Thursday, January 5, 2012

3500 mile drive in pictures.

The night before the Yard Sale To End All Yard Sales.  

The trailer! Next step: Fill it with everything we have left.

Looks good, but I think we can still squeeze a few things in.

Saying goodbye was so hard.

All loaded and locked up and ready to go. Notice the Tibetan prayer flags on top of the car.

First stop: Hiram, Maine. We arrived after dark but that didn't stop us from playing outside!

Lots of loving for Barney Pig.

Three families with 8 kids packed into a little farm house! What fun we had.

Me and some of my dearest friends, Joye and Amanda. A great celebration of friendship before our
cross-country voyage.

The bridge out of Maine. The trip started to feel very real at this point.

Massachusetts Welcomes You!

Our second overnight stay, in Salem, MA - the family of a close friend from college.

There seems to be a giant trying to get into your cute pink house.
Next stop, my sister-in-law's bridal shower, where the kids were delighted to find a Candy Buffet.
Bring on the Sugar High.

A visit with Titia Jessica at her bridal shower, and apparently BooBoo was morphing into Demon Child.

My sister-in-law and her new husband. Could we possibly get a normal face out of our kids for these pictures? Not when they're full of lollipops, apparently.

Late night drive out of Massachusetts.

At least sugar highs lead to sugar crashes, which make for a quiet car ride.

Breakfast after our third night, at the home of our long time friends Ken and Vanessa and their beautiful family.

The biggest and busiest play date EVER, and a bonus visit with Marla, one of my dearest friends from college!

I love the way kids are never strangers to each other.

As always, lots of loving for the piggy.

Dear friends from different times in our lives, brought together around our beautiful children!
Heading towards the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.

This was a trip down memory lane. Morristown, NJ was where my family attended church when I was growing up.

Fourth overnight stop: The home of my lifelong best friend Gen, and her amazing collection of dolls!

I love this woman as much as I loved her when we were 10 years old!

Schooleys Mountain General Store, the hub of activity in the tiny town I lived in, and where I had my first full-time job.

Checking on the animals at a Pennsylvania rest stop.

Taking a running around break, but not ready to get back in the car!

"What's that smell?" as I notice this leaning on the headrest of my seat.

A wake-up play date in Columbus, Ohio after our fifth overnight stop, at the home of Wendy and Arthur.

This woman is amazing. Even though she was all the way in Ohio, Wendy was a huge source of support to me when I was in labor with BooBoo.

Woohoo, bring on the country music!

Am I glowing?
Sixth overnight stop. Exhausted, emotional late-night arrival at Katie's house.

How delicious! We still talk about how great this meal was.

Finger-lickin' good! A relaxing day hanging around Memphis, where we spent the seventh night of our trip.

Walking in Memphis...

Turns out we were visiting Memphis the week of Elvis's birthday! Couldn't have planned that better if we tried.

Beautiful streets of Memphis.

Did you know that Memphis has a pyramid? We didn't. This was a surprise.

Our first time eating at a Sonic.

We caught a downpour that lasted about 2 hours as we drove across Arkansas.

Just driving in the rain...

The boys were such good little travelers.

Even Corben learned to deal with the long hours in the car.

Arkansas cow field.

The edge of the storm! Hooray, we made it!

Thankfully the storm was over by the time we had to set up our camp site.

Eighth night of the journey, getting ready for a night of camping in Alma, Arkansas.

Our Arkansas camp site. Our next stop would have been Amarillo, TX but the guys who ran the Alma camp site urged us to just push through and get to Albuquerque. When we smelled Amarillo we understood why.

About halfway across the state of Oklahoma our air conditioner suddenly stopped working.  At this gas station,  acting on the advice of a Subaru mechanic, The Man cut the belt on the air compressor to prevent the whole thing from seizing up. From this point on we had no air conditioning, vents, defrosters or anything.

... and we're getting ready to drive into a storm, as it's getting dark, as we have no air or defrosters for the windows.
Fun times.

Ninth night of the trip, somewhere in the Texas panhandle. The poor kids were not happy campers that night.

Driving through the night across the Texas panhandle and New Mexico.

We decided that after our harrowing ordeal driving straight through from Arkansas to Albuquerque, we'd stay an extra night with our dear friends Staci and August and their family. The kids welcomed the break.

Play date for moms, too! Here are some moms I've had the pleasure of knowing for a long time and become very close friends with. Staci, Melanie, me, and Leah.

The rain followed us to Albuquerque but it didn't stop the kids from playing outside.

A pizza feast on the tenth night of the trip, including some dairy free and some gluten free. We are a diverse bunch of people.

Play date for Daddies, too!

The weather looked more promising as we headed out, from Albuquerque headed towards Phoenix, Arizona.

Beautiful desert formations.

One of the many little communities in the desert.

The Man and I are absolutely in love with the dramatic rock formations in that part of the country.

The landscape is divided by long, straight stretches of rail, and freight trains that can be hundreds of cars long.

One of the many freight trains chugging across the desert.

Gorgeous desert mountain scenery.

Here's another way to get to the Grand Canyon, where we vacationed earlier in the year!

Sun is getting ready to set on Arizona. It turned out to be a very long night of running out of oil on the side of a mountain, but we all made it out in the end.
We ended up making it to Phoenix at about one am on the eleventh night of the trip. 

On the last morning of our trip, ready to leave Tessa's apartment at about 8 am after a very late night.


Very exciting - the scenery starting to change! We're in California! At this point we were really excited and making a lot more videos than still pictures.

Stinky, grimy, happy, exhausted little boys asleep in their new bedroom after 12 very long days. We made it home at about 6 pm, signed our lease, and had everything moved into our new apartment by about 10:30 pm.

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