I was a little nervous about our cross-country adventure, but mostly excited because there’s a big world to see! At a minimum our trip would be 33 hours, but throw a couple of kids in there and you’re going to be in the car 4-5 days depending on how things go (excuse me while I try to relieve the tightness in my chest from thinking about being in the car for four days..). I thought and I planned and I crafted and I tried to come up with everything I could think of to entertain our children. Turns out those mornings of entertaining themselves while I cleaned or worked or baked, or whatever I may have been doing that didn’t directly involve them, were good practice for entertaining themselves in the car!
We quickly realized that being the driver was actually the coveted position, as the passenger was faced with constantly contorting to meet the whims of the children in the back seat. And the whims were abundant. As you might guess, I am far more contortable than my inflexible husband, so he won the driver’s seat most of the time. And, I have to say, even for as long as it was, the drive was quite fun!
- Driving on a two-lane road is astoundingly easy after living in LA for a year. I kind of felt like I didn’t even need to pay attention (but, never fear, I did!). I didn’t realize how stressful that driving really was until I felt the relief of something easier!
- The landscape of the southern US is incredible and incredibly diverse, which I was not expecting. Sadly, it’s just not the same on a camera as it is to see it in person, so you’ll just have to trust me.
(This stuff was crazy.. there were thick black rocks and mounds all over the place. Looked like lava had bubbled up and hardened. I really wanted to touch it, but I refrained from requesting a pull-over :)
I think my favorite were the plateau formations. They were layered and colorful and so interesting to look at. It seems I didn’t bother photographing them after seeing how indistinct the previous photos turned out, despite how incredible the scenery was. My apologies!
- We drove though a lot of minimally populated areas. The questions that kept coming up every time we passed another lone house were things like, 'So, what do you suppose you do when you live out here?' 'Do you think they have friends?' 'Where on earth do they get groceries?' It was very puzzling. But, also made me realize there are a lot of places in the US to make movies when you need a remote location.
- The desert is stunningly dry. Obvious, you might think, but I felt like I might as well have been crawling through the sand for how constant my thirst was.
- Turns out there are elk in Arizona. And we almost hit one. Now we know.
- The Grand Canyon might not be as fun as you expect. But it is gorgeous nonetheless.
|Asher was really into photos|
|We gave up on the kids :)|
|I love Asher's facial expression with all my heart.|
Some poor international person was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was asked to take our lovely family photos. The kids were really not happy about a family photo. I don’t know what got into them, but the Grand Canyon made them crazy! We were glad to get back in the car – ha!
I can also say, this was my last day wearing non-maternity jeans (for apparent reasons!). Sitting for that long in something that wasn’t stretchy was just unacceptable for Blueberry and I!
- Long meals with ample opportunity to use the leg muscles are a treat when you’re living in a car. Somewhere is a really cute picture of the kids running around at dinner one day. Just imagine them inexplicably and repeatedly showing us their bellies as they run circles around a picnic table. That about sums it up!
- It seems the movie ‘Cars’ was pretty accurate. Route 66 could use some love from Bessie. And Roadkill Café has a delicious salad bar. Asher tells us it’s a good spot to poop.
- Oklahoma is beautiful after several days in the desert! We couldn’t get enough of the green. Though, it was sobering to drive past a bit of the devastation from recent tornadoes. And, it was an almost immediate relief to my unquenchable thirst when we left the desert behind us!
- Our kids are total troopers. They were astoundingly (some might say shockingly) longsuffering and allowed us to make enough progress to arrive at Nena and Papaw’s house a day before we expected to! I could hardly believe it.
I cannot express enough how impressed I was with how they just took things in stride. If we rolled into the hotel after midnight (which we did almost every night), they were like ‘whatevs.. we’ll just sit here and drool over Nascar racing while you set up our beds.’ Everyday they were ready with excitement to get back in the car to head to our next stop. I just couldn’t (and can’t) get over it. I know there were so many praying for us, and it was so evident. Despite that, we were very grateful to roll into that Indiana driveway and know the trip behind us.
It took longer than I expected to get over the ‘car lag’ of the time changes we drove through, but within a few days we were good as new.
I’m not looking to do a crazy long drive again any time soon, but I can tell you that I wouldn’t be afraid if we needed to. Added bonus, the 5 hours it takes us to get from here to Indiana seems like nothing now! :)