Thursday, June 30, 2011

Road Trip Day 2: The Grand Canyon

Before our trip I had never been to the Grand Canyon (well, I had never been anywhere in the country besides the west coast, Ohio, and South Carolina... and Chicago-- when I was only seven years old!) so it was pretty cool to see it for myself in real life. I had heard other people say it looks like a painting when you're there standing in front of it, and I have to agree with them-- it really does.

There were so many pretty wildflowers blooming all along the ridge trail of the canyon! I think I made Adam take more photos of the flowers than of the canyon itself.

Now it's time for you to meet the Japanese Good Luck Cat. The week before our trip, Adam hung out with his good friend Patrick for the last time before we moved, and they hung out on the set of a kids' TV show that Patrick is in. On that particular day, the episode being filmed was about Chinese New Year, and some of the props were these Japanese good luck cats. After the filming was finished, Patrick snagged one of the cats and gave it to Adam before we left, and Adam brought the cat along on the road trip, taking pictures of it in front of every national monument, and in each new state we visited.

Here's an example:

You've seen those kind of cats before, right? Well this cat has now seen the entire country. Ha!

Our drive out of the Grand Canyon was probably my favorite drive of the whole trip. The scenery was amazing! Our goal was to had north into Utah, but there are no bridges over the Grand Canyon, so that meant we had to drive east first, along the entire remaining length of the canyon. The canyon was beautiful, but the red cliffs on the other side of the road were equally amazing. I think we enjoyed the drive so much because we weren't expecting anything spectacular, so driving through miles and miles and miles of road with the Grand Canyon on one side and giant red cliffs on the other was a nice surprise! I think most of the land was Indian reservation land, because the only signs of civilization were trailers or tiny six-sided house every couple of miles.

We made it to southern Utah a whoooole lot later than we thought we would (for some reason, I was under the impression that our drive out of the Grand Canyon would be a two-hour drive, but, well... it was a five-hour drive. Whoops.) but we made it-- in the dark and on windy roads-- and had a cute little log cabin all to ourselves.

Tomorrow: Road Trip Day 3: I never knew how pretty Utah is!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Road Trip Day 1: Mojave Desert & Arizona

Road trip pictures! (Baby belly picture coming soon, I promise).

I have never driven farther east in California than Palm Springs, and as a fourth grade teacher in California, we study "the four regions of California", (one of which is the desert region-- mainly the Mojave desert), so, call me nerdy, but I was really excited to drive through the desert!

The land was empty for miles, except for train tracks, and some occasional rock formations.

I was determined to see a real desert sand dune, so we took a detour off the main highway into the desert, and off in the distance I could see some dunes. We took the worst, bumpiest gravel road you can imagine to get to (or we thought we were getting to) the sand dunes, but the road ended still a good mile or two away from them. We walked down the trail a little ways that led to the dunes, but it was about 96 degrees out so we didn't go far. On our way back to the car, we happened upon two hikers from Germany who took our picture for us.

The one thing that was more noticeable than the heat, though, was the silence. The Mojave desert is the quietest place I have ever been. The only sound was the wind blowing through the scrubby bushes-- no cars, no city noises, no distant freeway, no planes flying over, no animals rustling, no insect noises, no one speaking-- nothing. It was pretty incredible.

Some of the plants were cool:

...or maybe I'm the only one who thought they were cool. I have a thing for cacti and succulents, but they never stay alive for me.

From the Mojave desert we drove on to Williams, Arizona (about half an hour south of the Grand Canyon) where we had the most disappointing food of our entire trip. Sorry, Pine Country Cafe (who boasts of good home cookin'), we will not be back any time soon. Adam's steak was quite flavorless and my salad came with a tear-open packet of Kraft raspberry vinaigrette.

Our hotel, however, was the most unusual stay of the whole trip. We slept in a vintage railroad car!

Our room was one-third of that green rail car. It was so tiny inside that we couldn't even get a photo of the room! The caboose you see there is also available for rent. It has a queen bed and at least two bunk beds!

Thus ends Cross-Country Road Trip Day 1.

Tomorrow: Grand Canyon!


Friday, June 24, 2011

We made it!

4,800 miles and 14 states later, we have arrived in Ohio!

We got here on Tuesday, but it's been kind of a busy few days. All that stuff you see in our moving pod is now in stacks and piles in the basement of Adam's mom's house, where we're staying for the summer.

I can't wait to post pictures of our road trip! It may be a few days, but stay tuned!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby Girl!

I haven't blogged much lately, mostly because life is a little crazy right now. For example, here's one corner of our living room:

We're moving in five days! Five! It's coming up so fast, and school is out on Friday. Wooo!

But what I really wanted to show you are the pictures of our baby girl that were taken at our ultrasound appointment today!

There she is at 19 weeks, or technically, 18 1/2. I can feel her kicking all the time now, and Adam even felt one big kick last night with his hand on my belly! 

People have some favorite things they like to tell me, though. 

"You totally don't look pregnant at all!!"

"You're how far along? You don't even look pregnant!"

"I was bigger than you when I was 6 weeks!" 

"You're pregnant? I can't even tell!" 

I suppose those are good things to hear, but I do hear them several times every day. 

Here's a little timeline for you. (As you can see, we got a little more creative at 13 weeks).

Seven weeks

Thirteen weeks... a tiny tiny bump?

Seventeen weeks... People still can't tell, but I sure can!

Mayyyybe we'll snap one more shot before we leave town, but the way things are going, the next picture will probably be at the end of June, when we arrive in Cincinnati. By then, there should be some big changes! 

Our move consists of a two-week road trip across the country with Adam's brother Aaron and our sister-in-law Amy. They're in the mountains of Utah right now, and we're going to meet up with them next week, after we stop at the Grand Canyon! Then we'll head east, making stops at places like Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, our good friends Julie and Spencer in Omaha, the Munger Moss Motel, and New Orleans.

Life is going to change a lot in the next five months!