Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The trip home

Phew.  We made it.  Longest road trip yet.  And it was wonderful.  We took a new route home, swinging through Wyoming and South Dakota.

Stopped at Mount Rushmore!

 Also saw the Crazy Horse Monument--
definitely a work in progress,
but you can kinda see the face.
If you look closely.

Stopped at the Science Zone in Casper, Wyoming.
The kids liked this piano where you can see the workings as you play.

And blowing GIANT bubbles with Grandma Cuca.

Stopped in Minnesota to visit with Angie, Forrest, and their kids.
It is uncanny how much these cousins look alike!
From the back you can't even tell their little brown heads apart.

Whitney and Wyatt totally hit it off.
I didn't see that coming.

Celebrated Angie's birthday with her.
More cake!  Yum!

Took a quick trip out to the lake.
The boys LOVED their crazy tube ride.

And I was surprised that the girls had a blast on it, too.

Grandma had fun on the boat.
But she wished I would've warned her to wear a
hair net.  There went her beautiful 'do.

Visited the zoo.
The kids loved our ice cream break.

My favorite part was watching the trainers work with the sea lion.

A bunch of cute cousins.

My favorite science center of the trip:
Bluedorn Science Imaginarium in Waterloo, Iowa.
Can you see Whit's hair standing on end?
ALL of the patrons got a kick out of it.

They had a great lesson on states of matter using liquid nitrogen.
Whit volunteered to eat a cracker frozen in it.
Look at her breathing smoke!

Stopped in Nauvoo, Illinois.
We hadn't been there since our very first road trip in 2006.
It is such a fun and spiritual place to visit.
Grandma broke out her sweet moves on the dance floor.

We had great seats for the pageant.
It was wonderful.
All of us loved it.
Except Caroline.
Who spent her evening digging in the dirt in front of my chair.
Afterward, you can meet cast members.
 We decided to get out picture taken with Shanti Rose,
who played one of our favorite characters.
She was super sweet and when she found out that Grandma is Catholic,
offered to meet us the next day to show us the Catholic church there in Nauvoo.

Grandma was so grateful.
It was a beautiful church.

 And it is right next to the gorgeous temple.

We also took an oxen ride.

Found the lot where our Great-great-great...Grandpa lived in Nauvoo.

Had a great time laughing along at the musical,
Just Plain Anna Amanda.
 Whit looks good in an old English bonnet.

The kids made rope.
And Caroline somehow managed to break the rope-making machine.

 We had a fabulous time at the "country fair."
Whit and Caroline learned how to work the saw.

Brandon played stick ball,
where we learned that you run the bases backwards.

And Grandma Cuca got to teach him how to tie a quilt.
A skill every young man should gain?

 After a quick visit with Uncle Alex and Aunt Stephanie
 in Kentucky (where I took no pictures--gasp!),
we were on our way home.

And all of us were excited to see this sign.
And sleep in our own beds.
And give Andrew big hugs.

And the kids have already started planning next year's road trip.


  1. If that great-great-great grandfather property is the one I think it is, check your email for an earlier picture.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. You are my road trip idol. Glad you made it home safely!

  3. It was so much fun to see all of you. And I'm so glad we got the chance to get to know Grandma Cuca better! It looks like the rest of your trip was great, and I'm glad you made it home safe and sound. You are also my road trip idol.

  4. Wow! I'm always impressed with your road trips. You rock! And your kids rock! And your grandma rocks!