Friday, July 21, 2017

road trip day forty one: the drive home

breakfast and back to sleep
Christopher was excited to have a Texas waffle for breakfast... in Tennessee!!  It was nice and quiet for the first part of the drive.

sweet p's bbq
We can't drive through Knoxville TN and NOT go to Sweet P's BBQ!!
July 21, 2017 - Knoxville TN - State #13 - 5992 miles

After an amazing trip, almost six weeks away and driving over 6000 miles, we were finally home!!
July 21, 2017 - HOME!! - State #1 Again - 6232 miles


Thursday, July 20, 2017

road trip day forty: drive to jackson

braum's stop
The next day, we stopped for another ice cream lunch on our drive east.
July 20, 2017 - Alma AR - State #12 - 5316 miles

starbucks stop
- Starbucks break -

corky's bbq
We stop at Corky's BBQ every year and this year was no exception!  Delicious bbq... and apparently spaghetti and corn on the cob (it's what she always orders).
July 20, 2017 - Memphis TN - State #13 - 5606 miles

last hotel night
After dinner, we drove another hour to Jackson, TN and our hotel for the night.  The kids were excited to be out of the car, though one was upset that we didn't go swim.
July 20, 2017 - Jackson TN - State #13 - 5683 miles


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

road trip day thirty nine: drive to okc

cadillac ranch one
After getting a good night's sleep, we left Albuquerque and headed east.  Our first stop of the day was just outside of Amarillo, TX at Cadillac Ranch.
July 19, 2017 - Amarillo TX - State #7 Again - 4852 miles

cadillac ranch two
- Cadillac Ranch -

learning to spray paint
The kids all learned how to use spray paint so that they could add to the graffiti on the cars.

paint in the face
Some followed directions better than others... and one ended up with spray paint all over her forehead!

cadillac ranch colors
We drove past Cadillac Ranch every year on our drive home but this was the first time that we ventured out to the cars.  It was so cool to see the bright colors against the green fields and blue skies.

braum's and shamrock
After our spray painting adventures, we stopped at Braum's for "lunch" (we just had ice cream!) and then continued east to Shamrock, TX to see the gas station that was the inspiration for Ramones in Cars.

hotel in okc
When we made it to Oklahoma City, we got settled into our room and then went downstairs for happy hour.
July 19, 2017 - Oklahoma City OK - State #11 - 5120 miles

dinner in the room
We ordered pizza for dinner and had a relaxing evening in the room watching TV.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

road trip day thirty eight: drive to abq

time to go
Even though it seemed like we'd just arrived in Arizona, it was time to head home.  We said goodbye to Ben since we was staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house for two weeks (ALL BY HIMSELF!) and then hit the road!

drive to abq
Driving through the Arizona desert - Dinner at Garduño's in Albuquerque - Happy hour and board games at our hotel.
July 18, 2017 - Albuquerque NM - State #8 Again - 4569 miles

Monday, July 17, 2017

road trip days thirty six and thirty seven: the last day, and really the last day

last errands, snacks, and pool
On our last day in Arizona, we ran errands, made a last stop at Golden Spoon, and of course, spent time in the pool. 

the last barro's
One last dinner at Barro's Pizza.  

After our delicious pizza and wings, we got the kids loaded into the van and then realized that it wouldn't start, the keys were stuck in the ignition, and the car was beeping.  Cue panic... We called AAA (who said it could be up to 2 hours!) and Grandma started shuttling kids back to the house (in the Miata, so clearly that was going to take awhile...).  Amazingly, a guy showed up and asked if we needed any help with the van and it turns out he was a mechanic (or at least more mechanically inclined than us) and he said it was probably the battery (which we figured) and jumped it so I could drive to an auto part store for a new one.  We thanked him for his help and I started driving to AutoZone.  The windows were rolled about halfway down because I didn't want to run the air and all of a sudden, the driver's side window fell into the track.  How does that even happen?!  My parents met us at AutoZone and we decided there was no point in getting a battery because I clearly couldn't drive cross-country with a window down the whole time so the van needed to go to VW in the morning.

Bright and early the next morning, my dad jumped the van and I drove it to VW and pleaded with them to fix it as quickly as possible because we were supposed to leave that morning.  We headed back to the house with fingers crossed that my car would be ready by lunch so that we could still make the drive to Albuquerque.

chick-fil-a prizes
At cow appreciation day, I entered the kids in a costume contest and we found out they won(!) so since we clearly weren't leaving yet, we went to Chick-fil-A to pick up our awesome prizes-- ice dream cones, cow calendars and cute little cows!

