Friday, February 28, 2014

Roadtrip from Phoenix to Charlottesville

My mom and dad always told us about our various trips as a family over the years. Some of which I remember and some of which I don't. I thought it would be good to document here our move to Virginia so the kids can read it some day.

On February 1, 2014 we made our trek from Phoenix, AZ to Charlottesville, VA, our new home. The kiddos did so good. We left at 6am in the morning from my moms house. Both my mom and I cried when we said our goodbyes. So bittersweet as I knew it would be. We stopped in Payson for some breakfast and its a good thing we did because the second we stopped Georgia got car sick and threw up. Must have been from not having any food in her stomach. After she ate, she was fine the rest of the way. We stopped again in Gallup, New Mexico for some lunch only making one potty break in between. We had New Mexican food for lunch and it was actually pretty decent. The only annoying thing was the vendors walking up to our table trying to sell us jewelry. It started to lightly snow as we were leaving Gallup. We stopped once or twice more but it was freezing cold and hard to let the babies out for long (or us). It was cold. We somehow made it to Amarillo that night around 8pm and found a place to stay at the Staybridge Suites. It took approx. 2 hours to get the car unpacked and something for dinner which means we didn't get to eat until about 10pm. OK for us, babies were hungry though.

Day 1: 739.2 miles and 12.75 hours with three 2 year olds (who did so good!). 

The next morning we packed up the car and headed toward Tulsa. We knew the roads may be a bit dangerous once we got there so we tried to get going as soon as possible. We stopped for lunch in Weatherford, OK at someplace called Jerry's. The babies were a big hit there. So many people at our table it was tough to eat. They only had two high chairs there so we used one of our own. The selection of restaurants was not great obviously so we couldn't be picky and luckily we were prepared. We made it to Tulsa and just as we thought, the roads were especially bad once we got off the freeway. We saw many cars on the side of the road. We decided to head to the cemetery first where my dad is buried before it got too late. I spent a few minutes talking to him and took some pictures for my mom. I left an Arizona Diamondbacks lanyard wrapped around the vase. I wish I could have stayed longer or visited my uncle and grandfather too but the cemetery was covered with snow, the babies were fussy wanting out of the car and if the weather would have been better, I would have gone back alone. At least I got to go at all I guess. We thought the weather might prevent us from even getting to Tulsa. After we checked into the hotel we met my Uncle Arnold (one of my dads 3 brothers) and Aunt Linda for dinner at Texas Roadhouse and they got to meet the babies. It was so good to see them! Loved that we were able to make that happen and hope we can get back there in the near future to see more of my family. I so wish we all could see each other more but such is life I guess. We will be back though with the kiddos at some point. I want them to know all of their family.

Day 2: 7 hours driving time. Halfway there.

The next morning was an early one. Another 12 hour drive ahead of us into Tennessee. I know the roads may be bad but they were terrible leaving Tulsa. We had to take a toll road to get back to the 40 and there was hardly a road. We drove very slowly. I just kept telling myself as soon we get off this toll road, I am sure they will have cleared some of this and we will be back in business. After about an hour of driving on this I took the exit for the 40 and as the exit curved around, we turned, and suddenly everything disappeared. And I mean everything. I could not see anything in front of me due to the fog, no cars and no road, so I pulled to the side but I couldn't pull too far over or we might get stuck in the snow. Tommy got out of the car to clean the windshield. Suddenly out of the fog a huge semi sped past us. How he saw us, I don't know, but we couldn't stay on the side of the road or we would likely get hit the next time, so I pulled out onto what I thought was a road and continued to drive. Luckily that fog did not last long and I could see again. Still no road though, just a big fat sheet of ice.

As we got closer to Arkansas, the ice was gone and I relaxed a little. The trees in Arkansas were so pretty. The branches were all shiny and crystallized from the ice. They were gleaming trees all around us.I told Tommy the trees looked like glazed donuts. LOL. We stopped just outside of Little Rock for some lunch. We had good ol' southern food. Fried green tomatoes, fried okra, fried catfish. Yum. The babies liked the tomatoes and I know not too healthy but its rare we eat like that. I should also mention that for the 2nd or 3rd time this trip when stopped there are no changing tables in the restrooms, which means we were changing their diapers in the front seat of the car and it is freezing outside. Poor babies. Freezing their bums off.

We kept driving into Tennessee and into Nashville where I happened to be born. We continued to Franklin, TN to stay with a dear friend of mine, Mel, who offered us a place to stay. I actually lived in Franklin as a little girl for a short time. I have fond childhood memories there. Mel had dinner ready when we got there and her family was so sweet and welcoming. The kiddos got to play and enjoyed not being stuck in a hotel room with no toys. Tommy and I got to visit with Mel and her husband and we both really enjoyed our time with them.  Once again, I found myself wishing we could have had more time but hopefully we will be back in that area again sometime. I would love to go back to Nashville and Franklin and explore a little.

Day 3: 11 hours driving time. The trio had their best travel day.

The next day we stopped by my old house that I lived in on our way out of town. It was pretty neat to see it again. We always thought it was haunted when we lived there and I would have dreams about it occasionally as I grew up. It seemed to take forever to get out of Tennessee. The longest state ever. The roads were windy and there were more trucks than any part of the trip. This was the last day of our trip though. When we laid our heads down at the end of the day, we were in Charlottesville. Driving through Virginia was beautiful and I cant wait to learn more about the state and find our place here. That night we stayed at the Doubletree hotel. I wish I could say we moved into our house the next day, but that is where the challenging part of this move began, and its a story I don't wish to re hash, so I won't. We had a great road trip and cherish the time we had together as a family, seeing our friends and loved ones, visiting my dad, and seeing new parts of the country.

Day 4: 11 hours drive time. 

Total trip miles - 2330. Total drive time - 41.75 hours.

See pictures from our trip here...