17 July 2010

The end of our grand adventure

Okay, technically, we’re not “settled” yet. Although we are finally in San Antonio (well, Converse), we will only be in this home for about two weeks before moving to our more long-term house in the city. So even though we’re not on the road anymore, we’re still living out of suitcases for awhile and have the car mostly packed. I’m hoping that even though we aren’t moving into our house until August, we can at least unload our stuff this week, since no one is living there right now. It’d be nice to have our car be less of an eyesore (and a temptation for twisted people who want to steal strollers, potty chairs, toys, and clothes).

So we are here in Converse, Texas, and we have done some exploring this morning already, thanks to our [albeit silent] GPS. We’ve been to Office Depot and the grocery store already. Sadly, our printer is giving me an error message I don’t know how to deal with - “Remove and check cartridge” – aside from doing what it says, which hasn’t helped, and since I have no idea who can help here, we might be looking at buying a new printer. *cringe* These things happen. And now that we’re in one place, I might send in my GPS and see if I can get a new one or get this one fixed.

We are so thankful for all your prayers as we’ve been on the road these past three weeks! It’s such a relief to be in one place for a little while, maybe get to know people at church and all. We definitely still need prayer as we make this our home for now and get to know the city a bit. I’ll have to find a doctor for prenatal care, which doesn’t sound like fun to me. Maybe I’ll be able to write more about Timothy’s & my adventures as we explore!

15 July 2010

Our grand adventure – Days 17-18

Day 17: Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We took our time getting off on Wednesday, since I was not in any particular hurry to leave my aunt’s house. But leave we did, after I checked the oil and added a good deal of coolant to the car. (It seems to me I may need this checked when I get to Texas. Should my car be needing coolant refills every week? Maybe so!) The girls all pitched in to help get the car loaded and Timothy ready. The car’s seats were a bit wet, but Timothy’s carseat was dry, since it had been in the garage during the night’s thunderstorm. So we set out anyway. Somehow we made room for another box of diapers (unpacked into its two packages) and some more food (including some of my aunt’s fresh banana-blueberry muffins with the blueberries we’d picked ourselves Monday). We didn’t get off until almost noon and had an uneventful drive to our motel in Greenville, Alabama. I have an alarm on my phone set for 2:30 PM every day to remind me to pray for a friend, and yesterday it went off twice – once in Eastern time and then again in Central time. :)

We got to see some cool lightning just south of Montgomery, although Timothy saw much more than I did, since it was off to our left. He immediately connected it to Lightning McQueen. (My cousin Alyssa had bought him his own toy McQueen at Walmart the previous day.) Smart kid! The motel in Greenville was decent, but the Internet was wretched. It was on just long enough for me to chat with my sister on Facebook before it quit entirely. It’s a good thing it’s free because otherwise I’d have demanded a refund. Good grief. I stayed up late hoping it would work, but finally gave up sometime after 11, after Timothy had been in bed an hour or so.

Day 18: Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today we planned to drive to Sulphur, Louisiana, a 7+ hour drive, so we got up around 8 AM and ate the motel’s free breakfast before heading out. (Okay, Timothy actually woke up at 7 AM, which doesn’t make any sense since he was up so late! But I told him it wasn’t time to get up, so he lay in bed, kicking his legs and singing to himself for an hour. Thank goodness!) We headed southwest toward the Gulf and then turned west to follow the I-10, which will take us the rest of the way. We stopped at a rest area on the border of Mississippi and Louisiana around lunchtime and discovered it was also a NASA visitor’s center. I was tempted to visit the NASA area, which was separate from the rest area, but with Timothy, I thought it might be just too much. It’s a really nice rest area, though, if you’re ever heading either way on the I-10 at that border. It was hot today – 96 or so – but in cooler weather I’m sure it would be delightful. There are lots of shaded picnic tables under trees, and I think it’d be a great place for a picnic lunch. Plus there’s free coffee if you go inside! We stopped shortly afterward for lunch at Subway. (I only recently discovered you can get tuna sandwiches at Subway – yeah!) Timothy had fun running around and playing peek-a-boo with a young man at a nearby booth. :)

One thing I noted as we drove today was that we drove extensively over water – more than I’ve ever done before. I guess in this part of the country, when the signs says “Mobile River” (or whatever), it actually means “Mobile Delta.” I kept wishing we could pull over and look at the trees growing out of the water. Such a cool phenomenon!

