Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ohio Vacation-The drive

NOTE: I edited for typos, this is not a new post!

There are so many fun stories to share. Thinking of a drive with 6 young kids probably makes you want to tear your hair out. It was surprisingly smooth sailing on their part. The first day we drove from our home to Rock Springs Wyoming. It was a total of I think 15 hours including stops and time changes. They kids were tired but did not complain.
I think Miranda was by far the most comfortable. Logan was our little errand boy, by the end of the trip he could manage to drink a milkshake with one hand, feed Jackson with the other and use his toes to push the buttons on the DVD player. I learned that Haylie is a little instigator and when bored could easily get Lauren to scream. Luckily with a few words she would stop for at least a couple hours.

One of our favorite things was looking at the clouds and finding shapes or images. Logan says this cloud looks like this "guy" is standing on a surf board with his arms pointing outwards, maybe a bear or hippo type creature. Do you see it? See Nevada does have it's own beauty!By the time we got to Salt Lake the weather was terrible. This is a picture of the Wasatch Mountains, the biggest thing on the Utah skyline, that's right you can't see them at all. At this point we started hydroplaining which reminded Jeremy that our tires were fairly bald and he meant to get new ones before we left, alas we got too busy with too much to think about. We made it to Park City by 6:00pm, that was great timing. Got dinner and continued on down the road. Then it got worse. It seemed like every few minutes we would feel the car loose traction and jerk then it would be fine. It was intense and there was no where to pull over safely so we trudged along at about 60mph. People were probably thinking that it must not rain in California so we didn't know how to drive. This picture of Jackson pretty much sums up the atmosphere in the car:The kids seem to respond well to the statement "this is pretty intense you need to be quiet for a while." Jeremy was near the end of what he could handle so we finally came to an exit and had a family prayer. We knew the weather was not looking to change according to the forecast until the morning. We asked for guidance, if we should wait it out, stop at the next Wal-mart we come to or keep on trucking until Rock Springs. If the last was the case please let the weather let up for us. Amazingly enough the weather did let up within 15 minutes. Looking forward we saw this: There were dark clouds to the left and right but light grey almost blue clouds down the middle. Then we were able to finish the kids frosty's that we didn't trust the rear row peanut gallery with. They were more foam then frosty but hey it was a sweet treat to slow down the heart rate. We pulled into Rock Springs at about 10:00pm-ish. It was Fa-reeeee-zing. We let the kids play for 2 minutes (well actually longer) then we all hit the sack. The next morning we were getting ready to leave and realized they would be serving breakfast in 20 minutes. By the time breakfast was done, it was 20 minutes until the local Wal-mart opened with its super fabulous tire center. It happened to be the Sabbath, but we needed the tires. We decided it was really our lives so we hung around for another couple hours and got new tires.

Logan enjoyed the extra time, to which Jeremy responded, just watch your head and don't hit the fan! In case you can't see he is jumping from one bed to the next landing on his tummy.

Jeremy enjoyed his time as wellAnd not to be left out I enjoyed my time by getting on the computer and checking blogs, facebook and making new reservations since we wouldn't be making it as far as we planned. At about 9:30 we were on the road again with brand new beautiful tires. I was bummed Jeremy didn't get to see any of the beauty between Salt Lake City and Rock Springs. Luckily we would be driving through it again on the way home. We got to enjoy the buttes and other rocky landscape of Wyoming. I do have to say Wyoming probably has the most variation and the eastern part was beautiful.
Some where between the beginning and end of Wyoming I got to drive. Unfortunately I had the double chin before we even left so travel food was not helping...back to the point.
We pulled over at a rest stop I believe is a little west of Cheyenne. It was a lot of fun. The kids got to run around and play. We met a nice couple who happened to be driving around this area for fun (weird!) who were visiting from San Diego, CA. They gladly took a family picture for us. I think it turned out quite cute. We still don't know what the statues are for.

Then we moved onto my least favorite state to drive through...Nebraska.

Nebraska has it's pretty attributes and I would probably like it better if it didn't take at least 1/2 a day to drive across. We got to see some variation like this that was beautiful (you can see little tiny things on the top. From a different angle you can see there are three crosses perched up there)

But most of the time it looked like this, flat nothingness. Repeated for most of the 450 miles of Nebraska. I thought it was adding insult to injury when I saw the first speed limit sign that looked like this. I think Iowa and Nebraska are the only two states to have this. It makes you wonder if the population is generally old, then it dawned on me tractors and stuff probably take the highways too!

