Sunday, June 28, 2009

Travel thoughts...

I was just thinking about something I heard at the CHEC convention last week. The speaker said that you can not really know a person through a blog, or that type of "relationship". Her point was that you don't see the real person, or know the whole story, based on what you read on their blog. I thought, "not me!" I always try to put the real Trina out there..." Then I started thinking about our day yesterday. You got a five minute flash through a 15 hour day, and trust me, you only got the good parts! You did not get the whiney-all-day three year old. The I-need-to-go-outside-and-smash-something five year old, or the seven year old who is actually doing very well on this trip! You did not see the two hours it took to finally get all the kids asleep, and well, neither did I! I finally gave up on the last one, and went to bed with him on the other side of the king size bed, and passed out myself! The kids are trying to survive on 8 hours or less of sleep, when they normally get 12...they are eating all kinds of foods (and chemicals) that they normally don't get, and they are stuck in a moving vehicle for 6-10 hours a day!

So, all that to say...Enjoy the glimpses into our trip, and know that we covet your prayers as we make this incredible journey! We are having a blast, are exhausted, and would not trade it for the world!

These pics were made about an hour ago...I have since packed right over their heads, and they are still all in the exact same positions! Poor, tired babies!


Day 4 - Indianapolis, IN, to somewhere in Ohio...

Day 4...a good day...and a long day! We started out in Indianapolis, with some yummy waffles, then loaded up and headed for the Creation Museum.

What a cool place. The kids really liked the petting zoo (especially feeding the goats) and there is an awesome swinging bridge that is fun to cross (unless the Big Boys get on it at the same time and really make it fly!). I had to use my Mommy Voice to tell them to knock it off, before I lost one of my little boys right over the side!

Inside the museum, the displays were incredible...a fave for us was Noah's ark...a life size representation of just a small section of the Ark, and it towered over our heads. AJ loved all the water that was there, and the big moving dinos...he did ask many times if they were "...going to come down from there and get him..." but he was fascinated with an Apatosaurus that was 'chewing' a mouthful of green stuff, way over his head.

We also loved the "dark room", where it is completely dark, showing that "the world was with out form..." we had to go through that one a couple of times. One of my favorite parts was a video clip that showed the creation of Adam from the dirt. The expression on his face as he looked at his hands, awe, amazement, wonder...but he had a belly button...does someone created by God, not born of woman have a belly button...guess we will have to wait and see!

We finally got to our room last night, after to the pool we went for a short swim, then back to our room for some Little House on the Prairie. As we were leaving the Creation Museum (headed to the next hotel/pool), AJ said..."Mommy, maybe they fixed the pool. Probably they did," He was remembering that last night, we had to go find a new hotel because the pool was 'broken'. Too funny the things they remember!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 3 - Newton, NE to Indianapolis, IN

This was one looooong day of driving! And on Jalapeno's FIFTH birthday - what a bummer way to spend your birthday!

After a birthday breakfast of "make your own waffles", we loaded up and headed out. It was 10 am...

Grandpa need some things from the outlet mall, so while he and Grammie did some quick shopping, the kids made use of their scooters in a safe end of the parking lot.

Nothing much exciting happened, except that I found out that my number two son will do anything (and I do mean anything) when bribed with swimming in the pool. We were driving for ten hours (lots of potty stops in there, just so you know...) and when he started to get bossy and demanding, all I had to do was remind him that a pool was in his near future, and the sun would come out and begin to shine!

We did stop for a birthday lunch at Subway, and Jalapeno had a meatball sub...he really enjoyed it!

Grandpa also made a good call when he bought a box of fudgesicles...witness the results:

I am going to have to take the camera to the pool tomorrow night - the kids had a blast! Problem was, when we tried to book a room at 7:30, we found out that the pool was closed! I did not want to go to the car and tell the kids that they were not going to get to swim after all. So we drove across Indianapolis, to another hotel, and got checked in, only to realize that we had changed times zones, and it was not 8 pm, but 9 the kids ended up swimming til after 10 and did not get in bed and asleep til almost 11!!! Good thing we are headed for a nice quiet week in Buffalo - they are going to need to catch up on some sleep and get some GOOD food in their bodies! I for one am ready for a really good salad!

So, once again, I am sitting in a darkened hotel room while the children sleep. Tonight I have a wifi connection, so I am taking advantage of it, to update the blog. Hope you are enjoying our trip as much as we are!

Day two – Grand Island to Newton, NE

Day two – Grand Island to Newton, NE (just east of Des Moines)

The theme for today is “Who in the world thought it was a good idea to travel across the mid-west in mid-June?!?!?” Yes, it is HOT!! And the first time I walked out the door this morning, to go to the van, I remembered why I moved to Colorado - I HATE HUMIDITY!!! Well that’s not why we really moved, but that is my story, and I’m sticking to it! From this point out, I am going to take every opportunity to eat ice cream that crosses my path!

Anyway…the kids slept late this am, I had to wake them all up. A combination of still being on Colorado time and staying up too late swimming last night! I took advantage of them sleeping in and went to the gym and walked on the treadmill. Nothing exciting there, but it felt good to walk! I am already missing my early morning walks through the neighborhood. Can’t wait ‘til we get to my uncle’s house in Buffalo – he lives in farm country, and you can walk for miles, as long as you carry a big stick to ward of the overly protective farm dogs!

Did you know you have to “…pay to get into the hotel room…” every time you go through the door? Apparently, my little Jalapeno, who saw me sliding my key card to open the door, thought that I had to pay to get into the room…makes sense, since Mommy “slides a card” when she goes to the grocery store and every other place we spend money.