And I realized that perhaps my greatest pet peeve of driving is tailgaters, especially when they are semis. Yes, I am a slow driver. I go the speed limit. But I have to pass vehicles, too! Usually I try to do so when it doesn’t inconvenience anyone else, in other words when I don’t see speeders coming up quickly behind me in the left lane. And sometimes I do speed up to pass other cars. But seriously, I pray God has mercy on these drivers who follow five feet behind other vehicles going 70mph. Don’t they have any idea how dangerous it is – both for them and for the vehicle in front? Obviously not. It’s just idiocy in my opinion.

Anyway, we made it here to the La Quinta Inn in Sulphur, Louisiana (thanks, Priceline!), where there is air conditioning and high-speed Internet, as well as free breakfast tomorrow. Yeehaw! Timothy and I had leftovers and fruit for supper and have gotten to relax this evening. I am so wiped out after almost three weeks of traveling. But when we get to San Antonio, we’ll only be in one place for two weeks then will move to our more permanent residence. So it’s not “home” yet! Oy! I guess I’m really learning flexibility as well as the fact that we really are strangers in this world!

So tomorrow: San Antonio! We’re aiming to be there by around 3 PM, so we’ll try to leave between 8 and 9 AM. (Ha ha.) Here we go!

14 July 2010

Our grand adventure – Days 12-16

Day 12:  Friday, July 9, 2010

Last Friday Timothy and I slept until 8 AM, which felt like sleeping in after being up much earlier the previous two days to get to activities on time! I started our laundry going, and we lazed around while it got washed. I had to wait an extra half hour to put it in the dryer because someone was using both dryers for his stuff. Grr. While it was drying, we dashed out to Walmart for some lunch food and an extra suitcase so our laundry (clean or dirty) didn’t have to be in a plastic shopping bag. We got back, got laundry sorted, packed everything in the car, and barely made it to noon check-out with literally a minute or so to spare. Yikes!

We got on the road right away and drove the 2-1/2 hours to my friend Laura’s house in Duluth. With no sound from my GPS, I did get a little turned around, but thank goodness it “recalculates” quickly. :) It was great to see Laura again! Timothy ran around the backyard for awhile until we all got eaten alive by mosquitoes and decided to go in and start supper. Good timing, as it started to rain shortly afterward! We had a nice taco supper with Laura and Laura’s grandmother, cousin, and aunt, then Timothy had a bath and went to bed so Laura and I could visit. We stayed up pretty late, but I knew there was nothing pressing in the morning, so it was fun! It was so nice to just sit back and chat! Thanks, Laura!

Days 13-16: Saturday to Tuesday, July 10-13, 2010

On Saturday morning, Timothy woke me up, and we lounged around until breakfast with Laura and her grandma. Afterward we packed our things and hit the road again, this time heading to Appling to visit my mom’s sister Brenda and her family. It was another short drive (a real relief!), and we arrived with plenty of the afternoon left to visit and for Timothy to play. Aunt Brenda has lots of toys! We enjoyed a home-made dinner with the family and visited into the night.

Sunday we spent most of the morning and some of the evening at church. (My uncle is a pastor.) What a delight to meet so many friendly people who love Jesus! Okay, and it was admittedly also a delight to put Timothy in nursery for several hours! :) Actually, that was one of the nicest things about being with my aunt’s family: having two cousins to play with Timothy! I dearly love my son, but sometimes it is nice to get a break. That night after Timothy was in bed, my cousins, uncle, and I played Taboo together – the first time I’ve played in probably a couple years. And my uncle and I won! :)

