Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 29 - Utah to Home

We were happy to be close to home but a little sad that it was our last day of vacation together.  We left Utah after breakfast and drove to Nampa, ID before stopping for lunch.

As we came down Dixie Mtn into the John Day Valley, we both agreed that this is one of the most beautiful places we have seen.  We live in a great place!  We had smooth driving until we were 5 miles from home, then we were stopped for 15 minutes with road construction.

Strawberry Mtn

Our month-long road trip is over...7951 miles later!  We questioned whether a road trip in my little Kia Soul was a good idea, given how large we are and the kids would be cozy in the backseat.  It worked out perfectly, though!  We had one flat tire and a rattling muffler but no major issues, praise God!  We couldn't beat the 29-34 mpg, either.  I will likely need to give Drew the front seat next trip!

Day 28 - KS, NE, WY, UT

Water tower in NE
NE corn fields
Today was our longest driving day at 967 miles in 15 hours with stops for gas and food.   We drove north out of Salina, KS into Nebraska, then west through Wyoming into Ogden, Utah for the night.
NE roadside 
Western NE near WY - we called it the Pooping Coyote
We have enjoyed reading about each state as we drive through.  I found a website, Enchanged Learning, which has fun info about each state.  We also purchased the book Road Trip USA which is also packed with info and travel routes across the US.  We also learned that I need to brush up on my geography!  

Between Cheyenne, WY and Laramie, WY
WY Lincoln Memorial
Western WY
Andy has decided that we could be Gypsies, traveling for months at a time.  If we moved to town and gave up our animals, we could travel all summer!  I don't expect that to happen, but we did learn that we love to travel by car.  The kids are already talking about our next trip to Virginia!  

eastern Utah

eastern Utah

Day 27 - KY, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas

Milk truck in Missouri
We had a long driving day, about 8oo miles, from Lexington, KY to Salina, KS.  We enjoyed seeing the rolling hills in Kentucky and watching the hills flatten out the farther west we traveled.
KY interstate

St Louis Gateway Arch
St Louis bridge
St Louis bridge
For dinner in Salina, we found a BBQ place called Hog Wild BBQ.  It was so good!  They served large portions at a great price and did I mention that it was so good!

Huge silos near Salina, KS
Kansas BBQ!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 26 - Homeward Bound! VA, WV, KY

We left Virginia this morning, starting our trip back home.  The trip has gone by so fast and we are all a little sad that it will soon be over!

Andy had wanted to visit Richmond, VA and Petersburg, VA but we needed another day to fit these in.  They will have to wait for the next visit!  We did take time to stop at the Appomattox Court House and McLean House where Lee surrendered.  I wish we had more time there!  It was beautifully restored with re-enactors, animals and nice exhibits.
Appomattox home
Appomattox Court House
McLean House
Lee's Surrender
Room where Lee surrendered
From Appomattox, we continued through West Virginia and into Kentucky where we spent the night in Lexington.
vines everywhere - western VA
Western VA

West Virginia
Charleston, WV

Tired kids!
We found a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives featured restaurant called Parkette Drive-In.  Their double burger was featured on the show and their fried chicken got great reviews online.  I had the fried chicken dinner and everyone else had burgers.  We followed it with a Colossal Car Crash dessert which was also amazing!  The best fried chicken I have ever had!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day 18-25 - Relaxing in Chesapeake, VA

We are enjoying our days in the Chesapeake area with my aunt and uncle's family.  The weather has been hot and humid, perfect for spending time on the beach!  The girls have been to the Chesapeake Bay beaches twice and hope to squeeze in one more trip before we head home on the 16th.
Inga and Andy
cousin Alex
Drew, Abby, Mallory with cousin Maggie
Drew trying to skim board
I celebrated my 37th birthday on the 9th with a relaxing day with Aunt Jerri at the house.  Mallory turned 7 on the 10th with a trip to the beach (shortened by a thunderstorm) then dinner and cake with home-made ice cream with the cousins.  It was a good day!
Birthday girl!

We also spent a day in Colonial Williamsburg.  It was fun to see everyone in costume and walk through the different trade shops.  Andy and Drew enjoyed the blacksmith shop and I enjoyed the hand-sewing at the Millery.  Pics to come later...
Drew and Abby in the Pillory
Governor's Palace, Colonial Williamsburg
Sunday was filled with rest and good food!  We started the day at church, followed by a great brunch in historic Freemason Abbey in Norfolk.  After a long afternoon nap, Chet ordered pizza for dinner then we went for fresh Krispy Kreme donuts in Virginia Beach.  This was our first experience with hot-off-the-line donuts and they were delish!

Drew and Aunt Jerri
Our family with Aunt Jerri, Uncle Chet and cousin Inga
Mama eating one for Mom back home!
Tonight we are headed to Manteo, NC for the Lost Colony play, a Tony award-winning production about the lost Roanoke colonies.  We also plan to visit the First Flight museum at Kitty Hawk and find a beach.