
--yesterday we traveled Washington, Idaho, and Montana 

High point:
Our little cabin. It's so quaint and there are lots of beds. So long as Isaiah doesn't change his mind I'll be sleeping ALONE in my own bed in my own room with my own TV that is not on Disney Channel. 

Low point:
The little ones being totally ridiculous while we waited, surrounded by hundreds of strangers, for the geyser to erupt. They made it way less fun. But all in all a great day. I'll have to drive extra tomorrow to make up for all the shenanigans we pulled today.