On Monday, we got to go blueberry picking! We all piled into my aunt’s van – my aunt, my two cousins, two little ones my cousin was babysitting, Timothy, and I (me?) – and drove to the farm. The bushes were full of ripe berries, and many of them were within easy reach of the two little boys. Although it was overcast in the morning, the sun came out while we were picking, and I quickly got too hot to pick any more. Timothy had long since stopped picking, preferring to run around with the boy my cousin was babysitting. But we all had fun! Between all of us, we picked 14-1/2 lbs of blueberries, which ended up being 10 quarts. By the time we left, we were hot, sweaty, and ready for naps! My poor aunt spent much of the afternoon washing the berries and packaging them while the children slept. I got to read for several hours, which was a real treat! Timothy was upset when the little boy went home after nap, not least because the little boy took his toy Lightning McQueen with him. :) But he got over it quickly. Timothy’s bath that night was nightmarish. David called while Timothy was bathing, to talk about something that required me to leave the bathroom briefly. While I was out, looking for some documents, Timothy got out of the tub, picked up his bear from his bed, and brought his bear with him into the bathtub. Oh no! The bath lasted much longer than usual because I was talking to David and just let Timothy continue to play. So it was already late, but then I had to take the bear downstairs and run him in the dryer before I could put Timothy to bed. *groan* What a night! My sweet cousin Alyssa played with Timothy and read to him to keep him occupied while his bear was in the dryer. Thank you, Alyssa!

On Tuesday morning my cousins, aunt, and I took Timothy to see a free showing of The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything at a theatre in Augusta. Although there was some technical difficulty, we had a good time, and Timothy loved the movie. Afterwards, we had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, and Timothy got to play in the play area for awhile, even though he wouldn’t ever climb up the structure so never did get to come down the slide. We ran some errands at Target and Walmart and got home in time for a late nap for Timothy. After supper, when Timothy was finally in bed, my cousins and I decided to play Monopoly. I hadn’t played that in ages, either, and I was awful!! I would have been a real embarrassment to my brother. :( But by midnight – after several interruptions – we finally called it quits when I went bankrupt on Boardwalk with three houses (or maybe it was Park Place). Ha. I got totally creamed. But it was fun! It rained while we played, and we all discovered the person who had come to fix the roof on Saturday hadn’t succeeded. My poor uncle’s closet had a constant drip from the ceiling. It made me feel right at home – just like in Nigeria! :)

All in all, we have a relaxing visit in that part of Georgia and were glad to see such encouraging friends and family.

08 July 2010

Our grand adventure – Days 9-11

Here we are in Columbus, Georgia!

Day 9 was pretty uneventful, actually. It was an hour shorter than I’d calculated because I’d forgotten to figure in the time difference. Cool! I let Timothy sleep in, and then Timothy and I had a nice “continental breakfast” (what does that mean, anyway?) at the hotel before we started on our way. We drove through more rain, though not very hard, and the GPS took us on smaller roads through the Alabama countryside rather unexpectedly. Even though we had to go 40 mph for about 20 miles thanks to road work (we did not actually see a single sign of active road work), we still made good time, only stopping once for gas in Selma, Alabama. It was good to get off the freeway as far as gas prices, but it was a little unnerving, too, not knowing when the next town would be – bathroom, gas station, food, etc. Timothy and I snacked in the car for lunch so were starving when we got to Columbus.

When we arrived, we unloaded our stuff and only afterwards realized the air conditioner in our room wasn’t working right. So we had to ask for a new room and then move all our stuff to a room without a microwave and fridge. Oh well. A/C is much more important! (Yesterday’s high was 97F.) The downside was that I couldn’t buy us milk and fresh fruit, which we have both been craving. We went to Walmart to get me a swimsuit and find Timothy some swim diapers, since I have no clue what I did with the ones we had, but they didn’t carry swim diapers – at least not that I could find. Good grief – and in July!! I thought there’d be a McDonald’s at Walmart (like in California ones), but there wasn’t, so we were really hungry when we finally got to Pizza Hut on our way “home.” But I wasn’t feeling good, so we split a personal pizza and still had leftovers. Very bizarre. I will be glad when I have a regular appetite again. The nice server lady gave Timothy some kids’ activity placements and a chalk marker since she didn’t have any crayons left. We had fun. It was about 8:30 when we got back to the motel, but I let Timothy watch a Wallace & Gromit before bed.

And Days 10 and 11 have been days with David! If you know why I’m here, then you know where we’ve been and what we’re doing. If not, this is part of our not-making-our-lives-public thing. Needless to say, it has been good to see David again and for Timothy to get reacquainted (and get a haircut). :) Tomorrow David goes off again, and Timothy and I will head up to the greater Atlanta area to visit my best friend from high school, Laura. Saturday we’ll drive up to Augusta and spend a few days with my aunt and uncle & cousins there before heading back westward to San Antonio.

