Buy a postcard every time we stop
for gas and tape it here so you
can remember where we’ve been!
I thought it would be fun for the kids to get one from each of the seven states we'd be driving through: Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
We left Aloha, Oregon on Friday 6/27/14 at 10:15am. We stopped in the Dalles, OR for lunch around 1:00 at Denny's even though we hadn't traveled that long. Our first stop for gas, however, was in Ontario, Oregon, right on the Oregon/Idaho border. Jared knew my goal to have the kids collect postcards along the way, so he made sure to stop at a HUGE gas station oasis. Everyone took their potty breaks in shifts. We all stretched our legs and backsides while I scoured that massive station and gift shop for postcards. Not ONE could be found. I looked three times! Seriously?? What a gip. So disappointing. But whatdaya do? You get back in the car and keep on trucking.
We made a pit stop in Idaho for a potty break before arriving at our friends' house that evening, even though we didn't need gas. That gas station didn't have post cards either. You've got to be kidding me! We were 0 for 2.
On Saturday, June 28, 2014, bright and early, we each had a much appreciated bowl of cereal before quietly vacating Eric and Sara's house in Meridian, Idaho. We strived to "leave no trace" and to make no noise. Once we were on the road it didn't take long for everyone to be out like trout.
Our goal for Saturday was to get to Provo, Utah around noon to meet our sweet friend Elissa McCullough and her man friend for lunch at the BYU Creamery. Plus, we had BYU shirts that we wanted to get from the bookstore before heading south. Despite our best efforts to navigate to the Creamery with GPS, we had some difficulty. Roads were closed and having never stepped foot on any BYU campus before (yes, you read that correctly), we had no idea where we were or which direction we needed to go in. Fortunately, we were headed in the right direction and a quick call to Elissa and Matt confirmed that we were actually just around the corner from the Creamery.
Being at the BYU Creamery during the lunch hour on a Saturday was probably not the smartest idea. It's an "itty bitty living space" but we were fortunate enough to gain possession of a booth for all nine of us. We had to get our food in two different orders due to potty breaks, but we managed. Thank you, Matt, for being the photographer!
After yummy burger and hot dog baskets and ice cream of course, we walked over to the bookstore. I quickly snapped a picture of the suburban when we passed it in the parking lot.
When I was 15 and we moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Anchorage, Alaska, we had a sign posted on our van window that said ALASKA or BUST! Though our trek would not be quite the extreme that that one was, we patterned our move after it in many ways. So Cooper made this sign for us that said: TEXAS or BUST!
The three littles all wanted to hold Elissa's hand while we walked over to the bookstore. And in true Elissa-fashion, she made it work!
I needed to do some exchanges at the Distribution Center before we began our search for some BYU gear. Matt and Elissa graciously offered to take the kids around in different areas to read books and play so we could make the most of our limited time at the store--especially since we'd never been there before. Our friends from Oregon, Wendell and Michelle King, had told us to go downstairs for the kids' stuff. So that's where we went.
I think we made pretty good time between my clothing exchanges and finding shirts for seven people in seven different sizes. Not sure how Matt and Elissa were feeling however, because they were stuck with the Houghlings :) Elissa said they were wearing the kids out for us. Fortunately, campus was pretty empty making it more conducive for the kids to run around and expend energy in the big open section of the building outside the bookstore without it being super disruptive.
While the kids were playing outside waiting for us to finish up, Elissa shared the following that Karcyn wrote:
I love the beautiful summer grass when the wind blows my hair. No really I do but sometimes I always use to go wild every time I get excited all the time. So just tell my "friend" I do not need any help because I work alone! Just leave me alone, okay. Sincerely, Karcyn
Ahh, Karcyn. So thoughtful, yet so random.
We asked Matt to take a picture of us with Elissa before we parted ways. Here's the first attempt with Calvin being Calvin.
The second take was blurry and not pictured. This is the third :) Close enough.
We all enjoyed Matt. He was very patient and helpful to us--and quietly doted on Elissa as a gentleman should. Jake likes him because he's a jazz major and Jake was already starting to plan a jam session with the two of them. If Matt can survive our crazy crew while eating lunch in a public place...on top of playing with and babysitting our kids while Jared and I shopped, then he's definitely a keeper! I told Bev (Elissa's mom) that he passed the Hough-approval test with flying colors! Our time with them was much too short, but we were so gratefully glad we had a chance to be with Elissa (and meet Matt) one last time before we left the western part of the country. (I'm happy to report that 8 days later, Matt proposed to Elissa and she accepted :)
We got gas (which was averaging around $3.94/gal) and then drove back to Lehi to see my college roommate and dear friend, Sarah Christensen, and her family. It was too short too, dang it. Like 20 minutes, tops. But we were face-to-face and I got to see her kiddos and her cute house and got some hugs that will have to hold me over for more than two to three years.
