Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Great American Road Trip

Let's just start with the glaring absence in blogging.  How do other people keep it up with 4 kids all going to varying activities and keeping a house and a yard running, not to mention just keeping all the mouths fed and people alive, 120 nails trimmed....?  Well, it happened.  Life just got too busy.

Ok, then this other thing happened.  We moved our wimpy Sunshine State-loving bodies to Utah...into a freezing and poorly insulated house.  And every night after we got the kids in bed, all we could do was go huddle under the blankets and watch movies on the iPad.  I knew from the beginning of October it was going to be dubbed "The Least Productive Winter Ever."  And so it was.  Unless you count watching all three seasons of Downton Abbey productive, which you might.

BUT.  I recently went to a church women's meeting and we were in small discussion groups when they asked each of us directly, "What are you doing to preserve your family history? What are you doing to pass on stories to future generations?"  And I thought of all the things I didn't know about my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents.  I wish I knew stories of them to tell my children at bedtime.  I wished I had an easy-to-read book that just had snippets from each of them. And I started to get overwhelmed.  And then some woman said, "Well, don't worry about all of them, just start with yourself."  And I thought a-ha, she's right. I know one thing I can do... get back to blogging.  At least some day my children will thank me and won't feel responsible trying to come to my death bed with a tape recorder to get me to tell them a bunch of memories I probably won't remember.

So, back to blogging I will attempt, but, quite possibly not in the anecdotal and amusing way I had time for in the past.  Now I'll just be happy if I get down the this-is-what-happened-in-our-life bigger moments filled with lots of pictures since I'm sure this is the only form of scrapbooking I will ever be doing.  So read along if you wish, but know that it will be more informative than entertaining and I don't blame you for getting too busy in your own life to read other people's blogs.  I certainly have.  In fact I got too busy during the time Google Reader went away and came back one day to find all the blogs I had followed were lost.  I mourned for a time, and then realized it was probably a good way to make me not feel guilty for something I didn't have time for anyway.

SO... all the way back to LAST SUMMER.  We left off with me mourning our Miami departure.  Luckily, our road trip was really quite enjoyable and entertaining to get us off on a good start and get my mind off my sadness of leaving what had finally become "home".  I have to commend my kids on their road-tripping abilities though.  Not one time did anyone complain, ask when we were going to get there, etc.  I know, it would be amazing if they didn't get 5 days straight of iPads and movies, which was more like a trip to heaven for them, but still, kudos to them for no whining.

We couldn't head north through Florida without hitting Legoland.


But really, our kids favorite part was the room where you walk in and they give you a set of wheels and you can build Lego cars and race them on all sorts of ramps.  I keep begging Ryan to try to make something like that for our kids - they could stay there for hours racing their cars.



(Uh, what's up with the lame-o on the cell phone??)

I kept trying to grab my camera as fast as I could as we passed all the weird Florida souvenir signs for stuff like Gator jerky and "gator head wind chimes."  I kept thinking, oh man, I bet we see some weird stuff like this going through Mississippi and Louisiana.  But nope, it never got weirder than Florida.  I'm still kind of mad I didn't get me a set of gator head wind chimes.  I mean how many people can say they have one of those? 

We then stopped in Pensacola to see some long lost friends from our med school days in New York.  

Pretty impressive to see these two and all the male heirs they've sired (and one princess).  :)


Getting to New Orleans - 

Doing the New Orleans thing.... Watching the street performers...

...Eating beignets:


...Checking out Bourbon Street in the Big Easy...

...and definitely getting our dance on to all the happening music on Bourbon Street.  In fact all of my still shots turned out blurry because I couldn't get them to stop dancing.  

Stopped at some other cute little Louisiana towns -

And on to New Mexico and some travels along historic....

Not a particularly memorable video, but reminds me of our cozy little squeeze into that car all the way across the U.S....

Not to mention seriously cozy accommodations in hotels all across the U.S....

So it was quite interesting seeing all the different parts of the country - lots of trees and everglade forests through Florida, lots of greenery and waterways through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, and then you hit Texas... and there's just like sagebrush and trash.  I mean literally, like just a series of junkyards that aren't really junkyards... just people seem to never go to the dump there and just accumulate a bunch of junk.  It was weird.  But later someone told me when you live out in the middle of nowhere you keep scrap parts around just in case.  Whatever.  It must have been ugly enough that I have no pictures of our time in Texas.  :)  But I do have great memories of our one stop at a gas station there and a big friendly man with a giant cowboy hat on and a blond ratting her hair in the bathroom.  :)  Guess stereotypes hold true.

And then into the desert.

Since we were in the neighborhood, we detoured to the Four Corners area.  (And really, even thought it sounds interesting and makes for a few cool photos, I really would only suggest it if you happen to be within 60 miles or so.  It's really out in the middle of nowhere.)



And then...weird...a sign that took a long time getting used to....

And onto our street and the first moment we drove up to our new house...

We had made it to the start of our new life.