Anlie’s Baptism / Cross Country Summer Trip

=Warning. Boring travel log.=  :) Wow- I am horrible at documenting our family journal/blog. Oh. Well. At least I’m documenting today, right? Well, I suppose I should mention that last December 27th, 2014, our family moved from San Tan Valley, AZ to the Cincinnati, OH area. Michael accepted a position with The Art Institute of Ohio- Cincinnati as the Sr. Director of Admissions & Marketing. I will also mention we are still renting out our house in San Tan Valley (and have been since we first moved to Indianapolis in the summer of 2012). We lived in Arizona for about a year and a half before moving to Cincinnati.

So now that we’re all up to speed :), this last June 20th Anlie turned eight years old! We really wanted to have family be able to attend her baptism so we decided to make a fun summer trip out of traveling across the U.S. Michael wasn’t able to come with us unfortunately. He was under obligation to accept a temporary work assignment in Santa Monica, California. We flew him from L.A. to Phoenix for the weekend of Anlie’s baptism.

We left about 5pm on Wednesday, June 10th, first traveling to Idaho to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Timothy & Kristy, and their family. We arrived Friday the 12th sometime between noon and 2 p.m. I think. They took us up to Yellowstone National Park, Lava Hot Springs, cave exploring and even an evening out at Stoplight Pizza. They had fun slippin’ sliding on a giant tarp in the backyard Kristy hosed down with soap and water and later listened to Uncle Timothy’s true “ghost” stories around a fire while eating s’mores. It was really fun playing and getting to spend time with their family since we rarely see them.

While in Idaho I was also able to attend my Great Aunt Shirley Pincock’s funeral which was nice to be able to go to. Due to the funeral, my mom drove up to Idaho with Cory & Amy who also decided last minute (as in the day of leaving) that they could cram in a quick get-together with my family & Timothy’s in Idaho since they needed to be in Sacramento soon after for Amy’s Uncle’s funeral. Due to Amy’s Uncle’s funeral, they couldn’t stay for Aunt Shirley’s funeral, so that meant my mom needed to catch a ride to AZ with us. That worked out pretty conveniently that the kids got to have Grandma travel with them!

Early Wednesday morning the 17th, we left Idaho and traveled to Arizona for Anlie’s birthday and baptism and my mom’s birthday.  After those events we were able to cram in some dental appointments for the kids with their familiar dentist, a physical for Camby’s school’s cross-country team requirements, and Ryker’s 3-year well visit. Both boys are above 95th percentile for height and about 75th percentile for weight. They must be related. :) Every day we were in Arizona ended up being crazy-busy! I completely spaced getting together with Tiffany Johnson and her kids- something we were looking forward to for several weeks since we haven’t seen them for a couple of years. I was so sad to get a text from her as we were leaving Amarillo on our way home asking if we had already left. Ugh. I was so mad at myself. Oh, well. Anyway, the evening of my mom’s birthday we were also able to go out for frozen custard at Nielson’s with Grandma and Grandpa Neus and spend time with them one last time before going home.

The day after my mom’s birthday, June 27th, we decided to take advantage of being on the west coast and travel on over to L.A. to spend the weekend with Michael in his temporary work-paid-for apartment on the beach for a few days. Hey- might as well visit the beach since it was right out the front door! The kids had a blast. We would have loved to stay longer (um, like the rest of the summer!) but Camby had to be home in time for scout camp. We were also able to walk down to the aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier to let the kids see eels, fish, stingrays, starfish, help feed the swell sharks and touch sea cucumbers and starfish. The day before we left to go back home to Ohio (Sunday the 28th), Cory & Amy and their daughters Ella & Raspberry (Raspberry is a foster child we’re hoping they can adopt) stopped by for about an hour on their drive back to Mesa from Sacramento. It was great to be able to see them one last time before heading back.

I woke up at 4am on Monday the 29th, got ready, and had Michael and Camby help me load the car up for our trip home. We left about 5:30am and traveled to Amarillo, TX where we stayed the night at a hotel. I think we got there around 11 p.m. We left about 10:45 am the next morning and drove all day and night. By the time we reached St. Louis, MO I really wasn’t tired at all so I figured I’d take advantage of the sleeping kids and peace and quiet and kept driving all the way home. We arrived around 6 a.m. Of course it was really like driving only until 3 a.m. since my body was still on west coast time.  😉 We completely unloaded the car, I got the shower I desperately wanted, then I took a little 5 hour “nap”, if you will.  :)

I set my trip odometer just as we left to begin our trip. I check it when we arrived home. 6,502 miles. Yep. We did a LOT of driving in 3-1/2 weeks.

Camby had Thursday through Sunday to recover from all his fun before heading off to scout camp at Camp Friedlander early Monday, July 6th. He comes home tomorrow morning. Yay! Guess who gets to mow the tall grass after all the rain every day this week! (Shh… he’ll be so excited!)

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