Monday, October 24, 2011

Road Trip - Day 25

This is officially the last day of our road trip. Looking back now, I'm a bit sad. It all went SO quickly! We were actually supposed to stay at the Grand Canyon for another 2 days, and then stop and camp at a couple of more places in California before we got to Livermore. But, um, yeah. We were tired. We wanted real beds. And a real toilet.

So, the night before, Russ had planned to take the bus down to the bottom of the furthest trail and then hike back up to camp. I figured the kids and I could ride down with him and hike a bit of the way up and take another bus back up to camp. Well, it was rainy and icky when we left camp, but when we got a bit closer to the canyon, this is what we found...

the fog was SO thick. The kids kept wanting to wander, but if they'd get more than 5-8 feet from us, we couldn't see them... That's when Russ and I looked at each other and said, "I'm Done." HAHA.

We took the bus back to camp where the kids played Condors in the tree while Russ and I packed up. We had everything ready to go in record time.

The drive from the Grand Canyon to Livermore was 13 hours. The only official stop (other than quick potty breaks) we made where here, in Barstow, CA to let the kids out to eat dinner and play for a grand total of 30 minutes before hopping back into the car.

The kids watched as many movies in that day than they did the entire trip combined, I think! Sam passed out for about an hour, but Brooklyn (who has never slept well in the car) didn't sleep a WINK. Come 2am, she was at her wits end. Poor kid. She would be thrashing in the back, "I...WANT...OUT!!...AUUGHHHH!!!" It wasn't stressful at all, lol.

Russ and I had started reading A Game of Thrones (out loud) at some point in our road trip, and I read for nearly 10 HOURS on the drive to Livermore. The closer we got, the faster I read...trying to see if I could finish it before we got to the hotel. Keep in mind, it is 835 PAGES LONG! You will be happy to know that I finished it as we pulled off onto our exit. Oh yeah, that's how I roll.

We pulled into the hotel at 3:15am, where they informed us that all they had was a queen-sized bed. We'll take it.

Road Trip - Day 24

Around the Grand Canyon campground there are signs informing you that you should put all of your food away as the ravens enjoy feasting on your goods. Well, we were short on refrigerated space and we knew it would be cool (okay, COLD) enough that the eggs would be fine outside. Besides, ravens won't know that there are eggs in an egg carton...pfft. They aren't THAT smart....right? (I'd forgotten that they are often smarter than chimps...whoops)

So we woke up to some cawing and wing-flapping and I thought, 'Oh man, some poor sucker left their food out, I'll bet.' Guess what we opened our door to? Yup, ravens flying away with WHOLE EGGS in their mouths...who's the sucker now?

We got bundled up, made some food (while the kids took turns trying to wrestle each other into the dirt), and assembled our things to get going so we could go hike around the canyon.

Waiting for the bus, we are excited!!

So excited to ride a bus for the first time! We could have stayed on all day and they would have been just as happy.

Then to the visitor center to see a video about the Grand Canyon. The kids loved the movie! Brooklyn especially loved the parts showing the white water rafting, "Mom, can we do that?!" Uhhh....

Then up to the Rim Trail for some absolutely breath-taking views. Pictures will never do it justice.

She thought all of the carved initials of people that had been there before were pretty cool.

After a couple of miles, we were all getting a bit grumpy.

We got to the lodge area just as the hail started and the deafening thunder claps started. So we ducked into the store where Russ and Brook decided on matching hats.

Grr, this photo is out of order, but it shows half of our journey along the rim trail...Sam in time out. The first one started when we forgot to set the "boundaries," literally. For those of you who have hiked the Rim Trail, you know there are parts along it that go right next to the edge. Add a 3 year old, energetic little boy and you get some very scary experiences... Thankfully, he only tried that once. He realized how close he was to the edge (close enough to where I saw what was happening and I was literally paralyzed--I remember thinking, "GO! MOVE! GRAB HIM!!!" and I just stood watching in about a nightmare!) and didn't do it any more. ...that didn't keep him from sprinting at 100 mph around corners though. UGH. So yes, lots of time outs.

We went back to camp and ate some grilled turkey and mozzarella sandwiches for lunch and then Russ and the kids took a snooze while I went to the Canyon Headquarters to attempt to use the barely-there wi-fi. I soon gave up and went to join everybody for a nap, except that the kids woke up about 2 minutes after I lay down. I was feeling lazy though and told the kids to get their boots on and go play outside. Brooklyn had rain boots on, but Sam didn' first I tried to hold him back, but it was worthless. These kids played HARD for THREE HOURS straight.

Lots of biking through puddles (LOVE how he always has his tongue out when he's concentrating--he's done it since he was born! And this kid is a little BMX biker, he's crazy!)...

...a bit of jumping...

...and finally it was time to clean up. Good thing she had rain boots on, huh?

Then we ate some dinner and afterwards the kids were playing a game of Turtles and Condors, haha! After the day that we had, we all passed out come sundown

Road Trip - Day 23

Sorry for the HUGE gap in posts everyone! But I'm making the attempt to get back on the bandwagon. I believe we left off leaving Tucson, AZ...

We hurried and got everything all packed up and piled in the car--we wanted to hit the Science Museum in Phoenix. We'd been telling the kids for a day or two about how fun it'll be....yeah, can you guess how this is going to turn out?? I'll give you a hint, the museum is downtown and it would cost us nearly $24 PER HOUR to park in the parking garage with the trailer. Needless to say, our kids were NOT happy.

They were however slightly appeased with the promise of stopping at a Redbox. We finally found one in the most ghetto part of the city. It was a 7-11...without any gas pumps. I wasn't aware that those actually existed. And even worse? Both Russ and I needed to use the restrooms ASAP. The restroom was, how shall we say...horridly disgusting. I loved the ambiance that the clogged up sink full of beard hair added. Yeah.

Anyways...back into the car on our way to Tuzigoot National Monument. It was neat--a pretty short walk, and it would have been awesome to have gone in it, but they've had all sorts of vandalism and stuff. It's pretty neat though.

We hopped back into the car, grabbed some lunch and headed to Flagstaff for some groceries before moving on to the Grand Canyon. The problem was that we forgot to get gas before leaving Tuzigoot! So Russ and I were holding our breath as we pulled into a random gas station on the way there. Phew!

Anyways, we stocked up on groceries and made the trek to the giant hole in the Earth. We got there and were all set up and ready to go by 7:30pm. One thing that struck us as odd was the amount of people there! And that it was so COLD! Thankfully, I'd stopped at Goodwill and picked at least sweatshirts up for everyone.

We ended the day by taking the kids to the laundromat and eating a mish-mash of things for dinner. Russ and I were pooped, lol. These two, on the other hand, don't seem to tire out!!!

Next Up: The Grand Canyon Itself!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Just wanted to announce that after a month of living in our house, WE NOW HAVE THE INTERNET!!!!! WOOT!!!

Yes, it's double the price than we wanted, but at least we are not digging a trench.

Sorry, no pictures. STILL don't have my camera's battery charger out of the camper...sigh.

...but at least I can finish posting the last 4 days of our road trip...that was THIRTY FIVE DAYS AGO.

Sorry guys, will get back on the horse soon.