At the very last minute, we decided to take the 70 through the Rockies as opposed to going north through Wyoming and over. Originally, we didn't think our poor minivan would make it pulling the U-Haul through this area. But, we were assured by locals that it would-- we just would be going REALLY REALLY SLOW.
They weren't kidding.
We were inching along. Good thing it was so unbelievably gorgeous that we didn't mind. Well, WE didn't mind. The kids, however, got restless and cranky. Telling them to look at the beautiful scenery worked for maybe .3 seconds. Way to ruin my views, kids. Just kidding, we turned up the music to tune them out and still enjoyed everything.
The drive through Colorado and into Utah was the best part of the this trek. I had done it before but I was young and my memory did not hold the raw beauty of our country. Either that or I did not comprehend it at the time. Whatever. I did now and was blown away.
Our first stop was Frisco, CO. Gorgeous little town near Breckenridge.
It was perfect if you still tuned out our children. Dear God. But, soon the kids had food in them and were getting back to their abnormal happy selves. This was 5 minutes after they starting eating. Complete opposite of the short time before.
We lazily ate our french fries and then packed back into the car for the rest of the Colorado ride.. ALL of it gorgeous... and too many things to write about.. So, Ill skip to Utah---
We entered Utah the next day. Our original plan was to get to SLC as fast as we could to spend the day there. As we were approaching the exit to Moab, however, we decided to detour and head to Arches National Park. Well, that's not entirely true. I was begging Bob for some time and he finally agreed. The best decision of our trip.
How in the world do you not stand here and realize your place in this universe?
It was like a mix of being on Mars and being in Sedona. All Neve wanted to do was "hike with her hands". I have no idea why this annoyed me so much. Just freaking walk. But, we found a trail where she could climb and run like a wild animal for a good while. (NOTE: Running like a wild animal does not mean running fast or being crazy. It truly means to run on all fours like an actual wild animal.) She lives for it. Our friends in Charleston got used to this. One of my biggest worries when moving to San Francisco was having to explain this all over to new people. I imagine my conversations being something like this:
No, she thinks she IS an animal. Yes, her hands are in paw form during this. That's right, no thumbs. Right.. she can not hold anything when she is in this mode. No, it does not hurt her hands. Yes, she does this a lot.
So, now you can imagine her excitement during the above time... *notice her paws*
She stopped long enough for us to take our 2013 family photo:
*I have worn those black harem pants for 14 days straight. Actually, today I am wearing them in olive. Bob wants to burn them. Also- my kids ARE wearing matching tank tops. This goes against my being. But, it happened and my sister is very happy about this*
So, after galloping and roaring, climbing and sliding, we got in the car to explore more, realized we were almost out of gas and had to leave.
This put us into Salt Lake City around dinner. HELLO, SLC IS GORGEOUS. AND A LOT BIGGER THAN I IMAGINED.
We were almost to downtown when Hawk awoke from his sleep and yelled out: "SALT LAKE CITY AMBUSH!!"
I tried to explain that we were going to get downtown and pull a name. But, he said to pull over and do it then. So, we did. Because, OBVIOUSLY, he wears the pants in this family.
Good thing we did! The name we picked was back the other way 22 miles. Oops.
We made a Uey (how do you spell that?) and went to go surprise our last family. Sadness truly did come over me. These ambushes have been incredible. We pulled into their neighborhood, parked on a side road for undercover assurance and hopped out to do the surprise.
Hawk: they home? i have sword. i hot. they home? surprise? where are they? papa, look at my sword.
He was ready. Ready to make the last ambush awesome.
We marched to the house, kids riding their bikes and playing all around us. It was like Mayberry. (What really does that mean?)
Hawk: i ring bell. nebie (neve) go wit me? surprise? where are they? papa, look at my sword.
This is when the door opened.. Hooray!! They are home!! The little man was super confused/scared/mysterious.
Soon, this dudes mama came to the door. SURPRISE DARLA ROZEMA OCHOA!!!
Darla is the mama of three of the cutest, most well behaved boys ever. She is a semi new fan and WAS SUPER DUPER cool!! It also turns out that she is a photographer. See! Once again, we got to meet the coolest people. Here is herFACEBOOK PAGE. She also wrote a blog on our ambush that you canfind here.
I love that we got to ambush all boys.
We talked for a good while about life, business and kids. It was a blast. Hawk even left with a new Batman figure.. mostly because they were sweet enough to offer it to him but also because he had a death grip on it.
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH DARLA!!!
After saying our goodbyes and we headed out. All of us were overcome with emotion of our last ambush. HOW FREAKING AWESOME WAS THIS HAUL ACROSS AMERICA?
Totally awesome, declared Hawk, because it was my idea.
This was our excitement:
*What is Neve doing here?*
We headed to downtown SLC. This time, we were meeting up with a friend of mine.. a friend solely on the internet until this point. Some of you have probably heard of her or know about her.. it is the FABULOUS Angie Monson. Angie is a well-known photographer as well as a mama to 3 cute kids and a home remodeler at the moment (She and her husband just bought a home in Sugarhouse that they completely gutted.) Here is herwebsiteandInstagram.
We grabbed ice cream, cones and plastic silverware and headed to their new home for an ice cream party in their new front yard.. well, the front yard of their soon to be home after they redo the whole thing. It was a perfect place to let the kids run free. PERFECT.
It was like we knew each other for a long time... I mean, she may or may not be one of my soul sisters. Here is the group photo to prove the awesomeness of this visit:
*Again, what is Neve doing here?*
SO. MUCH. FUN.
And, when it got to be about 9, we headed out.. driving for as long as we could stay awake, knowing the next day we would be in our new place.
I won't bore you all with the details of the last part of the trip: How I almost fell asleep at the wheel but had to wait 45 more miles because there is NOTHING in Nevada, how we stayed at an incredibly sketchy Motel 6 where I swear there was some sort of shadiness going on in the room below us, how Neve was so excited because she had never stayed at a place where the steps were on the outside of the building (I love kids), how we woke up, giddy with excitement about only having 7.5 hours to go, how Lake Tahoe was breathtaking or how after days of the kids being awake at most times we entered our new town with both of them asleep at 5 pm, how we had to cart a U-Haul of items up these stairs to our new place.. *and by we I mean not me.*
No, I won't get into that.
But, we are "home" and we are loving it so far. The mountains, the redwoods, the mist.
And we truly thank you for following us, our journey, our HAUL ACROSS AMERICA.
It was a blast. It was raw for us and we loved sharing it with you.
Hawk: thank you. i at new house? treehouse? wheres my old house? i at new house?