Sunday, November 17, 2013


I'll start by saying we SURVIVED the trip. I won't lead you on as if it were a horrible trip because it wasn't. It was a bit rocky to begin with though...

Wednesday morning:
3:05am - John gets home from work.
It's pouring rain. We have to load the car topper-thingy with all of our bags. We couldn't load it before he left for work - it was raining then too. And, as the thing claims, it's only weatherproof. Do not let yourself be confused with WATERPROOF.

3:49am - I hear cussing. Lots of cussing. John hates the car topper. It doesn't fit the Tahoe. WHO MAKES THIS? 

3:50am - John switches the topper from hamburger style to hot dog style on the luggage rack. It fits fine. It's still raining. 

3:55am - I wake Mom to get her in the car. We carry the kids to the car and successfully keep them asleep for the most part.

4:06am - WE'RE OFF. And, I'm already asleep along with the rest of the car. 

But really, I'm not going through the entire trip like that. I did wake up around 7:00 to see this beautiful sight:

We got there around 4:30pm, Mountain time. Long trip with these guys. It was only our first day. And, I noticed it was quite windy.

The Bison. Probably the coolest thing Noah has ever seen in his entire three and a half years. His new pup, Wyoming, stood watch most of the week right there on the window sill. 
Or as Noah called him, "Wy-GO-min"

Midwesterners don't get to see tumble weeds or bison or mountains every day, so yeah, it was an awesome site. I even got excited when we saw tumbleweeds. My mom tried to bring a tumbleweed back in the car with her on a bathroom stop as our first souvenir. Sorry, Mom.  

Oh, hey Bison. 

So, back to the trip. It was windy. I think it was blowing about 950 mph when we got there. And a good majority of our clothes were wet from the "weatherproof" car topper. Yeah. 

Let me just fill you in on what it's like taking a one and three year old halfway across the country staying in a cabin that doesn't smell or look like home. I was awake for about, ooh, 4 straight days. The one year old still fits in the pack-n-play. Perfect! No. I heard from her around 11pm, 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, until finally getting up UP with her at 6am. Every night but the last. She slept like a "baby" Sunday night. The three-year-old loves to sleep with Nana with the exception of this trip. I hear him one night telling Nana to scoot over. He only wants Mommy to get his blanky from the floor. He needs his turtle light. He's hungry and needs cereal. He's scared (I can't blame him for this one. Nana sleeps with the sleep apnea machine. It makes Darth Vader-ish noises while it looks like a Hannibal Lector mask and she may have told him she was an alien. Didn't help, Nana). 

And then, there's this guy:

He just hung out in the brush just in front of our cabin taunting John. 

The questionable playground equipment stayed safe for my kids and my mother. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was structurally sound, though.

Finally, after searching for what seeming like an eternity without coffee (probably 30-45 minutes the first morning), we found a Starbucks in Cheyenne. It took a few more days to find any other coffee establishment in the town. John and my mom were both relieved when I was caffeinated. I was pleasant to be around again. Maybe even fun.

What. It's spot on!

We made a spontaneous trip to Denver one of the days we were there to check out my cousins' restaurant and bar - Freshcraft. It's in downtown Denver. It was totally worth stepping outside my comfort zone in downtown Denver where there are lots people and walking too close to cars (If you know me well enough, you'll know I'm afraid of it all). It was a really neat bar and we got to spend a little time chatting with one of my cousins. We stopped at the Denver Zoo. It apparently closes at 4. We were there around 4:15. We saw a little wild life at least - a peacock was wondering through the parking lot. 

Monday before we left we were able to see my lovely friend, Emily, and her three kids. Noah and her son are the same age and same size. Sounds reasonable until you've seen three year olds as giant as they are. 

The trip home answered a lingering question that John and I had before we left from Missouri - if the moisture level in the air is so low in the mountains, is there fog? YES. LOTS OF DARK FOG. Not like white fog coming up from the Mississippi, but dark fog stretching down from the dark clouds above. And WIND. Did I mention it was windy there? I drove through wind and fog all the way out of Wyoming. 

We had so much fun despite the sleeplessness and wind. We made great memories and learned that if we want to go anywhere with young children, we'll be better off locating that coffee shop before leaving Missouri. We wanted to have an adventure with our family. 

Oh, what an adventure we had. 

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