Sunday, January 5, 2014

the trip in pictures

1 minivan.  2 adults.  5 children.  30 hours of driving (including stops).  1 snowstorm.  2 hotel nights.  

Almost 1600 miles.  

And we made it.  

Now we're here for the weekend, a big family weekend.  Matt and both his siblings and their families all together at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  8 adults and 10 children and lots and lots of fun.

The trip had its share of highs and lows.  There were moments that went well and moments that went not so well.  Day one, 460 miles.  Day two, 470 miles.  Day three, 640 miles.

The biggest disappointment was Day two, supposed to be our long hard cover-some-serious ground day.  A snowstorm in Chicago slowed us way down and made for many stressful hours and we ended up stopping several hundred miles before our goal.

loaded and ready to head out

It'll be a while before we see temps this high again

western NC, my 'people' are from around here .... Pilot Mountain.  BEAUTIFUL.  

the inside of the van - yes, we still have the giant panda.  He actually proved to be a decent traveling companion, part pillow - part fun.

end of day one, the miles are adding up and the temperature is dropping

Kentucky horse country.  After too many years in highly polluted Asian cities 
America's bright blue skies never get old.  

Lots of time in the car - stickers, crayons, books, movies, iPad, audio books, snacks.... 

our fearless captain, every single mile.  It's no easy job, but neither is the passenger seat, huh?

a late afternoon snooze, see Julianna sprawled across Ping Ping?  and it's starting to snow

a birthday dinner at Cracker Barrel, it's not ideal but neither is a birthday in the car!

loading up after dinner, our first indication that the conditions were
going to be worse than we anticipated

when the interstate looks like this you know the miles ahead 
will add up slowly, oh it was slippery and not at all fun

day three lunch at a truck stop - after our early stop the night before we knew we had 
many many miles to go before we slept (thankfully we woke to favorable conditions
and the roads were dry within the first hour)

Entropy ruled in the van.  I refer to this one as 'pick your vice day'.
Whatever it takes to keep the campers happy.  Luke ate an entire box of tic tacs.

sunset in western Minnesota.  we could taste the victory - only a few more hours!

our final stop, the van starting to show a little road weariness.  (so are the occupants!)

We celebrated with glow sticks in the dark - new fun for the final hundred-plus miles

North Dakota highways are straight and empty, which makes for nice high speed limits
and check out the temperature (that's not a dash, that's a negative 13 degrees)

In the worst moments Matt and I consoled ourselves that this will probably be our hardest road trip ever.  The children will only get older and (hopefully) easier ~  In the best moments we laughed and loved and, you know, there were many many things to be grateful for, even when it was hard.  

The girls visited their new school Friday morning, the kids are working on recovering the many many hours of lost sleep, we are snug and warm in a house filled with love and family.  So glad to be here.  So so very glad.  


Julie said...

So glad you made it and get to see all of Matt's family this weekend. I celebrated my birthday on the road and had dinner at Cracker Barrel, just like you did JP!! Stay warm with the record cold temps coming.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a journey! Matt's years of driving in ND snow was good preparation for this trip. What a welcome sight grandparents' house must have been! Can not believe the temperature in ND. Hope acclamation goes smoothly and that 1st day of school is a great success.

Paul said...

glad you got there too — and hope you make the switch to Central Time quickly too.

Brent, Sara, Hannah and Sam said...

Wow - what a trip! Yes - I believe you need a medal for being copilot on that journey :) And kudos for Matt driving in such yucky weather. Hope you all get settled in sooner than later and get some much needed rest!

Anonymous said...

So great to see pictures of answered prayers. Yes, I'm certain there were moments of pray from the "adults in the van" that remain "unphotoed" yet non the less "documented". LOL
You made it!!!