Nov 29, 2011

Road Trip: The off-road parts

Our Thanksgiving road trip is done!  We spent lots of time on the road, covering 2,074 miles in five states in ten days.  Half of our vacation days were travel days, since we broke up the driving into manageable chunks of 5-8 hours.  The kids traveled really well, thanks in large part to our portable DVD players and lots of snacks. Between heating bottles at gas stations and making numerous stops for food and potties and fuel, we definitely had our roadside adventures, but overall I'd call the effort a success.

I hardly took any pictures on our trip (maybe because I always had a babe in arms!), but hopefully this brief rundown will help us recall our happy memories one day.

Our time in Mesa was full of family fun.  On Saturday evening my parents hosted most of my siblings and their families for a hot dog dinner.  It was so great to see everyone!  The kids immediately reconnected with their cousins and Granny's swing set and play room.

The adults sat around a table for hours, just talking and laughing.  The next night everyone congregated at my parents' house for dinner again.  More playing and eating and laughing!  Eric told Tyler he would pay him a dollar to lick his elbow.  Tyler tried valiantly for about 15 minutes, providing ample entertainment for us all!  My favorite part of our trip was late-night laughter with the adults on the couch.  I haven't laughed so much in a really long time.  I love being related to such funny people!

Since the entire family was present for the weekend, we also had a photographer take some family portraits.  It was a fun photo session.  I'm happy to have this time in our family's life recorded, even if I'm not thrilled with my figure right now.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making the effort to do this for us!

On Monday and Tuesday we had more play time with cousins.  We played at a park, ate pizza together, played with Granny's toys, and visited the farm animals in Granny's neighborhood.  The boys were quite enamored with this giant cactus.  We were definitely in the desert!

I also had the chance to lunch with my dear friend, Melanie.  She made excellent company and even better conversation!  I'm still not sure why she had to move away, but I take comfort in seeing her a few times a year.  Garry had his own lunch date while in Mesa.  Two of his high school buddies, Mike and Tyler, live in Gilbert, so they got together for the first time since their BYU days.  (No photo, though.)

Leaving Mesa on Wednesday was extra hard because Eric's wife, Jentry, was in labor with their first child.  I had SO hoped that little Beckham would arrive during our stay so I could meet him!  Late that night Jentry delivered him by c-section.  On Thanksgiving Day we enjoyed a video chat through Skype.  Thank goodness for technology.  A piece of my heart is always in Mesa with my dear family.

Garry's family welcomed us with open arms when we arrived on Wednesday evening.  The seven-hour drive to Logandale, NV wasn't too bad, although everyone was definitely tired of the car!  We enjoyed a few hours of visiting with Garry's sister, Heidi, who left for California the next morning.  Garry's grandma was also visiting for the weekend and we were glad for a chance to see her.  Many of Garry's cousins were in town for the holiday weekend, which made for some fun reunions on Thursday night.

We enjoyed a yummy Thanksgiving meal together on Thursday and then Garry's cousin took family pictures for us.

Afterwards, Garry and the kids enjoyed Grandma and Grandpa's trampoline, which our boys listed as one of their favorite parts of our trip.  Watching them fly in the air made me smile.

Garry and the boys helped Duane and Becky with several projects around the house.  On Friday afternoon they took a substantial pomegranate harvest and participated in the juicing process.  Gavin was especially engaged in this activity!  Some of the kids also took a ride on a horse that afternoon.


While the boys worked, Grandma Terry bought my purse, which she had admired since our arrival.  I transferred my belongings to a plastic bag.  I'll be laughing about that for a long time.  

On Friday night Garry and the boys helped hang Christmas lights.  Zach was thrilled to lend a hand in high places, but Lexi stayed a little closer to the ground.

We also celebrated Gavin's fourth birthday a little early.  He was thrilled with the BBQ, the lemon pie, and his baseball gear from Grandma and Grandpa.  What fun!

On Saturday we left for home, stopping in Grand Junction, CO for the night.  Thankfully, our final leg was peaceful and fast; we completed the journey in just 4.5 hours without stopping once!  We were happy to find our house in one piece (though still very messy!).  Although the trip was wonderful, it is good to be back.  There's no place like home.
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