We waited out our remaining weeks in Virginia enjoying the spring-like weather and taking the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. and my Opa one more time as well as a quick Sunday visit with our friends Adam and Chuchie in Virginia Beach. We said goodbye to friends in our ward as well. It was hard to leave after just getting to know some truly great people!
John didn't have much in the way of class for the last week, so we spent most of our time getting errands done, fixing up the car for our trip, and packing up. Thursday Feb. 14th (yes, Valentine's Day) was John's graduation. It was a pretty short program and we went home to continue packing, heading out on our long, cross-country trip a little later that day.
The car was pretty much packed to the rafters with our stuff. We drove about 6-7 hours to Charleston, West Virginia where we stayed the night.
After a delicious IHOP breakfast Friday morning, we continued on our way St. Louis, Missouri (well, close to) to once again visit with John's oldest sister Amy and family. This leg of the drive was about another 7 1/2 hours. Thank goodness for snacks and the DVD player we bought for our trip out! Thomas decided Toy Story 3 was his favorite and watched it over and over.
|What a trooper!|
The next day was a lot of driving. We drove through Oklahoma, the panhandle of Texas, and half of New Mexico! We stopped in Tulsa to see some beautiful gardens (but got pretty lost thanks to our GPS and lost some time) and then in Amarillo, where we just missed seeing the vintage RV museum we'd been looking forward to! Rats. Oh well. We caught dinner and pushed on to small Moriarty, New Mexico (a ways outside of Albuquerque). We stayed in a tiny, ancient motel, but the people were great and it had what we needed.
The next day (Tuesday), we broke up the drive with some fun stops! Part of the reason for taking the southern route we did was to see Chaco Canyon, an AMAZING "national historic park" where they have TONS of indian ruins that are in amazing shape. Seriously one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The road out there is a rough dirt road and they like to keep it as de-commercialized as they can, but it's totally worth the trip. I'm glad I finally charge my camera battery so we could take a bunch of pictures. I have to post some...
|A large kiva|
|His latest smile cracks me up!|
|It was so neat walking through the ruins! I can't believe how immaculate the doorways were.|
|Great shot by John!|
|Inside one of the only in-tact rooms. You get in through the door on my left.|
Like I said, super neat. We went on a few short hikes around the ruins, had a nice Subway and snacks lunch, and headed on our way. Altogether an AWESOME stop. Next we went to Four Corners...or tried to. We got there a few minutes to 5 to find it closed. Supposedly it was supposed to be open until 8, but thought we must have just missed them closing at 5. Come to find out, it's been closed for who-knows-why for a while! Oh well. We were CLOSE to being in 4 states at once. We continued on and stayed in Page, Arizona.
We were sure to get a hotel with a pool this time and had fun swimming the next morning before checkout. We continued on for the 3-ish hours to Diamond Valley (near St. George) to visit my parents! We stopped randomly at Pipe Springs National Monument, just for a little break. It was so good to see my parents and little brothers for a few days! We stayed from Wednesday afternoon til Saturday morning. We went for a nice drive to see the beautiful scenery nearby. We played lots of games and enjoyed each other's company. Too bad my mom got horribly sick! :( It was still a nice visit, though.
Since being home, John got back to work (catches the bus at 4:45 am!) and has gotten things there rolling again. Thomas and I have gotten to see a bunch of our playgroup friends while going power walking, having playgroup, and going to storytime at the library. We're getting resettled in our house, found our missing kitchen dishes (our tenants had put them in the garage?), making plans for summer work on the backyard, and gotten a lot of errands and such done. Things are just about back to normal! We're excited for John's 4-10 schedule (he gets every Friday, Saturday, Sunday off!).
So that's that! Here we go, getting back to normal life!