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Monday, November 2, 2009

Road Trippin.....

So, here I am again. No we didn't disappear--that would be nice for a while, though...somewhere in the mountains with a fire and lots of hot chocolate, and beautiful, peaceful meandering trails, and a guy name Sven who never talks and cooks gourmet meals and cleans them up followed by a fabulous mug of hot chocolate and......oops....I digress

So, here I am again, again...The past few months have been nuts so the blog has been neglected, but I shall try to catch up a bit....Stay tuned.....

First blog-of-business----Road Trip!!! Before school started I loaded up the kid and drove (without Jason) to Utah to see my family. We took about 3 days meandering up and had a great visit. Jason was able to fly in and spend some time, as well as drive home with us. No, I don't think it crazy to have driven by myself and no, they didn't watch movies the whole way. In fact, there was a one movie a day policy, usually just after dinner when they were tired and I was making the push to the hotel. The only really rough patch was day 3 when poor Abrielle came down with a GI virus and vomited across three states. The first time, all over herself, the car seat and the car, but luckily right in front of a self-serve car wash. The high pressure hose was very handy in getting the millions of nooks and crannies of the car seat vomit-free (not an easy task) and hosing down her clothes, (not on here body at the time) and allowing us a relatively smell free ride. However, Mr. Sensitive-Nose in the back seat suffered exceedingly from the remnant odor, therefore, we stopped in Middle-of-NoWhere Colorado, found a tiny grocery store and purchase Febreeze, Island Bliss palm-tree-shaped car fresheners, a pack of towels to line the now fairly dry car seat (easier to remove a towel, just in case), some large paper cups (handy emesis basins) and ginger-ale. I became thankful for my daughters great aim as she, at random intervals, made good use of those paper cups - one in each hand.....I was never so happy to have a kid fall asleep and take a good long nap!!!

Anyway, now we've gotten through the obligatory kids bodily function story, we'll move on to the fun......


DAY 1 --- Round Rock to Lubbock

We left 2 hours later than planned and didn't get to Lubbock until almost 10:30pm. Not what was planned but the kids were troopers. We stopped once for dinner in a dinky towns whose only playscape/park was the McDonalds. It was outdoors and closed due to light rain earlier that morning. The manager gave me directions to the closest "park," a term I use loosely. There was a bit of metal useful for climbing, if it hadn't had been 100+ degrees, and a couple of swings perched over a mix of dirt, rock, and used asphalt.....We ran a few laps, ate some treats and moved on.......

DAY 2 -- Lubbock to Farmington, NM
We spent a couple of hours driving around Lubbock. The kids thought it was cool to see Dad's school (go Raiders) and the duplex where mom and dad lived...

Kids outside our old duplex....As Carsten said,
"It's the beginning and middle of our family...."


We then drove on through West Texas.......Who named those towns? People who wanted to provide humor for traveling children......Overheard in the car......

Mom: Look guys, we're in Muleshoe now
Abrielle: I don't want to where mule shoes, I just want to where my own...
Carsten: Hmmmm....I wonder if that's what all their shoes are made of ......

A fascinating, scar-your-children-for-like-with-the-truth conversation regarding leather and its origins followed....

Mom: Look...that sign says Earth is that way.... (meaning Earth, Texas)
Carsten: You mean we're passing Earth?
Mom: Yes...
Carsten: WHAT!?!?!? Exactly how far away does Grandma live?

So then we hit the border.....


...and take the obligatory border picture to prove it.....

Time for stop. Where do you stop in New Mexico? The Billy the Kid Museum, of course. (Only thing around.....)

The term Museum us used very loosely here. Basically, some enterprising resident took his wife's collection of late 1800's junk...er...I mean antiques, put them in a meandering, random arrangement in his double wide, added a shed to make a nice little "gift" shop and started charging people to walk through....Oh, and at the end he added his collection of cars..Model T's to 1970's Dodges, un-restored. But, it was only $4 for us all to go in, so we went. Carsten LOVED it...No kidding, LOVED IT....




Abrielle---At least Abrielle's nose and sunglasses.....


Alyssa, aka The World's BEST Traveler....not a cry, not a peep...just utter contentment at whatever is going on around her....
As long as you throw her an occasional Mango-Peach Puff...gotta have the Puffs...





He liked it so much I even succumbed to the tourist trap "gift shop" and bought him a sheriff hat....so he could protect the Stagecoach....

...and the damsel.....


Hmmm ... or maybe it was just a disguise and they were more the Bonnie and Clyde type....



The "museum" did it's job.....



(Warning...driving and taking pictures of baby in rear-facing seat is not easy---there will be more like this....)


And when they awoke...they were happy!!!

...No, Princess....that's a LAP desk....

DAY 3
After spending the night in Farmington, NM, we again hit the open road. The kids were WAY excited to get to Grandma's that night. Everyone ate breakfast really fast (lots and lots of Fruit Loops--stuff they never get at home---this is significant later on....) and helped load the car. We waved to the large Prairie Dog colony in front of the hotel and were off....First stop, the obligatory border sign......