We arrived at Jared's parents' home around 4pm and promptly brought ALL 7 bags and then some into the house. And man, was it HOT. I think it was only 90 degrees but it felt like 100 easily. After we got settled, Jared and I met his mission friends Elly and Ryan Thomas (both who served in the Dominican Republic) at Chili's for dinner. It was fun to be with them, too and to catch up on their lives.
Jared and I ran to Walmart after dinner in order to replenish our travel snackage and to keep the Sabbath day holy by not making those purchases Sunday evening. Sunday was truly going to be a day of rest for us in more ways than one and we were looking forward to it. Beginning Monday, we had a long week ahead of us.
On Sunday, June 29th, we were thrilled to have Jared's brother's family walk into his parents' house around 8:15 in the morning. I should also add we were UBER impressed. When we were planning the logistics of our move, Jared had mentioned that his brother Kevin (in medical school in Pennsylvania) would be finishing up finals around then and was planning to drive down and visit his parents as well. Wouldn't it be awesome if our paths crossed? Our plans were that we'd be in Utah on Saturday afternoon and Sunday and would leave bright and early Monday morning. In speaking with Kevin, Jared discovered that Kevin had a final exam on Friday and the soonest they could be in Lehi would be...Monday. *long, long sigh* Wow. Sooooo close. Painfully, heartbreaking close. Some time passed and the next time Kevin called Jared, it was to tell him that they were going to leave Pennsylvania right after his final and drive through the night with 6 of their 8 kids to get to Utah by Sunday.
And they did. Not only that, BUT...they were staying at a relative's house on my sister-in-law's side in Park City. When they arrived at Jared's parents' house in Lehi at 8:15 in the morning, every one of them were dressed and ready to go to church--and they had driven in from Park City--and had been on the road from Pennsylvania just hours before that!!! The winner of the 2014 Amazing Hough Relatives award goes to Kevin and Christina Hough. I still cannot believe their sacrifice so we could cross paths for about 12 hours! I'm so glad they made it safely and I hope they felt it was worth it.
After going to my in-laws' ward for church, we came home and got lunch. We have a family tradition of staying in our church clothes until at least after dinner to keep our attitude and behavior appropriate for Sabbath day worship. But on this day, we needed to pack up our church clothes and make sure all the bags and suitcases were ready to load up in the suburban.
This is Jared wearing his new BYU shirt. He said it was "burning his body." :)
Sitting on the front steps from left to right: Karcyn and her cousins: Ayzlynn, Korbin, and Olivia.
Cooper and Calvin and a neighbor on one of the "baseball" teams.
Cole, Connor, Jake and another neighbor. (Jared's parents are living in Kevin and Chris' old house so these neighbor kids are happy to see the Kevin Hough kids again, as well.)
Aunt Chris is a wonderful place to lay your head when it hurts and you're not feeling well.
JJ and his cousin Korbin who was born 2 months and 1 day before JJ. Please note, my child is NOT the redhead but the one in the red shirt :)
Cooper posing with our incredible Grandpa Hough.
Daddy trying to help Karcyn's touch of heatstroke go away.
Doc and Jared--silly boys.
Jake shooting some hoops with Uncle Kevin.
Cooper and his cousin Garrett. Cooper is two years older.
JJ and his "ah ee" (translation: blanket)
Family picture--sort of. JJ managed to jump in mid-air at just the right time in the background.
The Hough brothers and their families, less Kevin's oldest son, James, who is serving a mission in Brazil and their oldest daughter, Emma, who was getting ready for Girls Camp.
Doc, Karole and Jared enjoying a lovely summer's eve on the back patio.
Gathering for a mega family prayer.
Calvin and crazy Uncle Kevin. Those two deserve each other :)
Karcyn and Grandpa Hough
Karcyn and her cousin Olivia.
The three littles.
And a nighty-night to one and all. We had our longest day of driving (10 hours) coming up the following day on Monday, with tent camping the next two nights. Enjoy all the comforts of home! This would the last night sleeping in a bed for a couple days!