Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where did Route 66 go?

So we keeping trying to figure out where Route 66 is, we see signs at every exit and from time to time we see a frontage road that looks like it, but where is the rest of it? One of our maps even has a faded line where it used to be but it's not there now... it's almost like it just disappeared after I-40 went in.

It was nice to get an earlier start Friday morning, I think all the time changes heading West are helping out. We coordinate with my sister Jerusha (who was heading East with her family) to meet up just outside of Albuquerque, NM at mile marker 149. I'm so glad it worked out see everyone and the cousins were very happy to play together. After catching up and taking a few pictures it was back on the road. Just as we entered Arizona we came to our next destination, the Painted Desert & Petrified Forest. It was beautiful but windy, very windy. Our plan was to enter the park and have a family picnic as we enjoyed the view. The 45 mph sand filled wind made it a little challenging but we made the best of it.

It was now off to the Grand Canyon, our last planned stop before heading home. We thought about skipping it to get back home a little sooner, but when we got there we were glad we didn't. It was amazing, just amazing. We took some great pictures, but then I realized that it might be impossible to take a bad one. The kids thought it was great that they could run around a play, Kristy did not. Most of the look out points had hand rails and short chain link fencing but not all of it and there were some areas where the fence had large child size gaps under them. So we took extra care to prevent our children from doing any unplanned base jumping. That's not to say that our time was without incident, both Lauryn and Luke managed to bleed before we left. As we drove by one of the camp grounds on our way out we decided it would be fun to come back and camp out with the kids in a few years.

One more stop at McDonalds and it was 225 miles to Kingman, AZ for the night.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Close Call

It was another long day yesterday... we were running a little late to get to our 10am tour at Dallas Theological Seminary when our van decided not to start. After getting a jump start we made it over to the campus and enjoyed the tour. From there we headed to an auto part store for a battery only to find out that the battery was fine. So we drove over to a local shop to have it looked at. The mechanic cleaned our battery cables and post and could find anything else wrong, so we got lunch and headed out of Dallas around 1pm.

Logan and Lauryn did great, Luke however had a series of screaming fits before dinner so we had to stop a few times to try to give our ear drums a break. We decided to take the kids to Chucke Cheeses for dinner in Amarillo, but when we arrived we were told that the oven was broken so they couldn't make any pizza! We stayed and played for about an hour and found a Pizza Hut with a buffett and TV's showing the Laker's game... perfect.

By the time we got back on the road it was 9:30pm Central time and we were hoping to make it another 300 miles before we stopped. Everything was going fine, the kids all fell asleep, the weather cleared up, and we picked up an hour driving into New Mexico's time zone. And then the wheels came off... we had covered about 200 miles (and the last set of hotels for a while) when one by one the kids started waking up crying & screaming. I stopped to let Kristy drive so I could get in the back and help calm them down (since I don't get car sick). It took a little work, but they eventually all relaxed but were more then ready for a bed which was 58 miles away. Kristy tried to get there as fast as she could and just 4 miles before our exit got pulled over for speeding... 84 in a 75. The officer came to the window and took Kristy's license and went back to his car to write a ticket and probably get away from the three crying children that woke back up when we were stopped. When the officer came back he told us that he had 5 kids of his own and would just give us a warning this time. We said thank you about 100 times and were very happy to see our hotel shortly after.

Today it's off to the Grand Canyon and to hopefully meet up with Grandma, Poppy, and the Kazmiers somewhere on I-40.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We drove over 500 miles yesterday from Orlando to New Orleans starting with getting a bag full of Florida oranges from a fruit stand, yummy! When we arrived at our hotel we didn't realize how close it was to Bourbon Street and saw a lot of dancing in the streets. Crazy! We took a morning stroll through the French Quarter of N. Orleans and to the River Walk, (yes, the Mississippi River again!) Geoff and the kids indulged me and we drove through the Garden District where there are beautiful New Orleans style homes. I love the style of homes there and the family didn't mind the extra miles.

Logan and Lauryn had an especially great day in the van yesterday. With Luke cutting teeth (we think!) he was pretty fussy the whole trip and even missed a nap. It was a long 500 miles with my back aching and Luke screaming. I did get some Jumbalaya for lunch from a little restaurant with fake alligator heads and lots of fresh crawfish, you know just in case you really want to buy an alligator head while eating lunch = ). Before lunch we were delayed over an hour on a bridge from an accident with so many emergency vehicles and a chopper we knew it wasn't good. We walked on the bridge and made do with snacks in the car for the kiddos. We were praying and thanking God we weren't involved in the accident as we were only 50 yeards from the crash and were there from the beginning before the police even arrived.

