We took 8 days to travel cross country from Northern VA to Denver, CO. You might say we took the "long way" as we first went to West Virginia to visit my parents (and drop our dog off for a temporary stay), then went to Minnesota to visit Joel's parents, on to Omaha to visit Joel's grandmother and finally landed in Colorado. Our longest day was an 18 hour drive from West Virginia to Minnesota. I had planned on a hotel stay during that journey but my husband convinced me to push on and we made it! The kids did much better than I expected on all days! But all were happy to unload in our final hotel room knowing we do not have to load up again until we go to our new house!
Breakfast with my Mom in West Virginia before we began our 18 hour driving day. It was very very hard to say this goodbye. Being a military family, we go through times were we are far far away from family and times when we are close. For 4 years now, we have lived within easy driving distance to my parents. We usually see them once a month or every other month. It is heart breaking to go so far from them again. Thank you Mom and Dad for always being there for us at the drop of the hat when we needed you!
A quick stop in Ohio to visit with my lifelong friend Hillery Gaiser. We have been friends since we were 7 and have never lived in the same place or gone to the same school! It was great encouragement to my kids who are missing their VA friends to know that these lifelong friendships do exist!
The 18 hour day was super hard but it was true joy to wake up to Grandma and Grandpa Thorson and Great Grandma Fox in the morning! We had never visited them in their Cottage Grove, Minnesota home so it was very special to see their new digs and visit the Hope Community church were Larry pastors. It was also very nostalgic for Joel who lived for some time in the Twin Cities area during his childhood and teenage years.
The Rock Island Swing Bridge in Inver Grove, MN was so beautiful and offered amazing views of the Mississippi River.
I even got a chance to run underneath it during one of my long runs on the Mississippi River Regional Trail. Even during a road trip, running is included! I am in my tapers weeks preparing for my 20 mile trail race in Bozeman, Montana on August 9th! It was wonderful getting a chance to run in different places and see different scenery. It always makes running feel brand new and invigorating. Running along the Mississippi River was such a beautiful blessing.
The grandparents took us to Valley Fair for a day! We will never say no to more roller coasters! Well, Anna will...lol. The younger 3 rode lots and lots of spiny rides. Us adults could handle all the roller coasters but had to draw straws every time it came to the spiny rides.
Larry paid for 30 rings in the ring toss preparing to let all the kids get a chance to win. However with 1 toss, his first ring went on and he won this! Josie was the happiest 3 year old in the world. I have always wanted to be one of those people carrying a giant stuffed animal around an amusement park. It totally rocked!
Asher of course rode every ride in the park (and some 2 or 3 times as there were no lines). Grandma Thorson rode the majority of them with him too (see her shivering in the back row next to Joel and Jesse)...but Asher always in the front!
Jesse lost his 3rd tooth in 2 weeks during our Minnesota stay. He was very concerned about the tooth fairy finding him there, but she (I mean he) managed to make it!
Onward to Colorado! It was tough finding space for our new pet in the car but Josie would not let us leave it behind.
And we made it 8 days later!
We are so happy to be here...still in a state of disbelief. The kids start school on August 13, so we have escaped the hotel walls by back to school shopping and exploring. There are going to be lots of adjustments! School hours are 9am-4am as opposed to 7:30-2:30...when do they do homework? And you have to pay 50 cents each way per child to ride the school bus...that is $3 a day! The mountain views never get old but we are all going through elevation acclimation (me with my running more than the others). I will keep you posted on how long that takes! Not sure how I feel about a running trail that says "Beware of cliffs and rattle snakes"...might stick to the hotel treadmill for a little bit! We close on our new house on September 9th (yes, that equals 5 weeks in a hotel) and Joel starts his new job on September 15. This limbo phase is going to last awhile, but the party has started!