Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm a roadtripping PRO


Did you miss me? Did you even know I was gone? Well I was. See, we've known for a while that the Memorial Day Weekend that would be overshadowed by my brother's WEDDING was coming up. I said to Joel, "We should probably drive." And Joel nodded and said, "Yeah, that makes sense." And that was the end of that. Never mind that just a month ago we drove the 13 hours each way to Boise. Never mind that it would take us two days just to get there. Never mind that a combined tally of 45 hours of driving is REEEEEEEALLY long. It would be summer and roadtrips are what you do in the summer right?

It wasn't until we were half a mile from my parents' home, with the first 20 hours under our belts that I said, "Um, I can't believe we actually drove to California." And Joel said, "Yeah. Maybe we should have flown." We each expected/thought/hoped the other to bring up the flying option a couple months ago. But we didn't, so we drove. And we are stronger for it. I think. More on surviving a roadtrip with small children later.

We DROVE and it was great, due in large part to snacks, candy, a refillable 44 oz cup from a gas station, and DVDs.

The first proudest moment of the trip came about 4 hours into the trip when the kids asked for a movie and Gemma squealed, "Despicuhl ME!" and the older two asked for two other movies. After briefly conferring with each other, Ainsleigh and Donovan said, "We want to watch 'Despicable Me' because Gemma wants to, and we want her to be happy." They've watched this movie several times (it being Gemma's favorite), so it wasn't new to them. But it really improved her mood at a time her mood needed most improving. Good work, team.

There was just a brief hiccup as we were about an hour into the Salt Flats when I realized, with horror, that I had neglected to pack the MOST AMAZING STICKER BOOKS EVER (more on those later, too). Honestly, you'd have thought I'd forgotten to pay our taxes or something (note: when I forgot to pay our taxes, I actually didn't feel as bad as this). Nothing grips a parent's heart with dread like the notion of 11 hours of nothing to do. Because even a DVD player can only hold interest for so long. TRUST me.

Thanks to the Amazon app on my phone, however, and a trial Prime Subscription, within half an hour I had MORE sticker books ordered and en route to my parents' house for the other 3 days of driving before us. And this is where I give great thanks for living in modernity and having access to Amazon in the middle of nowhere.

We were gone for nearly a fortnight and in that time we enjoyed lots of laughter, too much delicious food (though the scale seems to be making a strong case for a steady diet of chocolate, licorice and beef jerky), the best sisters, a wonderful new gorgeous-bride-sister, a handsome brother-turned-groom, a grown-up and matured baby brother, parents who put all other parents to shame (sorry. but that's how it is), doting aunts and pseudo-aunts, a sister's boyfriend who might be the best sport in the world, a horseback ride, a trip to the temple, Kung Fu Panda 2, In-N-Out, a snow hike, a ghost mining town, endless hysterical conversations, etc.

More later as I compile the pictures. My mom added some great ones on her blog. I'll add my favorite one here, since it comprises of my favorite females. And guess what! We didn't know what each other were wearing. We each just walked out of our rooms, looked at each other and said, "Oooh - I like your dress! What a great color!" And then didn't register how matchy we were until we lined up for pictures. I'd hesitate to pat ourselves on the back, but you know it would just be false modesty.

ps - if there were competitions for hair, wouldn't my mom win? EVERY.TIME.

Wait - one more:

Poor Annabelle did not realize that those fantastic pigtails make extended photography sessions MANDATORY. If my parents were so very Hollywood, then those grandchildren would just be children. Ahahaha!