So our trip is not over by any means! In fact, we are only a little over halfway in the grand scheme of things. And for whatever reason, my GPS has stopped talking to me, so I’m rather anxious about the rest of the trip without a navigator. I guess maps will just have to suffice until I can get the thing fixed. Maybe you can all pray that it will miraculously start working again!! I can still use it; I just have to look at it a bit more often than I’d like to need to when I’m driving.

Thank you for all your support! We’ve enjoyed our trip so far and have really loved being in Columbus these two days! But we’re looking forward to getting to San Antonio and having a home again, even if it’s only temporary. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m tired of eating out!

05 July 2010

Our grand adventure – Days 7 and 8

Day 7: Sunday, July 4, 2010

I’m able to write this from Pearl, Mississippi, where Timothy and I are bivouacked for the night.

The past two days have been nice and easy. Yesterday we attended church at Scofield Memorial in Dallas, Texas, with our dear friends Uncle Dick and Aunt Meg. Timothy enjoyed the toddler room so I could finally be a grown-up for awhile! In church we prayed for the parents of my college roommate and dear friend Heather. I’d forgotten they are supported by Scofield!

After church we had a yummy Sunday dinner courtesy of Aunt Meg, and everyone spent the rest of the afternoon resting. (For me that meant chatting on Skype to my dad and sister, and booking this hotel room. For everyone else it meant napping. For some reason, I’ve found that if I nap, I always am nauseated when I get up, so I try not to let myself sleep during the day.)

After naps, we went swimming! It was deliciously warm and humid outside, so the warm pool felt perfect. Timothy loved getting wet and even learned to kick his feet a bit while in the blow-up ring. Someday I’ll try teaching him to swim, but for now it’s just getting his face wet that we’ll work on!

We played with toy cars all evening and then went on a wild goose chase with Uncle Dick and Aunt Meg for fireworks. We got to see a few but missed the big shows. Oh well! It’s more than we saw last year. :) Timothy and I finally got to bed sometime after 10:30PM.

Day 8: Monday, July 5, 2010

I took the car to an open Pep Boys this morning at 8 AM for an oil change and just to ask about the water leak. The guy I talked to assured me that a somewhat large puddle is normal if you’ve been running the air conditioning a long time in humid weather. Well, now I know! I guess I’d lived in California drought too long!

Once the oil was changed, I drove back to get Timothy (whom I’d left asleep at “home”) and our luggage. We packed up, I wolfed down some cereal, and we got underway. I figured we’d refuel and eat lunch somewhere near Shreveport, Louisiana, and it was a quiet drive there. I noticed two guys on motorcycles without helmets (my friend Ruth would cynically refer to them as “organ donors”) and realized the Southern states must have relatively lax helmet laws. Timothy is of course fascinated by motorcycles at his age. I just hope I can train him that they are evil and dangerous!

We had a nice lunch at Exit 33 on the eastbound I-20 in Louisiana. I recommend the stop if you happen to be going that way. The Pilot gas station is nice and has great prices (today a full 20 cents a gallon cheaper than the Love’s just a few miles down the freeway). Their mini mart has friendly cashiers and lots of food, including fruit. The bathrooms are clean, and there is even a diaper changing station! Plus there is an Arby’s. When I was pregnant with Timothy I craved Arby’s curly fries but couldn’t get any, so I enjoyed them today. :) I hope Baby AJ liked them, too. Timothy wouldn’t even try them. He had a hot dog instead. He sure does love hot dogs. The cashier at Arby’s took a fancy to Timothy and I think told all her other cashier friends to come see this white chick with the biracial baby. Timothy didn’t pay any attention to the ladies trying to love on him, though. He was busy watching the lights of one of those electric-claw-toy game things like in Toy Story.

Once we crossed the Mississippi River, I knew for sure it would rain soon. And boy did it ever. All of a sudden, without any showers of warning, the heavens dumped buckets on us. I slowed down from 70 mph to 60 but kept having to slow down; it was that heavy. I finally was down to about 40 mph and following another car in the right lane at a very safe following distance – just close enough so that I could see its taillights. I turned on my emergency blinkers, and the car in front of me turned on its emergency blinkers. There we were, quite a pair, for the next 5 or 10 miles (who knows in that rain how far we went?), crawling along and blinking. I felt oddly fond of this car that was being so careful in contrast to the [in my opinion foolish] drivers who flew past us with such low visibility. I may not be the world’s greatest driver (to which my sweet husband can attest), but I consider myself definitely on the safe and conservative end. I don’t speed (except in the city, and then only to keep up with traffic, never in the fast lanes). I like driving with my lights on. I look over my shoulders probably more than actually necessary. And I’ve never been in an accident or had a traffic ticket in eight years of driving. How many people can say that? (Okay, I did go off the road once in Zeeland, Michigan, when I hit black ice on a bridge overpass, and it is only by God’s grace that there were no other cars around for me to hit as I spun several times before going down into the median and getting stuck in snowdrifts. But there was no damage done, a good Samaritan helped push me out, and I will always, always be careful on that particular bridge in the winter from now on!)

