Sunday, March 14, 2010

Public Service Announcement: this is an extremely long post

I know, I promised you a brand-spankin' new uber-post "tomorrowish,"...well...nearly no one commented on the last post so I was withholding the next post as punishment. so there. Now that y'all've been in virtual time-out for an acceptable length of time, we can move on to bigger and better things...

Public Service Announcement: this is an exxxtreeemly long post. You won't hurt my feeling at all if you don't make it through...especially the drive home novel at the end.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Georgia will often whine and complain about her curly hair. So, one day I straightened it. I thought she'd scream and scratch like she does through most hair-doings, but she didn't. She sat perfectly still and waited for the forever long time it took me to flatten out all those curls. Here's the end result:

craziness, huh? She was thrilled with the result, but after hearing how many people preferred her blond spirals, she was pleased with her curly hair for a week or so. She's now back to whining about the corkscrews once again, though.


As some of you know, we made a trip out to Utah at the beginning of March. It wasn't a very long visit (we were only there for 7.5 days, not including driving days), but we scrunched a lot in and definitely made the most of it!

Temple Square

(The kids were super-excited to see the Salt Lake Temple. They recognize it in pictures and know it's the temple that Mimi and Grandad were married in)

The mandatory "silly picture"

Don't you just loooove how sitting flat makes your thighs look huge :P

Ice Fishing with Daddy, Grandpa, and Uncle Isaac

Mossy Cave hike at Bryce Canyon
Georgia and Grandpa
He claimed she didn't like him much. I claim that she wouldn't have tolerated being within 10 feet of him if she didn't like him much.

(if you're wondering what's going on with Gee's winter finery, she's stuffed into a size 18 mo snowsuit and we threw a pair of my socks on to keep her legs warm over her tights, Spencer thinks they look like knickers and I'd have to agree.)


After we left Bryce Canyon (Spencer's extended family has a big ol' family reunion there every March-ish), we headed home. We had checked the roads, were supposed to stay ahead of all storms and arrive home in an easy 17 hours plus an extra hour or so for stops. Oh, if only it was that easy...

Part I

We usually make the trip in a single day, but as the reunion finished up Sunday afternoon, we figured we'd get a head start and made it to Grand Junction, CO (about a 12 hour drive from Kansas City) and spent the night in a little motel there. I could go on and on about the shady motel we stayed in...well...actually, I think I will. It was that bad. The beds were teeeeny-tiny. They claimed they were full, but someone must've been smoking somethin'. One could more accurately call them overweight twins. I found it hilarious that they kept the phones unplugged, because heaven forbid they keep them plugged in continuously and waste that extra .50c in power (it's greener that way, I know, I know, but I sincerely doubt that was their motivation). The place was so cheap they didn't even provide an alarm clock, or any type of clock for that matter. I guess they expect guests to provide their own or something? Ezra kept on yelling as he jumped from bed to bed (which were crazy-close together because of the itsy-bitsy room), "9 dollar beds! 9 dollar beds!" (they had 6s on them for Motel 6) and he honestly wasn't all that far from the truth. Oh, and the walls! They had to be made from cardboard, I swear it. I got to listen to our next door neighbors discuss, in great detail, how cute the pizza delivery boy was. word. for. word. The coup de grace, however, was the fact that the room, which was "officially" Non-Smoking, still included an ash tray! They made sure to turn it over and put a "no smoking" sticker on the back, lest the guest became confused and thought the ash tray was actually for ash. I guess if you're going to smoke in a Non-Smoking room, be a doll and use the ash tray provided, m-kay?

Part II

We headed out from Grand Junction, CO at 6:00 that next morning on I-70, but had to turn around at Glenwood Springs (about 2 hours into the trip) because of the massive rock slide which had torn up the road. At the time of the road block, the people directing traffic didn't seem to know much of what was going on and just told us to "stay close for updates." Hearing that, we killed about an hour and a half at the local Tar-jay and checked back for news. This time, the road man sang the same song, but when we pressed for more details, he estimated that it wouldn't be open until the next day, at the absolute earliest. At that point, we immediately turned around, working our way back to Grand Junction, the entire time driving into the storm we were trying to avoid. At 11:00am, we headed south of Grand Junction on a little highway in the hopes of circling around the rock slide on I-70 and meeting back up with it by way of Colorado Springs. So, through the mountain passes into a snow storm we headed...

Part III

...which of course for any of you familiar with mountain passes and snow storms, is not a very bright idea. At about 2:15ish that afternoon, we met, once again, with a road block. This time, however, it was because of stuck cars, loads of snow, and wrecks ahead. We stopped at the nearest town, which happened to be the itsy-bitsy, blink and you miss it town of Sargents, Colorado. It consisted of, from what we could tell, a single convenience store/bar combo. So, into the bar we went (yep..."a a bar" that movie). We were lucky and there were a few tables in a side room that we could chill at. The bartender/owner was even sweet enough to stick us at the biggest one there, despite the fact that the rest of the place was quickly filling up with other waylaid travelers. We were also very lucky that they had wi-fi (so we could keep up with weather and road updates). I found it a little humorous that the town was too small for cell phone reception, but not for wi-fi. It would seem that AT&T's "more bars in more places" doesn't really apply to the mountains of Colorado. Anyway, we hung out for about 2.5 hours waiting for the pass to open and consuming hot chocolate. Thank heavens for that cute little understanding bartender. The woman had a heart of gold and endless patience with my rowdy mowglis. We tried to give her a generous tip, but she wouldn't even accept a single dollar of it. I hope, one day, I can be as fabulous as her...well...minus the smoker's cough and whole bartender thing. Anyway, after the pass opened, we made it to Colorado Springs in one piece (although just barely, the roads were hor-ib-le) at about 10:00pm, a good three hours after we were planning on being in Kansas City, and spent one more night in Colorado.

