Hello! Did you miss me? I am glad to be back from my two week moving hiatus and are excited to continue writing and sharing with everyone. I want to thank all of the amazing bloggers that helped fill my page up with their guest posts while I was traveling and getting settled. We have been in Pennsylvania for a week and am just now starting to dig out from the boxes, paper and piles. Thankfully my sister and niece came to help when we first got here, I don’t know what I would have done without them! Today I wanted to share a little about our epic 5 day journey from the wild west to the beautiful east coast.
Day one: The journey begins
Day one began as we packed up our car and said our teary good byes to the few amazing friends we have in Arizona that came to send us off. It was hard for me to see my kids say good bye to their friends, I know how that feels and my heart broke for them. Thankfully now, unlike when I was a kid, we have Facebook, email and text messages to help them stay in touch and become pen pals with them. We planned our days to drive between 6-7 hours each day, to allow for time for lunch and to get out and stretch, especially since we had the dog. We got on the highway and were off. My oldest pea said she was bored within 10 minutes of the drive (seriously!) but we powered through it.
After a few hours of driving, we passed into New Mexico and the landscape remained the same for some time. Eventually we began to see less cactus and we stuffed our faces with snacks, drinks and watched a million movies.
We stopped at some interesting rest stops and saw some interesting signs. (This is my oldest “acting scared”). We arrived in the ABQ in good time and were excited to decompress in the hotel and swim in the pool. We survived day one unscathed.
Day Two: More desert and some rain
Day two had us leaving Alburqueque and driving towards Texas. The kids were excited to finally start to see some landscape changes as we crossed the Texas state line. Things started to become more flat and a little more green.
In Texas we got hit by the tail end of that huge storm that brought all that flooding to the southern part of the state. Thankfully we didn’t get it too bad and it was nice to get the car clean. We stopped in some random Target in Amarillo because I, of course, forgot to pack one bathing suit for me even though I packed two for everyone else. I have never waited in such a slow line in my life and was thankful to keep moving on. We also smelled the worst smells ever.ever in Texas. Too many cows, I suspect. We continued to drive though the top of Texas and entered into Oklahoma. It was our longest day of driving, over 7 hours.
Day two was very smelly and also wet.
Day Three: Tornado alley
Day three we left Oklahoma City and drove on east up into Missouri, passing through Joplin. It was a pretty city, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a speck nervous driving though Tornado Alley will tornado warnings left and right. Thankfully we had lots of clear skies after Texas and seemed to be avoiding the rain storms fairy well.
We stopped to take some selfies at a Sonic and tried to make the best out of eating lunch in places we could take the dumb dog. We really began to see lots of green now, the kids were very excited. It’s really neat how you can drive just a few hours and see such drastically different landscapes. It was quite an experience.
We saw signs for the “World’s Biggest Candy Store” and just had to stop. The kids had a blast, as you can clearly see. Day three had us staying in St. Louis in the worst hotel ever. Well, it was clean but just waayyyyyyy too small. We tried to book suites each night and for some reason this hotel messed up and we didn’t get one, with none available. We were in one room with two queen beds. Yes, 5 people and a dog in two beds. Needless to say we got out of there very early the next morning. Day three ended in very close quarters.
Day Four: Welcome to the east
Before we left St. Louis, we had to make a stop and see the St. Louis Arch. We had never seen it before and figured we wouldn’t be coming that way again any time soon, so it was a must see!
There was a massive amount of construction around it but it was still a magnificent thing to see. As we were there, I kept thinking about all of the pioneers that traveled the opposite way we were going and heading through St. Louis as the “Gateway to the West” with their covered wagons. Can you imagine traveling all that way in a wagon? Crazy. Those guys were way more awesome than we ever could be.
We crossed over the mighty Mississippi and were “officially” in the east. Illinois welcomed us with tall trees, green grass and some humidity. We drove on and on, still stuffing our faces with snacks, drinking lots of coffee and tea (for Mom and Dad) and playing more tablets than the kids ever would be allowed under normal circumstances. Alls fair in love and traveling across country though. Day four had us driving through the most amount of states: Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia (for a moment) and finally landing us in Columbus, Ohio.
Mr. Pea had to work some this day so I was driving, so a few “welcome” signs were missed sadly. West Virginia’s sign was pretty fun though, it was on this rickety old bridge right before we went into a massive tunnel. It’s too bad I didn’t have three arms to drive and take the picture. Day four was a fun one.
Day Five: The last day
Day five had us finally getting into Pennsylvania. We left Ohio and drove on though the tall forests of green and up and down many hills. Annoyingly when we crossed into PA, there was NO welcome sign! There was when my sister came from the opposite direction, but none for us.
We just took this picture instead and it served as our “welcome to Pennsylvania” sign. PA is a massive state, we drove all.day through it. We traveled through all sorts of tunnels and on the PA turnpike, which has the BEST rest/service stops, FYI. They were so clean and all had a Starbucks- divine! Day 5 seemed to take forever and we hit traffic for first time this day, ironically less than an hour from where we were staying. We stayed in a hotel about an hour away from where our house was because that’s where my husband’s car was. Thankfully we had warm weather and swam in the outdoor pool until the kids were full of yawns. Day five was the day we were home.
Day six: Closing day!
Day six we drove from the hotel and signed the bazillion papers to be able to closed on our forever home. It’s beautiful and I love it. The neighborhood is perfect, so clean and everyone is so friendly. I really truly feel HOME, which is a feeling I have not had for over 15 years. It’s wonderful.
This whole week I will be sharing more about our new house and some tips I learned about traveling across the country (or really anywhere far away) with kids, if you ever have to do what we did. Thanks for sticking around to read about our epic journey from Arizona to Pennsylvania- it was surprisingly lots of fun and went pretty smoothly- shockingly!