Alyssa wasn't thrilled about getting back into the carseat the morning of Day 3, so when she was happy, we just left her there. Trust me, she crossed the border, too.

Ahhh....Happy Children....(minus one)
Everyone is looking good.....


....or are they?

In retrospect, I perhaps should have been suspicious of the early morning whining. Abrielle is usually insanely happy and pleasant in the morning. After all, she was on the way to grandma's, was promised some good hiking at Arches National Park in the pink dirt (and anything pink is good) and mom had just let her have 4 bowls of fruit loops, because, after all, it's vacation. Go ahead, eat the fruit loops....

In retrospect, I should have been suspicious, but I was not. I was blissfully unaware at the inner gastric turmoil brewing right behind me. Blissfully unaware until it flew right past my right ear and landed on my arm, not to mention my hair, the seat, the floor, the carseat, the scared child, the favorite Leappad game, and the Leappad (which will never been the same), To make things even better, it happened right in the middle of two=lane construction, no shoulder, no place to stop. I can honestly say, I have never been grateful for old-fashioned self-serve stall car washes until that moment. It was the first place I saw where I could stop and help her. Not to mention clean things up a bit. (and no, I did not use the high=pressure wash on the child---you will not find me on You-Tube). 35 minutes of changing, cleaning, washing, and air drying (Yeah for hot Colorado desert sun) I had the partially assembled carseat in the trunk, hoping the sun through the back window would help it finish drying, had Abrielle in Carsten's booster seat, and prayed there was a lenient car seat law in Colorado. I gave Abrielle an empty sippy cup with strict instructions on aim and proceeded on, hoping it was just the Fruit Loops.

I NEVER buy Fruit Loops...okay, so maybe not never...perhaps twice a year when on sale AND I have a coupon. My kids just don't eat sugary cereal. On the rare (twice a year with a coupon) occasion that they do, I always use it as a topping on top of their Oatmeal Squares, or Mini-Wheats, or Cheerios. NEVER would I let them have 4 bowls or strait, unadulterated Fruit Loops. And never again will I. Nothing smells worse than regurgitated Fruit Loops.... Nothing..... the acrid emesis smell mixed with a pervasive sickenly sweetness....It was BAD!!! I stopped 2 more times to continue the clean up until I thought the smell was pretty much contained. That is, until Carsten informed me that the still drying car seat sitting inches from his nose was not smelling like a rose. For the rest of the trip to mom's, the car smelled strongly (STRONGLY!!) of the aforementioned ISLAND BREEZE....

Next stop, the border.....

Abrielle was NOT happy about getting out of the car, but I needed to get her in a pull-up. I was hoping for a super long nap and didn't want to risk the carseat.


So 3 stops, 5 large paper cups (Great Aim, Princess!!), various failed attempts in small towns at anti-nausea treatment and 1 long nap later, we reached Arches National Park. I was just going to drive through until Abrielle awoke and reminded me of the promise of hiking and pink dirt. Sooooo....we attempted the hike to Delicate Arch. I showed her the map with the options. Option 1, a mile or so right up to the arch, Option 2, shorter with stairs to a great vantage point. She looked and considered and chose option 2.....She trucked through the first half great, then the physical stress of the day hit and I carried Abrielle, Alyssa, and the stroller (the 1st half was pretty stroller friendly) the rest of the way while trying to verbally contain Carsten's "I've-been-in-a-car-way-too-long" energy and keep him from falling over a cliff. Not to mention Abrielle deciding halfway up that she wants to go swimming and wants to go find a pool, NOW. She must swim NOW!! (I personally think the filth of the day combined with the dirty trail--pink dirt is still dirt--resulted in her desperate need for water...) The result?

Yep, there we are. And that little tiny thing Carsten is pointing to is the infamous Delicate Arch. This was the "great vantage point" offered by the map. The kids were pretty upset when they saw people actually walking under the arch who went on the longer trail, but there's always next year. I am not sure I could have carried both girls up the long trail. Or down it, for that matter.

Later that night, after the longest trip through Price Canyon EVER (3 1/2 hours worth of construction), a few interesting conversations about why people put letters on mountains (to practice their alphabet, to keep track of the mountains? to make it easy to following the maps? --"go past mountain Y to mountain S then turn right at Mountain V ) and a much needed milk-shake run, we made it!! The holy grail...the land of bacon and eggs, candy and no bedtime.......

GRANDMA'S !!!


....to be continued...


4 comments:

renaekingsley said...

What a story! I'm sorry you had such a tough time with the stomach problems, but it did make for a laugh-out-loud retelling. I"m glad you're home.

Melissa said...

You're a crazy girl! I can't believe you hiked with three small kids. That's pretty awesome. Glad you made it to Utah safely. Next time you come to town give me a call. :)

Shelly said...

Brunhilda...We love to hike....Correction, but kids have been forced to love to hike since mom loves to hike.....

Sadly, we didn't get to see any friends this time...family stuff and sick kids packed the schedule....

Bill and Mel said...

Holy cow Shelly!! Talk about an adventure. Just one thing after another. I'm so glad you got there safely.