I have been lax in my "duty" of updating the blog since we left for Christmas. As most of you know, our holiday turned out a bit differently than we'd planned because of the snow storm here in Seattle. We were scheduled to leave on Sunday the 21st at 3pm. We got to the airport around 1:30pm and saw a HUGE line for Frontier. We, however, got in the "fast lane," as we had checked in online and just had to drop off our bags. As we stood in line, we kept hearing rumblings of all flights for Frontier being cancelled...turns out, after waiting about an hour, the rumblings were true. So, we called our dear friend Nick back to the airport to get us, stayed on hold with the Frontier reservations desk for about 30 minutes, and got a refund for our tickets because the soonest available flight that wasn't completely booked was not until the Friday AFTER Christmas. At this point, I was about in tears, thinking I wasn't going to see our families and we were going to have to spend Christmas alone, etc, etc, etc...then I had an epiphany...why can't we drive? Those 4 words spurred us into action and we quickly packed the car, made sure we had our chains and winter weather gear (just in case, of course), and took off down the interstate. Oh, what an adventure! For the first 1000 miles (about 1/2 way to KS), our average speed was 30MPH due to the snow/ice/slush. When we crossed the border into WY, we stopped at a gas station and decided, after much deliberation and depressed silences, that we needed to turn around. That decision made, Tyler went into the station to get some wiper fluid while I sat in the car and cried, trying to muster up the gumph to call our families and tell them the news. I had my finger on the "talk" button when Tyler came out and poked his head in the car and said "Let's just keep going. We've come this far, if we turn around now, we'll have driven 48 hours for nothing." Needless to say, I was overjoyed, but wanted to make sure he really thought it was the best plan, not that he was giving in to his emotional/overtired wife (we drove straight through, napping while the other was driving, so we'd been on the road for 24 hours, only stopping for bathroom/food). He said from that point on, we weren't going to worry about making good time, we'd get there when we'd get there. So, we kept going! And lo and behold, about 40 miles later, the roads cleared and we actually made it up to 75MPH :) We did stop that night for 3 hours at a rest stop, then drove the rest of the way from WY to KS. Snow was along the road all the way from WY to Newton, but we weren't really affected by it. We arrived in Newton at 5pm Tuesday night, which gave us a grand total of 45 hours of travel time. Whew!
At this point, all we want is a shower, which my family was kind enough to provide! Then the festivities began! Boy, did they begin! Because of our delayed arrival, we all had to cram 8 days worth of activites into 5. Just a sampling of these were: game night at the Adams, hot dog roast at the Giles, Christmas with the Giles, Christmas with the Bakers, Christmas with the Smiths, Christmas with the Russells, lunch with friends, Guitar Hero/Rock Band sessions, lunch with the Russells, and church with the Bakers. We also ended up at the hospital for almost a full day trying to get Tyler's cold taken care of, which was unplanned (he ended up with a sinus infection and got put on antibiotics). Then after all the action in Newton, it was time to say goodbye and head to Branson, MO to spend a few days at Tyler's parents house...I hate goodbyes!! But, we had a great time in Branson. We spent an evening at Silver Dollar City, watched a couple of movies and many episodes of the Office, and shopped, shopped, shopped.
Then, on Thursday, the 1st, we headed out, destination: home. This time around, we decided to stop for each night at a hotel and actually sleep! What a concept! :) We also decided to see some of the sights along the way to help make driving worthwhile. The first day of driving, we made it to Mitchell, SD. We stayed the night there, and spent most of the next day sightseeing. We stopped at Wall Drug (some old drug store; it was pretty boring), Mt. Rushmore (really, really cool!), and Crazy Horse (from a distance...but still pretty cool). We debated about stopping at Devil's Tower and decided we might as well, but it was already dark, so we spent the night in a little town called Hulett, WY. We got up the next morning and made it to Devil's Tower by around 7am. We were the only ones there, as it had snowed during the night. That was a pretty cool sight also. And kinda weird to be completely alone at a national monument (not even rangers were there that early, although we did pass one on the way out). At that point, our sightseeing day(s) were over and we made the final push for home. We decided to not stop Saturday night so we could get home sooner. The drive got worse through Idaho and then into Washington, but we finally made it home, safe and sound, at 3am Sunday morning (after a quick stop at Walmart for some food supplies). We drove a total of over 4,000 and our total travel time was around 90 hours!! It was a huge adventure, and I don't think we really knew what we were getting ourselves into, but it made fun memories. I think both Tyler and I would say it was completely worth it, and we're both so glad we didn't turn around that night in WY. As an added bonus, we ended up saving a couple hundred bucks by driving instead of flying! :) In conclusion to this monstrous post, we had an excellent time seeing all our friends and family, and throughly enjoyed our time together driving down the interstate. :)
I have posted pictures of our trip on Facebook that you can access here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2240335&l=6e3fd&id=17026677
You don't need to be a member of facebook to see them, just click the link and it'll take you right to them.
Also, a quick side-note, I cut my hair this week so I'll post a picture for those of you who don't have facebook for that too.