We ended our day in Lincoln Nebraska. When we woke the next morning the weather was terrible. Jeremy went down stairs to talk to the Clerk at the desk. I got out of the shower about 5 minutes later and he said I had to take a look outside. I opened and was not surprised to see that it looked like morning blue skies. Jeremy was in disbelief and said that it was just pouring so bad it looked like hoses coming off the roof tops, he could barely see out the window there was so much water. By the time we ate breakfast and were on the road at 9:15 am there was a heat advisory, it was 90 humid degrees outside and Jeremy was sweating. He also said something along the lines of "what kind of crazy state is this that has severe thunderstorms and heat advisory at the same time?"

We made it into Iowa and they had wind mills. Big deal we have them here too. I never realized how massive these were. We got to see a few that were being put together. Each arm was probably 5- 6 feet wide and at least as long as a semi-truck.

As a midway point of Iowa we drive through Des Moines. I assume this is their capitol building. It was very pretty.My two favorite states to drive through are Iowa and Illinois. Both have deep rolling hills covered with trees and corn fields. We stopped in Iowa at a rest stop for lunch. Haylie looks cranky but the humidity and heat got to everyone. We were all excited to be back in the car.Illinois has the added bonus of rivers and creeks. At this point you can drive through a state in a couple of hours, so it feels like you are making progress.

Like always Jackson was just along for the ride and didn't complain, but absolutely shined when he was held and talked to.

We planned to be in Ohio but again got a late start. I was so tired and couldn't get up with my alarm so instead of making it to my mom's house we made it to Indianapolis, Indiana at around Midnight.

At about this point is where the most bizarre thing happened. It was about 11:00pm and Jackson needed to be nursed to sleep. He had enough of the bottle and needed me (ahhhh, isn't that cute!) I didn't want to pull over at a rest stop it just seemed unsafe, so we pulled off and parked in a McDonald's well lit open 24 hours parking lot that was empty. I made Jeremy move because there was a huge swarm of ants and I jumped back into the car quickly. I think he still laughs at that image. When the parking spot suited me I decided I should change Jackson's diaper as well. As I was changing him a 1980's model boat style four door car drives past us slowly and parks right next to Jeremy. The older man with a brown handlebar mustache kind of waves and smiles then gets out of his car and approaches Jeremy's window. He says hello like he knows us. Jeremy quickly states that we are not who he thinks we are and that we don't know him. He then say "Oh, I thought you were my son!" His reason for thinking so was that we had California plates. He was actually supposed to meet his son at the nearby hotel but saw the plates and thought it could be him. So he chatted and gave us his son's itinerary and drove away. About 15 minutes later Jeremy says this car has been following him, every lane change, it was kind of creepy. Then we change freeways to go to our hotel and the two headlights were still following us. I demanded that if the car follows us off the freeway he is to keep driving. He jokingly says "What am I supposed to do keep driving until I see a policeman?" A firm yes that is exactly what you are to do was my response. Needless to say the car that was following him had turned off a while before and he was well aware I was not watching the same car I thought I was. But still creeptacular! Then we pulled into the hotel and it is surrounded by trees like a horror film even though it was in the suburbs of Indianapolis. I was so creeped out.

The next morning we slept in until 9:00 stopped at Wal-Mart and got some needed things like diapers and stuff. We were back on the road at noon and stopped for lunch at about 2:00 right after entering Ohio. My camera was packed in the back so there are no more photos. We pulled up at my mom's house at 4:00pm. It was perfect!

Another highlight was discovering a place called Culver's. It is like a dairy queen with better food. The Concrete mixers which are like blizzards were not quite as thick as Dairy Queen but nice and creamy.

And that folks is how it is done, traveling 2400 miles, 4 brand new tires, about a dozen movies, 7 tanks of gas, 3 hotel rooms, 500 trips to wal-mart and 6 kids smiling at the end. I will be posting some more of our adventure, because it was a jam packed two week visit!


Anonymous said...

wow! that is quite a trip! by the way that last pic you posted of Jackson is adorable! He is getting so big! :)


Christina said...

Wow -- what a trip! I can't wait to hear more. I also think Jackson is adorable.

Danielle said...

Even though you went through so much, you still manage to make it all sound so easy! Ben and I were just saying how much we are dreading the 8 hour stretch of highways between your house and my family's down south for our next I feel like I can do anything!

Laura said...

I always dread our ONE day trips to SL. You guys are amazing. Such cute little troopers you have!

Jenny said...

You are an inspiration. I'll think of you when we take our return trips to SC from Miami. April did it with 6. I can do it with 3, right?
The kids are so cute. We would love to see y'all sometime.

Gie Bergmill said...

You deserve Mom of the Year.

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