Part IV

The next day...well...the last day the drive was just awful. The girls were near hysterics most of the day and Ezra kept on throwing things at my head. The final irony...the two closest exits to our house had construction, forcing us to drive an extra 10 minutes out of our way. Our total trip time, not including Target, bathroom, or bar breaks was 22.5 hours, a full 5.5 hours driving time longer then it should have. We're not even going to begin to add layover time in there.

Now onto the pictures of our adventure...

No, we do not let our children hang out in our car footloose and fancy free. This was while we were chillin' in the parking lot trying to figure out what to do.

The person voted MOST Desirable To Get Stuck In the Mountains With:
(isn't he a handsome devil?)

The people voted LEAST Desirable To Get Stuck In the Mountains With:
A sign outside the bar

Nothin' like hot chocolate on a cold, snowy day, even if you are stuck 778 miles away from home.

I'm sensing a trend going on with pictures of Georgia, are you? Let's just say she didn't particularly enjoy the drive home much.

Readin' books...because, honestly, other then look at dead animals tacked to the wall, that's just about all there was to do.

The line of cars waiting to go over the pass right after it opened.

Going over Monarch Pass. Elevation: 11,312 feet

Lastly...Georgie made us all laugh when, after whining for the entire last day of the drive, not a half hour after we got home, she decided to buckle herself into our spare car seat in the living room. The crazy lady.


Deb Nott said...


KT said...

Too funny. (Georgia and the car seat.) Glad you're back safe and sound. At least you have a good sense of humor about the whole thing! You'll have a great story!

Zachary said...

Sorry I didn't comment on the last one :) I couldn't think of anything WHITty.

I heard about your adventure home. I am so glad you made it safely.

It was SO good to see you! Love you guys!

Catherine said...

HAHA! Love it! next time tell them to get their warm clothes on and tell them you will walk them across the pass.... then see the look on their faces! at least it is a trip you will never forget! miss ya girlie! ya gonna be back in utah this summer?.. maybe we could meet up!..

Caldwell Family said...

Wow! What a trip! Glad you are all safe and home. :)

Christal said...

Way to chronicle this life adventure! Wish I had your talent for writing! :) And, BTY-that last carseat pic is definitely the frosting on the cake...too funny!

Jenny said...

I read the whole thing (I always do!)

First of all, I loved the snowsuit knickers. Hilarious! And second of all, I am so glad you didn't have to add vomiting into that adventure. Our family still talks about the Skookum Motel we had to stay at in a snow storm. I bet Ezra remembers that trip for quite awhile!

Liz said...

Sweet Home Alabama! :)

Yeah, I can understand why you don't want to leave home until July at the earliest. I understand about the Colorado mountains in a snowstorm--we did that going to UT for Christmas. Glad you made it home!

Jeff & Erin said...

Oh darn, I was hoping I would be the first to say Sweet Home Alabama :) What an adventure for you, I am glad you made it home safe. I was nervous about my little 20 mile drive through the canyon (from Park City to Salt Lake, I don't know what it's called) with my mom and sister and no kids! Kudos to you!!

Alaina and Mitchell said...

That is TOO funny! I'm killing time in between classes and this was the perfect way to do it! I love your posts!! We heard about that rockslide all the way out here in Idaho! Crazy day!

Aubrey said...

Oh how horrible! Glad you got home in one piece though (at least physically:). Georgia looks so grown-up with her straightened hair. Oh, and I thought I had commented on the last post, but apparently I hadn't. Sorry.

PatShala said...

Are you kidding me? I would have gone nuts! As a mom, I mentally prepare myself for a road trip, but not for that many HUGE issues. I am glad you survived!

Jason and Melanie Morales Family said...

What a trip! I must say, I prefer the curly hair, too. She looks too grown up with straightened hair! Love your hair, too! You are looking fantastic!

Adrienne said...

I made it to the end! j/k. i can't believe all that driving. we stay overnight on the 8.5 hour trip to ca. i think we're wimps :)

Monica said...

OH you make me nervous for our upcoming travels to and from Missouri. Yikes! Glad you all survived!

Gardners said...

Whitney, I have so been there with trips like that!! So bad, that it's almost unbelievable. The last one was so terrible, I couldn't even make myself re-live it to record it. Luckily, now it's a faded memory. :) But it makes us stronger, trust me. We can handle anything!

Smiley Family said...

So, I guess I shouldn't complain about our four hour drive home huh? So sorry for you guys! I hope this doesn't deter you from coming next year!

holyoak said...

Two comments - I guess to make up for being chastised...

First - Please don't do that to Georgia's hair ever again, I love the curl way too much to see it straightened out! As her great Granddad would say, "As a rule, man's a fool, when it's hot he wants it cold, when it's cold, he wants it hot; he always wants it what it's not!" Perhaps that goes with straight and curly...?

Second, I noticed the little white horn on the right pole of your handsome devil's head. You are too cleaver! Or perhaps was that just serendipitous? ;)

I actually had a weather related adventure this morning very early, but now, just sitting here looking out over the Caribbean ocean! What an amazing thing air travel!

I want to apply this last comment as a down payment toward your next post please...

holyoak said...

OOPs please replace two colds with cool... what a fool!