Let me tell you, driving cross country with 2 cars, 4 kids, and a dog is quite an adventure! During the day we ate lunch at places where we could eat outside, so we could have Buddy with us (it was way to hot to leave him in the car!), then at night, we would eat after we got to the hotel, so we had a place to keep Buddy. Luckily it got cooler as we drove across the country!
The first day (Monday) when we drove through Phoenix we stopped to see my Grandma Hook, so all the kids got to spend some time with their Great Grandma, then we headed on to my hometown in south eastern Arizona. We spent the night there and got to spend time with my mom and my best friend Mel.
The next day we hit the road for New Mexico. We lost an hour as we crossed into New Mexico, which combined with a late start to the day to make it a late day for us. We stopped at the White Sands National Monument and let the kids run around and play on the dunes for a bit. We got into Santa Rosa around 9pm, I think it was our latest day on the road.
The day after that was our drive through Texas....luckily we were just going across the top of it on the 40. We had lunch in Amarillo, who by the way, has some of the most confusing on/off ramps to the interstate! We stopped in Oklahoma City for dinner so I could see my friend Kristy and her 3 kids. I hadn't seen Kristy since I left CT back in May 2001. She was one of my closest friends when I was stationed in CT and was there with me for most of my pregnancy with Austin. We spent about 2 hours over dinner catching up and letting all the kids play. From there we pushed on to Henrietta to stop for the night. I got all excited when I read their sign saying it was the home of Troy Aikman, only to find out, it's actually his grandmother's house, tho he spent some time there while growing up.
On our 4th day we had our drive through the dreaded state of Arkansas...I don't know what it is about that state, but it hates me and I hate it LOL. The last time I drove cross country I had issues there and this time was no different. The ONLY real traffic we hit was in Arkansas, really bad construction that stopped us and delayed us. It's like the state KNEW I wanted to make it to Memphis in time to go to Graceland so it was doing everything in it's power to stop me LOL. Despite Arkansas's attempt to thwart my plans we were able to check into a hotel and then make it to Graceland by 4pm, they close at 5! I had completely forgotten that this year was the 35th anniversary of Elvis's death. We were there about a week and a half after the anniversary. Graceland was pretty cool and I'm glad we got to see it, it's pretty crazy seeing a place stuck in 1977, we've come a long way since then.
The day after that we were headed to the Chattanooga area to see Josh's Dad and family. It had been almost 2 years since we made a trip out to see his family in TN so we wanted to make sure we got to see them on the drive. Instead of taking us on the 40 to Nashville and then down the 24 it took us a weird round about way. Good thing my cousin Laura Benton in KY had to work, since Susan (our GPS) took us the other way! She is a teacher and if school wasn't in session we were going to drive to Nashville and then jump up to Franklin, KY to see her and her family. The route Susan took us was from Tennessee into Mississippi and then into Alabama. As we were driving along I saw a sign that said Florence 15 miles. My friends Jason and Mel live in Florence AND it was just about lunch time! I contacted them to see if they would be able to meet us up for lunch, and they could! So we got to see them at Five Guys and had a nice lunch and visit before continuing on to Jasper, which was only about 2 hours away.
We spent that Friday and Saturday in Jasper with Josh's Dad and visiting family. Of course, Josh had to catch the first UT game of the season, it was pretty cute watching him and his dad sit in rocking chairs in front of the computer because the game wasn't on a channel that his dad had. Riley says that Grandpa lives in a forest, which is cute, because that's exactly what Austin said 5 years ago LOL. The kids got to catch fireflies one night and had a blast doing it.
That Sunday we loaded up the car and headed to North Carolina. We got in at a decent time and settles into our hotel room. Later that night I got to see my friend Linda and her daughter Leia. Linda worked at the hotel we were staying at. She is another great friend from my time in CT like Kristy, who I also hadn't seen since May 2001 (well, I saw her when we were house hunting). The 3 of us hung out together all the time (we just need Kristy to leave OKC for North Carolina now!).
The next few days were spent buying new living room furniture, canceling and reordering our new washer and dryer (long story HAHA) and.....closing on our house!!! And, of course, registering the kids for school (which I could not do until after we closed on the house) That's right the hubster and I are now officially 1st time home owners! It's a very exciting time for us. 2 months ago before we came out here we were looking to rent, we had no clue that we would wind up having to buy a house, but when the time came everything just fell right into place for us. I am a strong believer in everything happens for a reason, we were meant to come to North Carolina, for whatever reason, and we're here to stay lol.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of kids going to school, getting our household goods, setting up our phone/internet/cable, starting Jaidan in Ballet and tumbling, unpacking, organizing, and everything else that goes with moving. Things are starting to settle down now, so hopefully I can get back into blogging more often too!
Sorry for the long rambling post, when I sat down to do the post I didn't know exactly where I was going to go with it, but here we are lol.