On Saturday, August 4th we loaded up our downsized belongings into a 5 x 8 U-Haul trailer in Yakima, WA. We spent the rest of the weekend visiting with family in Grandview. We even got to spend a few days with Brian's oldest sister Emily and her four kids who came from Vancouver. There were a few tears shed saying good bye. I think the hardest part for me is Maybrie not being close to any cousins anymore and not knowing when we will back to see family again.
On Monday, August 6th we left Grandview, WA at 7:30am and made the 12 hour drive to Billings, MT. Our mini van and U-haul were packed to capacity, and at some points driving through the Rockies we had to turn off our AC to get enough power. We bought and wrapped up 12 prizes for Maybrie from the dollar store, mostly puzzles and coloring books, and gave her 3 a day. It worked like magic, she loved it! It was great bribery and gave her something new and exciting to do along the way. The kids were very good the first day. We probably only had about 30 minutes total of whining/crying. I did have to get over my crumb phobia and just let Thomas make a mess with crackers... in the end it was probably better than listening to a fussing baby! The kids watched a movie once and Brian and I listened to music and Harry Potter #2- Chamber of Secrets. I felt relief and success when we reached Days Inn that night. The kids were always so excited to get out of the car and run around the motel rooms. (Here is a map of our 36 hour trek from WA to IN)
Our van and U-haul. We almost forgot Maybrie's bike, you can see it tied to the roof. I joked with Brian that a person would have to be really cruel to steal a toddler's bike! Luckily, it made it to Indiana safely.
Thomas being cute and happy... he did so much better than I thought he would.
Day 2 we drove from Billing MT to Murdo, SD (passing through WY). There was a lot more whining from Maybrie and crying from Thomas. There was a major chip explosion thanks to Maybrie... big mistake to let her finish off the crumbs in the bottom of the bag. Then as I was cleaning them up Thomas accidentally kicked the bag, emptying it completely and making the mess unbearable for me. Brian said numerous times that I was one of the most entertaining parts of the drive! :) We made a slight detour to see Mount Rushmore. It was very crowded because of the bike rally in Sturgis. On our way up there was a massive hail storm, it was almost humorous to see all of the bikers on the side of the road trying to put helmets and jackets on. The storm let up just as we parked, allowing for a nice dry, quick look. It really is incredible and cool to see in person. We are glad we stopped.
Brian, Maybrie and Thomas. Even though it stopped raining except for a sprinkle or two, Maybrie had to bring her umbrella! :)
There is a cool walkway up to the lookout and pavilion with state flags.
Because of the bike rally in Sturgis, SD we saw more motorcycles than I have ever seen in my life... they were everywhere for a good hour or two stretch before and after. Here are some I snapped lining the streets. Thomas liked listening to them.
We tried to make the drive without eating out to save money, but our room at Super 8 in the small town of Murdo, SD didn't have a fridge or microwave... and after such a long day we decided to eat at basically the only place in town aside from the Subway at the gas station... "The Diner" won because we wouldn't have to get back in the car and could just cross the parking lot. Brian and I felt like we had stepped back in time... funny how small towns can do that.
Thomas thought it was great. Maybrie did too... but she is in a phase where she likes to hide from the camera or frown, so you will see more of Thomas's smiles!
Me and the kids
We saw a lot of this along the way...
and this... Sunflowers, I liked seeing those.
Crossed the Missouri river
On Day 3 we stopped at the only corn palace in the world in Mitchell, SD. It was actually really cool... and free, even better! Every year since it's opening in 1892 they take down all of the corn and grains off the front and re-decorate it in a different theme.
You can see some of the handiwork a little closer in this picture from a display inside.
Our little family
Maybrie with her souvenir, a caramel corn cob. It was delish!
I love the kids faces in this picture! So cute!
One of the many, many, many corn fields we drove past
We stayed the 3rd night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We left early by 6:30am on the fourth day so that we could make it by 3:30 for check-in at our new place in Indy. We ate breakfast on the go, and at this point I think we were all just used to being in the car. Thomas finally decided he'd had enough when we were about an hour away from our new home, so we did have some definitely unhappy traveler sounds in the end.
Good morning... a whole bag of Cheerios, what could make a 1 year old happier!?
Cinnamon roll for Maybrie
Crossing the Mississippi River... it's big
Here is a video of Thomas laughing at Maybrie during the final hours of the drive. He is cracking up so hard he can't even finish the teddy graham in his mouth! We all got a pretty good laugh. This is how I want to remember our road trip...laughter. While we definitely had our frustrating moments (like Maybrie pooping her pants and me chucking her dirty underwear off the side of the road somewhere in South Dakota...) I am glad we had this family bonding time. That is exactly what this whole new adventure in Indiana will be for our little family. It is just the four of us on our own now, away from both families. Hopefully iit just brings us closer together.
We made it! And earlier than we planned. Here we are at our new residence 4256 Londonderry Drive Indianapolis, IN 46221. (Maybrie wouldn't pose with us)
My parents made the drive out from Orem, UT to bring us a bunch of our stuff that wouldn't fit in our small U-Haul trailer. It was so generous and helpful of them. They got to see some of the church history sites like Nauvoo along the way too. I'm glad they were able to have a nice trip while helping us out. We love you mom and dad! Thanks again!