Now we are about to take a tour of Dallas Theological Seminary where Geoff has always been interested in going to continue to work on his seminary degree. Since he was a child he has attended a family summer camp at Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz Mountains that was hosted by Dallas Seminary so we are really excited to see the campus and see if we will ever be Texans at some point of our life (don't worry, we both love being Californian's especially after this trip!) I will add pictures this evening of our New Orleans touring once we get to the New Mexico border.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Surprise Location revealed...

We made it to our surprise location, like you haven't already guessed!!!

This part of our trip was unplanned from when we started about 12 days ago but where th open road takes you , you have to go! It’s also our 8th wedding anniversary so what better place to enjoy our anniversary then the “Happiest Place on Earth”, Disney World. We stayed at a Disney Resort Hotel that’s family and budget friendly with movie themed hotel wings. We stayed in the “Herbie the Love Bug” section and a ginormous (to quote Elf) Volkswagon Bug was the entrance to the hotel. We spent most of the afternoon enjoying the Florida heat and humidity with Mickey in his wizard hat shooting water at us in the resort pool. Fun family time was spent jumping, splashing and swimming together, even little Lukie. We then ventured over to Downtown Disney that takes the cake above the Southern California Downtown Disney for sure.

The next morning we took the family to the Magic Kingdom but not without a slow start. Our night’s sleep was broken up many times by waking children and trying to share a double bed, but our adrenaline kicked in as we were so excited to go and “play” for the day, it being our anniversary and all. Already it was HOT when we hit the resort but we knew to go straight to Fantasyland where all the children’s rides are. We had quick lines and a lot of success with the rides and good attitudes right away. That good streak continued on through the day and we found that we missed our good old Disneyland because the Magic Kingdom is set up so similar but not as good. Logan’s favorite ride of the day was a rollercoaster for children called Barn Stormroom in Mickey’s Toon Town Fair. In the same land, Lauryn and I went to meet the princesses and had special Mom and daughter time. It’s completely worth the wait, 30 minutes in air conditioning with movies playing! Luke’s favorite rides were Small World and the Tiki Room where he danced and barked at the birds. We completed our day with Frontierland riding Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise Boat where Logan got to drive the boat and talk on the PA system. The day went pretty well, enough to know that we should end it while we were ahead and skipped the fireworks show and one last Fastpass before mommy fast-passed out. We’re on to Mobile, Alabama tomorrow reluctantly leaving such a beautiful and fun place, but I’m excited to start heading West again. Happy Anniversary my Love!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Quick but full time in Danville, VA

2 out of 3 kids at the wedding ------Geoff's teenage home in Virginia.

Geoff and his friends from Virginia, Congratulations Chris and Erica!

Poppi and Grandma Anderson's home in Virginia,
now an office. I love this house!

Lover's Leap, Virginia with my Lover!

Our morning drive though Virginia was beautiful with lush landscape and Lover’s Leap. The windy Danville Turnpike was an easy drive. Our first stop in town was Chick-fil-a one of Geoff’s favorite places to eat. After checking into our hotel we went for a swim and headed in just before a thunder storm. That night we met up with one of Geoff’s buddy’s for dinner then the kids and I turned in while Geoff headed out to a bonfire to see some other friends. Saturday morning in the hotel was the smoothest yet! We relaxed, painted nails, and ironed for the wedding. It could have been because we didn’t check out until 12:30pm but I’d like to think it has more to do with my time management skills! While driving through Chick-fil-a again (admittedly I really like it too!) the cashier notice the Cali. plate and in her slow southern drawl said “Oh, yur from California I bet things are faster there.” Later we got a laugh at what we should have replied with, “Yes they are, could you hurry up!” We headed over to see Geoff’s old house which is beautiful and tons of land. His basketball hoop was still there that he concreted himself. Grandma & Poppy’s brick mansion with white columns looked a lot different now being a commercial office building and with the back of the property now developed with apartments. It was great showing the kids family landmarks and for us too. We made it to Geoff’s friend’s wedding which had a really cool candy buffet at the reception. Geoff got some pictures with friends before we hit the road again. This evening we left Virginia, drove through North Carolina and South Carolina and just pulled into a Travelodge in Savannah, Georgia for the night. Now we just have to transfer the kids to their beds and hope this place has wifi to update the blog before turning in for the night. See you at our surprise location tomorrow and added pics to this blog! (Notice the direction we're headed...)