Anyway, we did weather the worst of the downpour (praying the whole time, while Timothy slept blissfully in the backseat, reminding me of “Jesus, Take the Wheel”). and it was only another half hour of light rain before we arrived at our hotel around 5 PM. Again, if you happen to be traveling this route, I’ll recommend the Jameson Inn in Pearl, Mississippi (just east of Jackson on the I-20). It’s not cheap, but we got our room on Priceline for better than we’d have paid at the nearby Motel 6, plus we get free Internet and breakfast, and it’s a much nicer place in general. We’re happy here! We had a nice dinner at Waffle House (my first time at the chain), and I welcomed myself to the South with a sweet tea. Mmmm! No offense, but Yankees just don’t know how to make iced tea!

And now it’s time for bed. Tomorrow will be a slow day, since we only have another six hours to Columbus, Georgia, if all goes well. We can sleep in and take our time. I accidentally left my swimsuit in Dallas, but actually, it was a size 16 and quite a bit too big for me anyway, so I’ll probably bite the bullet and get another one when we reach Columbus. The question is, should I buy my first ever two-piece (albeit a very, very modest one) so that I can fit into it when more pregnant, assuming I do get bigger – since I didn’t get big at all with Timothy – OR get a regular swimsuit and risk not fitting into it in a couple months? I wouldn’t care at all normally, but there is a chance we will live in a house with a swimming pool in the backyard in San Antonio, in which case I know I would spend much more time in the water than if we were in an apartment with a more public pool… Ah, such a quandary! And just think: there are people starving to death all over the world, yet here I am blogging about buying a swimsuit. For shame!

I’m obviously tired and need to join Timothy in the king-size bed. There were so  many pillows I put two on Timothy’s side edge so he wouldn’t roll off (which he did in Arizona), and another one between us so he doesn’t crowd me off the bed (which he kept almost doing in Texas), and we still each have a pillow to sleep on. Perfect! And we have our own thermostat, so I’ve set it at a comfortable 78 (instead of the freezing 65 it was at when we arrived). The portable DVD player is charging, and Mommy is sleepy. Good night, world!

03 July 2010

Our grand adventure – Day 6

I’d set the alarm to ring this morning at 6:30 again, but at 6:28 when I woke (it’s funny how that works, but I’m glad it usually does because I don’t always want Timothy to wake up when I do), I thought, Why do I need to wake up now? There’s no rush to get to Dallas. So I rolled over and kept sleeping intermittently until Timothy woke up at 7:45. Much better! We packed up the car and left as soon as possible. Did I mention that our non-smoking motel room reeked of cigarette smoke? It’s such that when I got ready for bed tonight, I could smell the smoke on my pajamas. Avoid the Motel 6 in Tucumcari, NM! (They also only had a shower, not a bathtub, so I couldn’t give Timothy a bath.)

We ended up not eating a sit-down breakfast, but I kept thinking we could stop around lunchtime and get breakfast then. Well, that didn’t happen either. It was raining at lunch time, so we kept driving – not owning an umbrella – but finally got desperate for some real food so stopped at a Dairy Queen in somewhere, Texas. :) Not great but decent. I realized we were in the South immediately by our server’s accent (duh). And also, when we were standing in line, a little biracial boy about ten came up and started playing with Timothy. He asked me how long I’d had Timothy. I said, “He’s mine. He’s 2-1/2.” The boy asked again, “Yes, but how long have you had him” I would have assumed this was just because we were in the South, but I actually got asked the same question in central CA once by a woman who assumed I’d adopted Timothy. Are healthy biracial families so rare?