We started out our morning at Sturh Museum. It is an 1899 town, in Grand Island, with all the local businesses intact, and run by docents. We visited the dentist, the doctor, the saloon…aka the ice cream shop, the general store and the tin smith. We all got to make “tinsicles”, which are now dangling from the rearview mirror in the van. They will be a very nice addition to our Christmas tree this year. They had some cool tin cups, that the tin smith had made right there in the shop. Guess we will pass on those…

We also went to the blacksmith shop, the hardware store and an old log cabin, complete with outhouse (and a bucket of corncobs). The kids are fascinated with outhouses…mental note – find one they can actually use! My Dad told me that the saying “Rough as a corncob, and twice as long.” comes from the use of those corncobs. If you don’t know what they were for, don’t ask me! Go read a book! I for one, am happy that someone invented Charmin!

We also went to the train station, where the kids delighted in running laps through the cargo area of the depot, down the outside ramp and back up the stairs into the cargo area. Did they not get the memo that it is 92 degrees here, and 200% humidity – ugh!

There was also a kids area inside the museum proper, so the kids and Grammie hung out there after lunch while Dad and I went back to the black smith shop to pick up some custom made dog leash hooks. The blacksmith had just created the first of this design that morning, and he made another for Dad and Mom, while we finished the museum.

We had a run in with the local duck population. It seems that they don’t believe they should have to wait for crumbs from our lunch, so they swarmed the picnic table where we were eating, sending one little Pineapple into tears of terror. He may never look at ducks the same way again!

Then, we loaded up into the van, and began our long drive across Eastern Nebraska and into Iowa. I have never been to Iowa (or Nebraska, either), and I find it very pretty. Long rolling hills, some trees, and still that big, blue sky! Very nice! Especially from the comfort of my air conditioned van. Can you believe that people actually walked across this country for two thousand miles?!? Boy, we have become a very whiney people, don’t you think?

As we tried to find a place to stay for the night, we kept hearing from the back…”Are we at the swimming pool yet?” No, not yet, we kept saying. When we finally pulled up to the hotel, I told my little Pineapple that I had to go get a key for our room. His response: “I will wait for you Mommy – and I will be patient”. Must be listening, after all!

We swam for an hour, got ready for bed, turned out all the lights (except for my book light) and read a little from “Little House on the Prairie”…we were reading about Mary and Laura getting tin cups for Christmas…makes me wish I had bought those tin cups, after all!



Day 1 Littleton to Grand Island, NE

Day 1 – Littleton to Grand Island, NE

Amazingly, we got away only an hour late this morning! It has really helped to have my mom here…she just fills in the gaps, whenever and wherever she is needed! I really miss living close to family!

“The Question” started early (with a little prodding from Grandpa, I’m thinking) …”Mommy, are we there yet?” I told them right off that every time I heard that question, I was going to collect a penny, and then I was going to go buy myself a big ice cream cone – which pretty much put an end to that little mutiny!

Pineapple, my dear darling, started asking right off …”Are we on our trip, Mommy?” – I replied that yes, we were indeed on our trip. “Where are we going?” was the next question. To which I replied “Uncle Jim’s” (he lives in Buffalo). So, for the rest of the day, every time we stopped I heard “Mommy, where are we? Are we at Uncle Jim’s? Why are we stopping Mommy?! I want to go to Uncle Jim’s!” – or “Are we going to our home, Mommy?” There are just some things on the space-time continuum that a three year old will never get, even if he is almost four!

After lunch we stopped at an original stop on the pony express… the highlight for the kids, pop guns that Grammie bought for them! We also stopped at an old soddy – very cool. Someone crafted a buffalo and an Indian on a horse out of barb wire. I was trying to explain the symbolism to the kids, but it was of course, wasted! They did like peeking in the windows of the soddy, and climbing in the old wagon for a picture…oh, and peeking under the outhouse door! We are reading Little House on the Prairie right now, so hopefully this is putting things in context for them!

And something of note: We finally found a name for the monkey that is making this trip with us – his name is “Clark” – the rooster my Dad is toting across the country, is of course called “Lewis”! Watch for them in the pictures! Lewis and Clark do the mid-west, backwards, this time!

We made it to our first night stop, and to the delight of the children, we spent an hour and a half in the pool! They were so funny, because they have not been in a pool since last summer, and were a little timid at first, but by the end, they were jumping off the side (Sweet Potato) and off the steps (the boys) with abandon. My little Pineapple climbed up the steps, threw aside the ‘noodle’ he had been hanging on to for the whole time, and leapt off the middle step! His water wings popped him right back up, but he did not have as much buoyancy as with the noodle, so you should have seen the surprised look on his face – too bad we don’t have a water proof camera!

So far the trip has gone very well. The kids have traveled well and they are all snuggled up in bed right now, after a viewing of “Lord of the Beans”. Jalapeno gets to sleep in Grammie and Grandpa’s room tonight, so while the other two fall asleep, I am perched on the edge of a chair, with the lap top on the edge of the sink, in the dark…hopefully they will go to sleep soon!

We were supposed to go to Sturh Living History Museum in the am, but a huge rainstorm just swept through, so I am wondering about how deep the mud is going to be…guess we will drive by and check it out! There is something that makes you wonder, when the hotel sign says “Welcome hail damage repair folks”, and every sign you see in town talks about storm repair…just wondering what the van is going to look like when we head out tomorrow!

Going to head for bed now, talk to you again soon!