PS – My back has been bothering me for most of the trip and it is getting pretty painful to sit, if you can remember me in your prayers.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Everyone loves Abe Lincoln...

Creation Museum, Kentucky

Usual days in the van, happy moment!

It's not hard to notice driving through the mid-west (Missouri to Ilinois) how everyone claims Abe Lincoln. Geoff and I were cracking up at the recognition each state gives, "Abe grew up here", "Abe's adulthood", "Abe's birthplace". They are trying to one up each other! We attended the Creation Museum yesterday but not without a difficult start to the day.

I had a morning of nothing going right and kind of being "done" with the whole hotel and driving thing. It was raining yet again and we didn't have the right clothes, we missed breakfast because we're not used to the time change, the kids were fussy from hunger and couldn't wait for McDonald's. Honestly, I think it was the best thing to happen to me at this point of the trip because I needed to face my lack of organization and take care of business . I was convicted of my bad attitude and found that God quickly wanted to turn our day around amidst the cruddy conditions. We found a Target, yeah!! Then God kept doing His work on my heart at the Creation Museum.

The Museum was amazing!! It was fun for all of us and interesting for the kids. At times it seemed like a Disneyland ride because of the quality of the displays and how interesting the information was. The information and message about God's creation and the hurt in the world because of the non-acceptance of His Word has created a hopeless society looking to the temporal things in life to satisfy. But we know only God's truth will bring us through our questions and hurts in life. Nothing else!

We walked through Noah's ark, saw Adam and Eve, experienced dinosaurs roaring at us, went through beautiful lush gardens, bought a few books, went to the petting zoom and saw a planetarium movie about our solar system and the cosmos as related to God's creation. We were in awe of God's majesty and how even as we looked at the "heavens" who are we that God would care about such a small creation like us. But he does care for us enough to send His son to pay the randsom for our sin. Praise and thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ!

It is Friday morning now 5/29 and we are headed to Geoff's old stomping grounds Danville, Virginia where he went to junior high and high school. We are suppose to attend a bonfire tonight and a wedding tomorrow, and do some laundry!! Thanks to all of you who are sharing in our adventures. You all have a special place in our hearts.

"East bound and down"

Logan's new favorite song has been "East Bound & Down" from Smokey & The Bandit and that's the direction we've been heading. The last two days have been full of lots of surprises! Sunday night we stayed in North Dakota with my parents in tow at an amazing hotel by accident. We pulled over because it was 1:00a and found a Ramada with an indoor pool, play place and miniature golf. We had some quick morning fun there! Then we were in five different states on Memorial Day right through the middle of America: South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. We fell across a wonderful place in Omaha, NE called Rick's and ate lunch there on the Missouri River. The weather was incredible and we enjoyed family time outside on the river walk. Kansas City, Kansas was ghetto! We got stuck there trying to find gas (0 miles to empty) and had to find a bathroom but didn't want to stop. Plus, all of the gas stations were closed down and we thought we were going to run out of gas, scary. Luckily one place on the GPS was open and we think we saw the area my great-grandfather had his blacksmith shop in the old part of Kansas City (cool!).

After a lot of driving in the rain and no Starbuck's anywhere we finally arrived in St. Louis where we had reservations for a large suite. The room is amazing with a corner view and windows everywhere! It is like a house. If you know my mom some how she got us the hook-ups and we all landed in the VIP room on the 29th floor for free breakfast and afternoon snacks with views of Busch Stadium and The Arch. We enjoyed the day at the St. Louis Arch underground in the museum about settling the west and then took a small futuristic-looking pod to the top of the Arch. The view was WOW and at the same time you kind of wanted to get out of there because it was cramped quarters at 606 ft. off the ground. My parents left after the arch back to Cali. and we ate lunch at Max & Irma's with delicious food and a half-dozen of there hot fresh cookies to take with us on the Mississippi River Boat tour. The tour was one-hour with nice weather and you felt like you were at Disneyland because of the river boat tour there. We made it into our hotel room just before a thunder storm hit and we watched a family movie while watching the rain and lightning through the large hotel windows. Imo's pizza was recommended by our St. Louis friends and we had it delivered for dinner. Yummy!! Tomorrow we're driving through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and ending in Kentucky. Can't wait to fill you in there! Miss you all and look for our surprise location coming in 5 days!! hehe