7:30 am (Central Daylight time) we were on the road again! We'd hoped to get an earlier start, but it felt sooo good to "sleep in!!" Everyone was HAPPY too! :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Our driving goal for the day: to reach AMARILLO, TEXAS! A little lofty considering our "late" start.
HERE IS WHAT EVERYONE WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Bethany ~ going to the cabin
Andrew ~ hanging out with the uncles and everyone
Aimee ~ seeing the river behind the cabin and the family challenges
Mattie ~ looking for BIG FOOT, doing the challenges in the water
Thomas ~ seeing the dead parasaurolophus
Edd ~ seeing good scenery, not being at work, being with family
Anne ~ seeing the mountains and playing with John and Melissa (we hadn't seen them in about 3 years)
7:57am Thomas was hungry and getting a little grumpy...time for breakfast! :) A few minutes later we saw our first radar gun, FIRST OF MANY!!!
8:29am We crossed the Mississippi, our first big landmark! The kids picked out a movie to watch and things were good! :)
9:16am UH OH!!! First wrong turn. We missed the exit for I-49 to OPELOUSAS, LA so we turned around and found it...HEADING NORTH! :) Only about 7 1/2 more hours till Amarillo! (If we don't stop at all! )
We were truely amazed at how much Bethany could sleep!!! Guess she's making up for lost time! :)
11am How far have we traveled so far:
Mattie : 101
Aimee: sleeping :)
ACTUAL MILAGE: 240 miles
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I see some moutiams! The are BIG AND HUGE!!!" ~ Thomas :)
12:30 pm LUNCH TIME!!! :) We stopped in SHREVEPORT, LA at Querbes Park. We looked at the map and there were 2 parks to choose from. Turns out it was more of a sports park, but we were all glad to get out of the van and stretch our legs!!! :)
Thomas playing with the grasshopper that Edd pulled off the grill of the van...it was still alive!!! Thomas was hoping for a park with a playground. Oh well.
Edd, Andrew and Bethany found enough room to throw the baseball around for a few minutes! :)
1pm Back on the road again. Heading WEST on I-20 toward FORT WORTH, TEXAS! Andrew moved up to co-pilot and I got booted back to sit by Thomas and Aimee for awhile. Bethany was suffering from allergies or something so we gave her some Benedryl, and Mattie took over my ipod.
1:27pm CROSSED INTO TEXAS!!! YIPEE!!!
4pm MILAGE GUESS
ACTUAL MILAGE: 551
About this time, Edd and I started talking about how long we should drive. We'd been on the road for 9 hours already and we were only in DALLAS!!
6pm DINNER TIME!!! :) We stopped at a park in WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS. Thomas was so glad that it had a playground! He hardly wanted to eat! The rest of us were glad to get out of the van too! :)
Aimee and Mattie enjoyed doing the monkey bars! Thomas wouldn't stop running around so I didn't get any good pictures of him.
Here I am having a good time with Thomas in the front seat of the van! All the kids were so good all day long!!! Even Thomas!!! Aimee had prepared a packet of games and notepaper for everyone, except Edd who woudl be driving. So they played their games...one of the things was keeping track of all the different license plates we saw along the way.
We saw most of them the first day!!
8:45pm ICE CREAM BREAK!!! :) In CHILDRESS, TX, we went through the drive-thru at a McD's for a quick treat! A good break without getting out of the car!
Pressing on to AMARILLO.
10:30 "ish" We made it to AMARILLO! We stopped at one motel and they had no rooms. We moved on to the next motel, same story. Hmmm...after about 10 motels, we gave up. There was Jehovah's Witness convention going on and everything was booked up. Sortof felt like Joseph and Mary...
NO ROOM AT THE INN.
So we just kept driving...what else could we do??? Finally, Edd couldn't drive any longer...too tired. We found a rest stop and stopped for some rest. It was almost 1am.
The kids had curled up in the back of the van. Thomas woke up when we stopped and refused to stay in his car seat. So Thomas slept in my lap. We had quite a peaceful night despite the circumstances.
3am It is QUIET outside...no trucks pulling in and hardly any traffic. Smells like rain. :)
Edd slept great after 3:15. About 3:30 the big trucks are moving again. The kids start stirring around 4:30. I heard Mattie say, "...people working really hard driving all night. Must have a lot of work to do to drive all day and drive all night too!"
4;56am Back on the road again!
SAVED $100 BY SLEEPING IN THE VAN!!! :)
GOT A GOOD START!!! :)
We were 11 miles from NEW MEXICO! :)
COMMENT OF THE MORNING : "WOW, TEXAS IS HUGE!"
PROBLEM: As we were looking for a motel, our tire pressure light came on. One of the tires is loosing air.
Not too long after we got going again, Thomas and I took a little cat nap...which Edd documented for us! :)
What a beautiful morning! :)
7:25/6:25am Thomas was so excited to see some "mountaims!" We told him that we'd see even BIGGER mountains!
7:19am (Mountain Daylight time) We stopped to eat breakfast at a park in Albuquerque. It was good to get out of the van and stretch our legs!!! :) Thomas loved being able to run around and play for a little bit. Here he is eating a few bites of breakfast! :)
Here are all the kids! :) Happy to be one state closer to our destination! :)
When we called Edd's mom to give her an update, she told us that Edd's brother, Eldon, and his family couldn't find a place to stay in AMARILLO either!!! They ended up finding a place to stay at about 2:30am. So they drove past us while we were sleeping on the side of the road at the rest stop!
10:30am We are 2o miles away from COLORADO! :)
2:02pm We were so glad when we finally crossed into UTAH!!! :)
3pm We decided to stop and check out Wilson's Arch, which is along the side of the highway, just outside of MOAB, UT.
Here is the family checking out the view from the drop off! :) Thomas didn't want to get too close to the edge...so Edd held him.
The arch is actually pretty BIG!! Here are the kids sitting under it! :)
3:30pm Back on the road again. Edd and I thought it would be fun to take the kids to Arches for a couple of hours, but after climbing Wilson's arch, we decided that was good enough and hit the road again!!! Just a few more hours left till we were free from the van!!! :)
Edd was ready for a nap, so I drove for awhile.
6:22pm The tire pressure light had come on again, so we stopped at a TESORO gas station in PRICE CANYON. After filling the tire with air, again, we were on our way...getting so close!!!! :)
6:58pm We are finally getting onto I-15! We've traveled 1753 miles so far. SO CLOSE!!! :) Thomas was pretty excited to be driving so close to the mountains!!! :)
7:45pm WE FINALLY MADE IT!!!!!!!!! 1802 MILES!!!!!!!!
FREE AT LAST FROM THE VAN!!!!!!! :)