Monday, June 7, 2010

2400 Miles

I can’t seem to get caught up from vacationing over Memorial Day weekend. We went on an incredibly spontaneous road trip, and I feel like I have an endless list of things to do to catch up. Our yard looks terrible, and it appears as if we will not be planting a garden this year. I seem to be buried in laundry and housework, and last week I felt like I was constantly doing church work. I have hardly been taking time to check my email although I have been looking forward to blogging about this trip.

Josh’s Grandpa has been declining in health very quickly. Over the past six months Josh and I have both felt a strong desire and responsibility to take the kids to see him. (We haven’t seen him since before Andy was born.) He is confined to a nursing home in Plentywood, Montana, which is 14+ hours of driving time from here without stops. There is no easy way to do that trip! Grandpa Arnold became ill last month and we were scared that he might pass away without our taking the trip so on Monday the 31st we decided that if Josh’s big real estate deal closed (so we had a little extra money) we would leave on Thursday. Wednesday it closed and we left on Thursday morning. The thing that made this crazy 2400 mile road trip possible was the use of our friends motor home. It only took one road trip in an RV to convince me that is the only way to go.

We drove from 9 AM to midnight on Thursday to arrive in Plentywood, Montana at Grandma Betty’s house. Josh's brother Gabe came along and helped out with the driving and enjoyed the trip with us. The kids were so excited to ride in the motor home.

Josh had an air card which allowed him to work and be on the internet using cell phone signal.

We watched movies and relaxed. (Caleb is pro at watching movies.)

We took naps (Andy and Gabe taking a little rest.) And we relaxed like we would have never been able to do in a car.

Grandma Betty and Grandma Sharon (Josh’s mom) were both up waiting for us. It was wonderful to be together. Josh's sister, Sara, moved to Plentywood last fall to help Grandma and Grandpa, and we haven't seen her since Christmas. It was great to spend time with her as well. Our time in Plentywood was worth the drive. When we asked Caleb his favorite part of the trip that was it. Here is the whole gang.

Grandpa was able to visit with us both days. He has a heart melting smile, and he would light up when the kids would give him hugs. I loved being with him. Here are the boys with him.

Ali's middle name is Sophia which is Grandma Betty's real first name. (She is also named after her Grandma.) Betty loved all of the kids but she especially seemed to enjoy holding her little name sake.

Saturday afternoon we headed South to Great Falls, South Dakota where we went to church on Sunday morning and then to Mt. Rushmore. My big regret for the trip is that in our haste I didn't research Mt. Rushmore at all. I thought it was something that you just drive to, snap a picture, and keep driving. I only scheduled about an hour to be there, but I learned that the Black Hills are beautiful and there are a lot of touristy things to do. Like sit on the lap of Abraham Lincoln.

I wish that we would have had a day or two scheduled so that we could have really taken time to soak it all in. Mt. Rushmore itself was awesome. It was smaller than I thought, but somehow better.

Sunday night we stopped in Denver and spent the night with my dear cousen, Emily and her family. The kids had a great time together and we adults enjoyed our visit too.

The last destination on our road trip was Arches National Park. Where we hiked Delicate Arch. It is just one of those things a person needs to do. It was beautiful.

The kids might look a little scared in this picture. They were hanging on to each other for dear life.

I was a little nerve wracked myself with small children and very steep rock cliffs.

This was what we have been calling a bucket list trip. We did and saw some things that many people only ever dream about. Most importantly we spent some quality time with Grandma Betty and Grandpa Arnold. We are so blessed.


Emily said...

What a fun trip! I must agree vacations are so much better in motorhomes!

neil said...

I was so excited for your trip as with all trips you left a few things to do next time. That makes life GREAT and gives you something to look forward to the next time you go.LUV YA'

Camille said...

Looks like a great trip and your right - I'm sure the motor home made all the difference in the world!
We have a "trailer" and it's great for camping, but it doesn't really solve the DRIVING part.
So glad you had a good time.

Karlenn said...

I have always, always wanted to travel in an RV. I'm so jealous! And how cool you got to see Mt. Rushmore. Good to know that you should spend a couple of days there. I will make a mental note of that.