The bathroom at DQ was yucky enough that I didn’t want to change Timothy on the floor (and of course there was no changing station). So I hauled him back to the car after lunch for a diaper change. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it was raining quite so hard, so we both got rather wet while I was changing his diaper in the driver’s seat of the car (the only available spot in the whole vehicle). Ugh. So we had half the trip left in wet clothes. Oh well! It was still better than having to haul out his potty in the pouring rain every hour or two! Diapers are a go!

Just outside Wichita Falls, we stopped for gas, and I noticed that something was leaking from under the car. Great. So I parked the car and popped the hood. I had just checked the coolant level and discovered it was almost completely empty when a man came up to us and asked what the problem was. I pointed out the leak, but he didn’t seem to think it was a problem. I then told him about the coolant, so he went inside the minimart and bought me coolant, then helped put it in. We then checked the oil, which was only a little low but was dirty, so he recommended I get it changed in Dallas if possible. When he went back to his car for wet wipes for our hands, he noticed the puddle under the car was quite a bit bigger, and he agreed that it might be a problem. But it just looked like water to him, and that seemed odd. He said he thought we’d make it to Dallas but recommended we get it looked at.

Great. Unfortunately, we’re leaving Dallas on Monday, which is of course a holiday, so I’m praying really hard and hoping God will get us safely to our stop in Mississippi and then help us find a reliable mechanic there who can at least give it a once-over on Tuesday. I’m very thankful to God for kind strangers who help pregnant moms with toddlers traveling alone when they need help!

We continued on our journey and hit a great deal more rain, but I was listening to The Lord of the Rings so didn’t bother much, just drove more slowly and carefully. (And no, I did not use cruise control.) We arrived in greater Dallas around 7 PM or so and enjoyed a breathtaking full rainbow as we drove into the city (before hitting harder rain). So nice! We finally got to our friends’ house in Garland around 8 PM and have enjoyed visiting and a much-needed bath for Timothy. :) Tomorrow we will rest here and enjoy the Fourth of July with these dear friends who might as well be our family! On Monday we’ll head out toward Georgia and stop somewhere roughly halfway, probably in the middle of Mississippi. No plans, no reservations. We’ll just see what happens. THANK YOU for your prayers!

Our grand adventure – Day 5

(Friday, July 2, 2010)

I woke up at 6:30 again this morning (if you know me very well, you’ll understand that this is a major chore, even more so in the midst of pregnancy) and struggled through my usual morning nausea to get the car packed. Mom’s cousin was kind enough to feed Timothy while I loaded the car, since I couldn’t stand the thought of food. *shudder* We were on our way by 8, heading northeast on a simple highway. It was beautiful country, especially at first, through pine trees and mountains (with lots of “watch for deer” and “watch for elk” signs again). I have to admit one of the few things I dislike about driving is that I can’t enjoy the scenery quite as much as if I were a passenger. But generally, I love driving long-distance. It’s just…liberating somehow.

Anyway, we got to the I-40 in Winslow, Arizona, and made it safely through Holbrook without incident. (I was once stuck there for a week with car trouble and ended up spending well over $1000 between car repairs and motel room costs. So I am not a fan of the town, although the people were very friendly.)

We loved the 75mph speed limit most of the day, and we just breezed along. In Gallup we stopped at McDonald’s for lunch, and Timothy played with some other kids who were there. We got approached twice by panhandlers outside the place – the first time by two kids who wanted a quarter (to buy something inside, as it turned out) and the second by an adult who wanted spare change. Hm.

We left behind mostly Spanish-sounding names and started seeing mostly Navajo names on the signs along the freeway.

Oh, and I’m also developing my multitasking skills in having to pick up Timothy’s toys, bowl, pacifier, etc., that get dropped onto the car floor – all while driving. I know it sounds really safe, but I’m always careful to see that no cars or trucks are nearby, and I never take my eyes off the road. You can do a lot by feeling.

I also started listening to a dramatized version of The Lord of the Rings today (thanks, Kathy & Ron, for the loan!), which definitely helped keep me awake.

We arrived in Tucumcari, New Mexico, at about 6:45 PM and checked into our motel, which incidentally does not have Internet as I’d thought. *sigh* So now Timothy’s watching Ice Age on our DVD player since there’s nothing age-appropriate on TV, and I’m avoiding the thought of having to find something for Timothy to eat for dinner. Maybe we’ll be okay with granola bars, cherries, and grape tomatoes. :) Perhaps tomorrow we can eat a real breakfast at Denny’s before we hit the road if I’m not feeling too sick. Poor kid needs some substantial food after staying two nights with a very strict Vegan. I do, too, for that matter. I know it’s healthy food, but considering most of it is stuff Timothy and I don’t like, we didn’t eat that much…besides granola bars and cherries!