Unfortunately, my "we have to leave no later than" times kept getting pushed later and later and then completely passed, so around 3p I had to accept the fact that we would not be leaving as planned and started the mess of calling and rescheduling all of our hotel stays across the country.  Shout out to Hilton though, as most of our hotels were able to push our stay one night and honor the original rate!!  We picked up the van that afternoon after it got a new battery and the window mechanism replaced (luckily, both were under warranty!) and we were able to relax for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

we didn't leave!
Enjoying our bonus day at Grandma and Grandpa's house: playdoh, pool time, and Sweet Tomatoes for dinner!

grandpa's car
Ellie was so excited to FINALLY ride in Grandpa's car all the way to the mailbox (at the end of the street!).  Such fun on our real last night in Arizona!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

road trip day thirty five: snow day

playing with diya
My high school best friend, Payal, and her family came over for dinner on our last weekend in Arizona.  The kids were so excited to meet and play with her two year old daughter, Diya, and had fun showing her all over Grandma and Grandpa's house.

snowballs one
After dinner, we headed outside to have a snowball fight (in the desert!) with Bahama Buck's snowballs.

snowballs two
The kids had fun throwing the snowballs at each other with only minimal crying when they (really, just Ellie) got hit in the head.

snowballs three
Snowballs are fun to throw and fun to eat!

snowballs four
The big kids decided that Grandpa needed snow down his shirt-- he was oh, so pleased!

snowballs five
Snowball fun!

two cute girls
Two sweet girls.  I'm sure that Ellie and Diya would be best friends if we lived a bit closer!

playing with the little people
After the snowball fight, the girls had a blast playing with the Little People from when Janne and I were kids.  I'm so glad that my parents kept our toys for all these years-- it was fun to watch my kids play with our old toys!


Friday, July 14, 2017

road trip days thirty two to thirty thirty four: arizona fun

disney day
We saw on Facebook that Sugarlips Cakery was doing a Disney day with free Disney cupcakes and had to check it out.  The cupcakes were delicious (so we bought some extra ones!) and the kids loved all of the fun Disney touches!

meeting princesses
Ellie and Lexie's favorite part was meeting the Disney princesses!

organ stop one
Another fun night at Organ Stop Pizza-- Ben was getting tired of having pizza for dinner so he opted for a giant salad!

checking out the organ
Grandpa showed the kids how the organ worked and then the organist came out to tell them more about the mighty Wurlitzer.

- the William Tell Overture (Finale) -

organ stop fun
It's fun going in July and getting to hear a mix of Christmas music as well as traditional favorites.

- You're a Grand Old Flag -

sandwiches in the pool
Ben and Lexie convinced Grandma to let them eat lunch in the pool!

starbucks snack
Ellie HAD to try the new strawberry cake pop at Starbucks-- she had more fun playing with it than eating it.

fun in the pool
Back in the pool!

yummy cupcakes
We enjoyed our Disney inspired cupcakes from Sugarlips-- Spaghetti and meatballs from Lady and the Tramp, the poison apple from Snow White, and the rose from Beauty and the Beast.

bosa donuts
Can't go to Arizona without stopping at Bosa for donuts.

just the girls
We had a girls' morning and went to Starbucks, got pedicures, and made a Target run...

the last in-n-out
...And then met all of the boys for one last lunch at In-n-Out.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

road trip day thirty one: cow appreciation, swimming, and 7/11

making "cow"stumes
We're all about getting free food so when Chick-fil-A announced their cow appreciation day, we set to work making costumes.

cute cows
Nick and Ben didn't want to dress up so they stayed home, but the rest of us enjoyed our free Chick-fil-A for lunch!

cute cows 2
I love that Chick-fil-A offers promotions like this-- it was something fun and different for us to do!

kids in their "cow"stumes
Such sweet little cows.

swimming with the whites
After lunch we went home to get the other two kiddos and then went down the street to the White's house to swim.  As a child, we often went down to the White's to swim (or they came to our house), so it was fun seeing my kids swim with their grandkids.

swimming with the whites 2
Fun in the pool!

After an afternoon of swimming, and then showers, we went to 7/11 for slurpees.  Again, all about the free stuff-- free slurpees at 7/11 on 7/11!!


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