Monday, July 1, 2013

Road Trip 2013: Week 1

The kids and I have begun our SIXTH annual cross country road trip.  We left last Friday, took a long route down through Texas to pick up Grandma Cuca, and made it here to Utah eight days later.  It was such a super fun trip.  The kids are amazing. We had great adventures together.  We've already seen lots of relatives in Texas and Colorado....and the fun is just beginning. 

Here are some of the highlights.

Got to feed an elephant...

 and a giraffe at the Greenville, SC Zoo.

 Happened to be there during their ice cream social.
Free ice cream cones!

Enjoyed the aquariums...

 and petting a baby alligator at the 
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
in Jackson.

We stopped to visit with Aunt Irene and Uncle Bill.
Grandma Cuca was there, too.
The kids LOVE their dogs.
They're trying to convince me that we need a pet.
They still have a way to go.

 Got to taste Grandma Cuca's delicious
home cookin for the first time this year.  Yum!

 The kids love visiting Irene's neighbor's animals.

 Played a fun game of Chicken Foot.
Caroline's beginner's luck helped her win.

 Spent a morning at Chuck E. Cheese.

 Grandma even got in on the action.
She kicked my bootie at bowling.

Met my friend, Hervey, for lunch.
We've known each other since elementary school
and hadn't talked in years.  Fun!

 Had fun playing at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
I keep telling myself I should write to the 
Association of Science and Technology Centers
and ask them if they want to sponsor the road trip.
My kids could write reviews of science centers around the country.
Maybe next year I'll actually do it.

Stopped for a quick visit with Aunt Janie and Uncle Nick.

Then we were off to San Saba!
 Our cousins told us about a track meet just for fun
that anyone could compete in.
The kids thought that sounded fun.
Caroline did the long jump and the 50 meter dash.
She jumped 5'9"!

 B got to try the high jump.
He did great for his first time!
He's hoping to make the middle school track team next year.
He also ran the mile.
In 95 degree weather!
He finished in just over 7 minutes. Not bad.

Whit ran the 50 meter dash, too. 

Took the kids to Harry's to smell the boots.
And cowgirl up.

The kids went swimming with their cousins.

 Woo hoo!

We left San Saba on our way to the TX panhandle.
Stopped in Lubbock at Science Spectrum.

They were having Critterfest.
And they go ALL out.
 C got to ride a pony.

 B and W got to ride an elephant!!
How cool is that?

We also got to hold baby ducks...

 and chicks.

 We love their bubble area.

The kids want me to replicate this at home.

Next, we stopped in to visit Aunt Mary.
Took a drive out to Palo Duro Canyon.


 One of my favorite things about the road trip
is getting to see so many different, gorgeous
parts of this country.

 Care Bear found a good Pride Rock 
and pretended she was a lioness.

On our way out of the parking lot we saw a tarantula!
I was so excited.  I stopped the van, grabbed my camera,
and jumped out. The kids followed.
Aunt Mary and Grandma Cuca thought we were crazy.
"We see those all the time."

Oh, how I love a good sunset.
 Then we headed to Colorado.
 On our way we made in unexpected stop at 
Cadillac Ranch, outside Amarillo.

 The kids were introduced to the art of graffiti.

I REALLY tried to emphasize that we only do this HERE.
 We also stopped at Garden of the Gods.
Love that place.

Yee. haw.

I'm so lucky that my Grandma can go on adventures with us.

 C showing off her ninja skills.

Had a short, really fun visit with our cousins in Colorado.

 B learned that he can pogo with no hands.

Then we got to do my very favorite day of driving:
 over the Rockies!
Breathtaking views around every corner.

Stopped at the FABULOUS Rainbow Park in Silverthorne, CO.
The girls loved the playground.
(Check out that blue sky!)

 Also had fun on the swings.

B-train scootered around the skate park.

 What a view!

And, at last, we made it to our destination.
Looking forward to two weeks of fun with our family!

Other random non-pictured observations:

*We have continued our routine of reading time, music time, then video time in the van on driving days.  It works so well for us. Brandon finished the final Harry Potter in TWO DAYS.  I hadn't anticipated that. Our Road Trip CD is a hit! We have a good mix of modern songs and songs from musicals. I also downloaded some new apps on my kindle and the kids have enjoyed those, taking turns trying out the new games.

*We don't have a whole lot of DVD's.  The girls are rough on them and I'm reluctant to buy more.  So, they have resorted to watching some of their favorites in FRENCH to add some variety.  That cracked me up.  It's fun to hear them randomly spouting off phrases in French throughout the day.

*There are signs on the side of the road that say "Jake Brakes Prohibited."  I've never noticed them before. They make me feel ignorant, but I just looked it up and that's another name for engine brakes on a semi. Now I know.

*Caroline quotes a line from My Little Pony where the little old lady pony very slowly says, "I have a crick in my back." We love hearing her say it.  We ask her over and over.  :)

*I was a little nervous about my van this year.  It has 123000 miles on it.  But it's hanging in there like a champ!  So far.


  1. You go girl! Awesome pictures and so excited to see all of you this weekend.

  2. I guess the picture of me and you didn't make the cut. (-:

    It was fun to see you guys!

  3. Wow! You guys look like you are having so much fun! So why is there a dinosaur on the welcome to utah sign?

  4. As I read this blog I just kept thinking that 25 years from now there will be a picture of Whitney with her kids sitting next to a really old version of me on a couch with the posting that says, "Stopped in to visit with Uncle Forrest and Aunt Angie in their cabin in northern MN. Kids got chased by a black bear and loved it! Andrew Jr. got his first tick and was not happy about it. Heading out to cross South Dakota tomorrow on the way to UT. The van's zombie protection unit is a little on the old side but still working. Wish us luck!!"
    Have fun with the rest of your trip. Make sure everyone washes their hands.