So, around noon on the Sunday before New Years, Jared was chatting with a friend, Ed, on the computer. Ed mentioned that they may be having a New Years party. Jared mentioned it to me and when I asked if he wanted to go his reply was, "Of course!"
We check on plane tickets, way to expensive. We looked at Amtrak, doesn't got where we wanted to go. We checked out rental cars, not worth the money. Finally, we decided to drive our own car.
We packed our bags, packed up the dog, and packed up the kid. By 6:00pm Sunday night we where on our way. We drove 3 hours north to drop the dog off at Gramma's. At 9:00am Monday morning, Emma, Jared, and I climbed into the car and continued our trip south to Tucson, AZ.
The first two hours on Monday almost caused us to cancel our trip. Headed down the highway at 60 mph, the car started sliding. Jared corrected quickly. We slowed down. A minute later, we slipped again. Jared slowed down some more. None of the other cars (you know, the ones flying past us) seemed to be having any problems. We went under an overpass, came out the other side and got blasted by the wind. Our back end swung into the left lane. The tires caught and the tail end of the car was flung into the breakdown lane. Jared, being the awesome driver he is, managed to keep the car under control and get us going straight again. Jared and Emma thought it was fun. I about had a heart attack. We pulled over to see if there was a problem with the tires, but everything seemed fine.
We made the rest of the trip through Iowa with 4-wheel drive on and going 50mph. On the interstate.
Once we passed through Iowa, the trip was easy going and uneventful. Emma was happy to ride as long as we had Magic Tree House audio books playing. She napped ocassionally, but for the most part she listened to her stories, read some books or colored. Oh, and lollipops. She got one a day and she managed to make them last at least an hour. Well worth the sugar in my opinion.
Jared was happy to do most of the driving, which was nice for me. I got to do lots of crafting. I brought some of my homemade paper and scrapbook scraps and worked on making cards and such. I also brought some yarn and managed to crochet a few items.
We got to Tucson on Wednesday evening. Thursday morning, Emma and I, along with our friends Edna, Alyssa, and Alex went horseback riding at Pantano Stables. That was a blast. Emma had never been on a trail ride before, just pony rides in the barn. She LOVED it. She had to ride with a wrangler, but she didn't even mind that (she is not a big fan of people she does not know).
Thursday night we had the New Years Party. It was a blast. It was awesome to see all of our friends that I hadn't seen in over 2 years. We chatted, ate, played Guitar Hero, and took lots of pics. We all toasted the New Year, then everyone left and we all went to bed. Emma did manage to stay up, but boy was she tired! Didn't take long for her to fall asleep once she was in bed.
The rest of the weekend was just as fun. We went horseback riding one more time, went to the zoo, hung out with friends, and had a great time. Jared got to play lots of Paintball. Sunday night we went bowling. A few friends that had been out of town earlier in the weekend met us at the bowling ally. We bowled, ate greasy food, and caught up with good friends. A great way to end a great trip.
Monday morning we hit the road for home. We added an extra day to our trip so we could see the Grand Canyon. It was cold, but worth it. What a cool place to see. Emma liked the pretty rocks.
We made great time on Monday and Tuesday. We had hoped to make Wednesday a really long day so we could sleep in our own bed, but the weather had different plans for us. About 2 hours before we got to Kansas City, MO, the weather turned bad. Back to driving with 4-wheel drive at 50mph on the interstate. By the time we go to Kansas City, I was more then ready to get off the road and out of the car.
We spent a fun night at the hotel just playing and relaxing. We slept in so that the road crews had a little more time to clear the roads for us. We left just before noon. The wind was horrible, and only got worse the closer to home we got. The 3.5 hour trip took us just over 5 hours to make. We used 4-wheel drive and kept the speed below 55mph for all by 30 minutes of the trip. The roads where slick, but we just took our time.
Finally, we made it home. We pulled up in front of our house, Jared jumped out to shovel the drive way (we couldn't get the car into it) and Emma and I went to get milk. By the time we got back to the house, Jared had shoveled the driveway and a path to the house.
Home sweet home. We are glad to be back. Now if only the weather would cooperate so we could go pick up the mutt...