How can I describe the overall feeling of the trip? It was chaos and adventure. It was terrifying and exhilarating and fascinating. The contrast between cities in this country is incredible. Each place has its own style and its own feel. Since we were so short on time most of our stops were the tourist sites which were packed with people in the peak of travel season. Since we were also short on funds we kept mostly to what we could see for free.
The kids weren't perfect. They are kids after all and there was a fair share of whining and "are we there yet"s but I have to say that they did a great job. It is hard enough to leave family and friends to move to a new place but we had them in a new hotel every night as we traveled. Even as an adult it was a strain. I started to feel like the car was our real home. It helped that we were able to visit good friends and family on our way. A friendly face in a new place is worth gold.
The first day was straight driving. We went from Ogden to Council Bluffs, Iowa. We mostly saw nothing so the air balloon crossing over the freeway was quite a delight.
I knew that we were going to be in the car for a fair share of the time, but knowing and actually driving those roads is a vastly different thing.
I am sure it was because we had also just recently packed up all our belongings to move from a place we love in hopes of a better future but I felt a special kinship with those people. Some of them were my own ancestors and they were probably scared when they left too, but everything turned out all right. They were able to create a beautiful home in Utah.
|Lots and lots of driving.|
They have done a good job trying to make the visit positive but it is sad. It is so tragic that those two fathers never were able to return to their families.
That drive delivered us to our dear friends the Davis family. These guys were our family in Eugene and it was encouraging to me that even though we haven't seen each other for two years the bond is as strong as ever. We picked up just where we left off. They made an incredible dinner for us and we stayed up all night talking about memories and catching up on news.
After feeling so happy in Indiana it was hard to get back into the car. There were some super grumpy kids. It looked like it was going to be a long, awful slog so we pepped things up with some Slurpies. Let's just say they were well-received.
|I never get sick of little toes.|
Lessons learned at Niagra Falls. If you have a chance to go on a boat, TAKE IT!
The church seemed vaguely familiar. I wonder if things have really changed that much or if I just have a horrible memory. I definitely remember the top floor apartment in our house. It looks pretty much exactly the same. I am curious if there are still sister missionaries living there. I thought it was adorable then and I still do now.
We walked the Freedom Trail in Boston. I did remember Boston Common and it hasn't changed a bit. I love that the city has created the brick trail to follow. It is kind of magical to follow. My favorite part of it is the section that most people skip that goes right through the North End in Little Italy and across the Charles River.
I really enjoyed going back. It brought up a lot of feelings that I hadn't felt in a long time. It made me realize that the city has changed but that the roots are still the same, and that is kind of true for me too.
|The Democratic Donkey and the Republican Resistance|
Although if Rocky knew that was what she was doing I don't think she'd be happy.
This was the aforementioned hotel in Jersey. You can see how fun it is to sleep with two wiggle worms...and that isn't even considering my crazy sleep walking.
And a double gold star goes to Brandon. He drove every time we were in a city and the traffic was crazy. He planned all the hotels and figured out free stuff to do. He came up with games and activities and kept us all in good spirits.
We went so many places so quickly that we will all probably forget most of what we did but I hope that these kids always remember crossing from the West Coast to the East Coast together. America is beautiful.