Tuesday, July 11, 2017

California or Bust

I will start by saying that we made it to Mountain View, CA! 5 days of travel and 4 days of driving. It was an epic adventure for our little family.

Day 1 Was spent driving from Our home to Carlsbad, NM. We stayed there overnight and went to see the caverns the next morning. I had been to the caverns as a teenager, but I had forgotten how truly breathtaking and enormous the caverns are. Mark and I were both a little uneasy as we took our girls down 700+ feet into the earth. When you look around and see all the fallen limestone and consider the way the caverns were formed, it makes you feel more than a little at the mercy of God and nature.

Mark has most of the pictures from the caverns. I will eventually come back and post more. But there are a few from that quick venture. In fact, it may take a while for me to get pictures up at all. I'm without a computer here and blogging from my phone is a little difficult. On that note, forgive my typos...phone typing is hazardous.

Day 2 - We went to explore the caverns in the morning. We were finished by about 10:30, so we drove to Phoenix by way of El Paso and Tucson. That wasn't a very exciting day, but it went quick until we got to Phoenix. We didn't get there until after the sun went down. Driving through an unknown city at dark isn't every much fun.

Day 3 - We drove from Phoenix to Las Vegas. It was the shortest drive of our entire trip. It was only about 5 hours, but it felt so long. There is nothing....NOTHING between Vegas and Phoenix. It's desert...Joshua Trees and Cactus. We ran across two gas stations in the same "city." It was so crowded...I image they make a killing. I'm glad we filled up before we hit the road. Haha. I'm kidding mom. We never even considered leaving a city without putting gas in the car...we were aware that we would be driving through desolate areas.

We arrive fairly early in Vegas where we stayed at Circus Circus. I DO NOT recommend that place. The amusement park was fantastic and the employees are great, but the hotel hasn't been renovated since 1996 and it shows. The carpet was filthy, the bathroom only had scalding hot water and the hotel is about a mile from anything else. Hey, it was a free room...thank you credit card points! We just won't be back.

We spent two nights in Vegas. The first night we ate pizza, went to the pool (which was salty and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a salt water pool...yuck!) and then walked down to watch the volcano show at the Mirage.

The next day we went to the amusement park inside Circus Circus. That was a blast! Chloe went on her first double loop roller coaster! MJ went on the carousel and hated the frog hopper bouncer. We put her up there because she was begging to go. As soon as it went up in the air, I regretted letting her go. I knew she was going to flip out because she hates swings when they go too high. I suspect she doesn't like having her stomach drop. Anyway, she completely melts down. Screaming, crying and shaking. We could only watch and hope it ended soon. We spent the rest of the day working through that experience.

After the amusement park, we took a cab down to Flamingo so we could have lunch at Margaritaville. Then we walked over to Bellagio so we could watch the fountains. The girls loved that! They even got to watch some baby ducks swim around the fountain. We rested a while a Ceasars Palace and then took a cab back to our hotel. We went on a few more rides and then called it a night.

Day 5 - It was a long haul to Mountain View. It was about an 8 hours drive. We were all ready to done driving, but the girls did great. They didn't ask if we were there yet or whine much. They were a little upset that we forgot to charge their tabs. That was a bummer.

Coming soon...our temporary home.

Monday, July 3, 2017

A little over 3 years ago...

It's been a little over 3 years since I last posted. I can hardly believe it.

Leaving the blog was intentional. I didn't announce my departure because this blog was for our family records and not an audience; although, the blog friends I made along the way were a nice little bonus. It was fun to see other people's families adventures and growth.

I've realized in the past 3 years that our family's best kept records are via social media...Facebook and Instagram provide a great space for our highlight reel, but it doesn't allow much of a platform in the way of details. Sometimes the details, funny stories and emotions of the moment matter. I don't want to forget the all the nuances of our little life. The blog has the best format for the detail and I don't feel like I'm annoying our friends with lengthy posts.

The catalyst in all this is a grand adventure for our little crew and one I don't want to forget. We are embarking on a trip to California...not for vacation and not for a permanent residence change. What else is there? I guess I will call it a 'workcation.' My husband's company is based in Australia, but one of their main offices is in Mountain View, CA. We will be joining him for nearly a month in Mountain View while he works more closely with some managers out there. We will be staying in an Apartment while we are out there...2 bedroom, 2 bath. It's not big, but I'm thankful we aren't in a hotel for the 2.5 weeks in Cali.

The rest of our almost-month-long trip will be spent driving. Yes, driving. We will be traveling over 1700 miles across the western half of the United States with two children, ages 4 and 7. This isn't going to be easy folks, but we are going to embrace the chaos and crappy moods.

The first leg of our trip will be a 7ish hour trek to Carlsbad, NM. We are going to take a very quick tour of the caverns with the kiddos. Stay tuned for "Grantham's Go West: New Mexico."

This is us now...3 years later.
The Granthamaniacs.