If you found out you were going to move in ten days, what would you do? Look for a house? Check out schools? Download Roadtrippers and check out fun places to stop along the 14 hour drive west? That’s what I did! I knew that God would provide a place to live AND that He would lead us to the right school for the kids, but 14 hours in the car with the children was truly daunting.
A call from my sister, asking if she could come drive with us, was the first sign of promise. Honey and my Uncle pulled out-of-town on Monday morning and my sister flew in on Monday night. We stayed at the airport Marriott and awoke refreshed and ready to hit day one on the road. Doesn’t everyone look refreshed?
Before we could leave St. Louis behind us, we had to have one more cake photo. The Chesterfield Airport was on the way out-of-town so we stopped by. This was the one and only cake photo I was in – benefit #1 of having Anna along for the drive. It might be my least favorite cake and very favorite cake photo!
Anna’s job quickly became to keep an eye on the app and give directions as needed. Every few miles I would think of a question to ask Siri and Anna would take care of that as well. For example, Fort Collins has a population of 151,000 and that is approximately the same size as Savannah, Huntsville, and Chattanooga. I digress. . .
Our first photo-op-stop was in Kansas City. The parking deck for the public library looks like a bookshelf and I just knew Bubba would love it. . . and I wanted to see it. Turns out Little was the most enamored with it and wanted her photo taken on the steps made of books.
Our next stop was a 50 foot cement teepee. You can rent this place out for weddings and receptions. I think that is hilarious.
We had dinner at Bobo’s Diner. Now the fun facts about this fun place include that people will still roller skate your meal out to your car, a lady bakes fresh apple pies in the back every day, and when we arrived my sister recognized the place from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network.
The sun was beginning to go down and we had reservations to stay overnight in Salina, Kansas so we hit the road and decided to only make one more photo-op-stop on day one: the “world’s largest spur”. Seriously. . . who comes up with this stuff? Still, we pulled over and there was an actual rodeo going on. The kids peeked through the fence a bit and we grabbed a photo before we lost all light. Yes, I did have to teach the children what a spur is.
That night we stayed in a horrible motel. While I did such a super job planning for the drive, I left a bit to be desired in research of a place to stay. I just went on Priceline and looked for cheap with at least three stars. This place was proof that the stars LIE. KB literally started crying when we went into our room and said, “I can’t sleep here, momma.” It was ugly and a bit yucky but I just kept telling myself that there were people around the world sleeping on dirt and I should be thankful for a roof over my head. I told KB that too and then we all climbed into the king size bed and fell asleep. Downstairs and over two doors, Anna and Bubba climbed into their king size bed and started sawing logs too. My comment to my mom the next morning when she asked how we slept? “Remember when Howard Johnson’s used to be one of the nicer places to stay?”
I had only planned two stops on the second day . . . I wrongly assumed that the anticipation, approach to Colorado, and the mountain views would be enough to sustain everyone. Thankfully the Lord did what Colorado could not.
The first stop was supposed to be a photo-op-stop with this monster prairie dog. Friends had filled me in on the fact that there was a “zoo” of sorts where you could see “incredible” animals and the prairie dog was also there. Turns out it’s $8/person to enter this museum and the giant prairie dog is inside the museum. There are few photo-ops in this world that are worth $40 to me and a giant prairie dog beside a five-legged cow is just not one. We were disappointed but pressed on.
The drive through Kansas was surprisingly prettier than what I remembered from our cross-country choir tour in ninth grade. I didn’t even nod off until we got to Colorado. Actually, the last cool sight before Ft. Collins was the “world’s largest easel – complete with a Van Gogh”. This is also where we found out that my brother-in-law had gotten a job and there was much rejoicing. See Anna rejoicing:
After this it was all dvds and pushing through. Anna and I felt lied to about the terrain of Colorado. She actually put a picture on Instagram of a Colorado brochure and the view from our window; her caption read, “It’s a lie!” We did find 41/50 state license plates on the trip; a first for both my sister and me.
When we arrived, Bubba actually said, “I am never going to see any of my friends again because I don’t want to ever drive that boring drive again. It was no fun.”
My response was, “Was it boring to see the bookshelf parking deck?”
Bubba, “Oh, no.”
Me, “Was it boring to see the teepee and spur?”
Bubba, “Oh, no. You know what? We had a really fun trip, didn’t we?”
Yes we did. Thank you, Jesus, we did.
(This could actually be considered a VERY LONG commercial for the Roadtrippers app. Heeeeeeeeeeyyyy. . . )