So when I do get Internet (hopefully tomorrow in Dallas), I’ll be able to tell you how many miles we’ve traveled so far.

Total time on the road so far (including stops) = 27 hours

01 July 2010

Our grand adventure – Days 1-4

Timothy and I have begun our long journey from southern California to Georgia and then to Texas!

Days 1-2

Timothy and I started our trip on Monday in San Diego, where we’d been staying with friends for several weeks. I was in no real hurry to get off. Timothy was playing with our friends’ grandchildren, so I could load the car in peace. We finally got off around 11:30 or so but had to turn around within 15 minutes, as I realized we’d left Timothy’s Pippin Bear behind. Now that would have been a disaster. On our way back to “Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Ron’s” house, we were in a near collision with a young man in a nice VW something-or-other. I won’t go into details, but it was not in any way our fault, and no one got hurt, so we left our phone number (although I knew he would never get insurance to cover any damages since he’d run into the curb himself and we were not at fault) and kept on. After retrieving Pippin Bear, we finally got on the freeway at 12:02. Whew!

It was an uneventful drive up to Visalia, only stopping for gas. And once we got to the Valley, we were sure glad our air conditioning had gotten checked! We arrived at our friend Heather’s house at 6 that evening, just in time for Timothy to play a bit with the kids before bed. Yay!

The next day, Timothy and I met friends at the park. After playing in the playground for awhile, we were glad when the fountains turned on at 11 so we could get wet! Timothy had a blast getting soaking wet, and I even drenched myself a few times (drying out each time much too quickly) to cool off. It was nice to see friends for one last time before our real trip began. After a picnic lunch we went back to Heather’s house. Timothy played there with the kids while I went to our storage unit to repack the car. It reached 102F that day, but the storage unit was – thank God – pretty cool. That evening, we picked up a double stroller at our friend Marcie’s house, Timothy played with her son Evan for awhile, and then we finally went home to rest for our trip.

Days 3-4

I woke at 6:30 yesterday and started getting ready for the day. Timothy kept sleeping while I ran the double stroller to our storage unit (it wouldn’t fit in the car with everything else), and when I arrived back at 7:30 or so, he was awake and rearin’ to go! We said goodbye to Heather et al and got underway (by way of Costco for gas and McDonald’s for breakfast) around 8:30.

It was challenging learning a few new driving techniques, such as how to control the car with its luggage carrier on top in the midst of high winds. I’m also having to learn how to use my side mirrors efficiently, not being able to see out my rearview. I’ve hardly ever used my side mirrors, since I don’t have great peripheral vision with these glasses. But I’m learning! We stopped in Needles (among other places) to get gas and experienced the 113F heat. Again, so glad to have air conditioning! We went next-door to McDonald’s so Timothy could get down and play a bit in the air conditioning (and if we also got a milk shake, so what?). It was getting dark when we reached Flagstaff, and I was paranoid about all the “watch for elk” signs we were seeing. I figured by the time I saw an elk, it would already be destined to end up destroying my car and itself. Sorry, but at 75 mph in the dark in a downhill grade, there is no way I’m going to be able to stop for an elk! I prayed with Timothy as we drove so God would keep us safe from hitting an elk. He must’ve heard!

The other interesting thing we saw was a sign that had the mileage to the two nearest towns in kilometers as well as miles. How odd! I would have loved to have stopped to see the London Bridge, but I didn’t know how far it was from the freeway, and we were already behind schedule, so we passed on that particular tourist spot.

We finally got to Camp Verde, Arizona, at about 9 PM, and I chased around a devil child before we finally settled down for sleep. We had a restful if warm day here today in Arizona with my mom’s cousin and are preparing to travel tomorrow to Tucumcari, New Mexico, where we’ve booked a motel room. Yeah! We’re definitely on our way, and we’ve only lost one pacifier so far! I have no clue what I did with Timothy’s swim diapers, though, so a trip to Walmart is in order. :)

Thank you for your prayers! Wish us well!