Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cross Country Adventure Part 2: The Rest of the Trip!

Last time we met Ben and I left you at a the Virgin River Casino Restaurant with a huge breakfast too big to finish.  From there we drove through the rest of Nevada, a corner of Arizona, and up into Utah.

I just love driving through Arizona (especially if I don't have to get out of the car and feel the heat).

We missed the "Welcome to Utah" sign, which was sad but we'll live.  Once in Uta, temples weren't far behind.  There weren't quite as many as often as I was expecting - until we got closer to Salt Lake City.

Ben felt it was important to document the speed limit - which we weren't quite reaching after our adventure in Tehachapi.

 Beautiful Utah sky.

I was excited to see the Y!

We arrived at Aaron and Marrisse Abbott's house around 4ish.  Caleb insisted on taking us to see his bedroom which turned into a tour of their beautiful house and the in-law "apartment" (aka the Garage Mahal) which was also absolutely awesome.  We took a much needed-to-prevent-grumpiness nap and awoke to the Smalleys and several members of Marrisse's family over for a Hawaiian themed dinner!  Ben and I had a fun time sitting at the kid's table where Caleb told us in an humorously stern tone that he will come visit us once we get a baby.  We had great time visiting with everyone :)

After everyone left, our friend, Mara came to visit!  She was an acting intern at PCPA with me and we hadn't seen one another in a year or so.  Mara has such a wonderful, positive energy; she is an utter delight.

We realized too late that we didn't get any pictures of the Abbotts, the Smalleys, or the festivities, but we did manage to snap a quick photo of the Abbott house upon leaving, which is a small consolation.  Though, their house is quite cute!

It was important to both of us to take at least 30 minutes out of our trip to take a whirl-wind trip to Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  We walked around the temple, into the Tabernacle...

...back to the temple...

...across the street to the Conference Center, where a nice gentleman named Gary didn't hesitate to take us on the condensed tour of the highlights of the Center after we told him we only had 10 minutes to spare.

We got to go up on the roof - this relief is sand blasted into the marble.

There is also a roof-top garden of sorts where indigenous Utah valley plants are planted as a memorial to what the valley looked like when the Pioneers arrived.

Our last view of the temple.  If only the street lights weren't there...

Welcome to Wyoming!  I thoroughly enjoyed driving through Wyoming.

The landscape was interesting...

...and I was obsessed with how perfectly fluffy and consistently shaped the clouds were!  I enjoyed seeing shapes in the clouds.  I mean, just look at that Burger King cloud.  They were only like this in Wyoming, too.  Once we were out of the state they changed.

 We ate lunch at Wingers.  They had popcorn as a free appetizer.  Like tortilla chips or bread.  But buttered popcorn.  Delightful. We also split a serving of Wingers famous wings, which were good enough.  To me the highlight was definitely the popcorn and the cheesey food pun-posters that decorated the walls (after breakfast at the casino, Ben no longer encouraged indoor pictures).

 Welcome to Colorado!

Shortly after entering the state the scenery changed almost instantly.

The clouds were also less small and cotton-ball-esque.

 We stopped in Denver for the night and got to visit my mom.  We ate at a really cool restaurant called the Old Spaghetti Factory.  The restaurant is located in what use to be the building for the "Denver City Cable Rail Way Co."  Now there is a train car inside the restaurant that you can eat in, along with regular dining areas - it was really fun.
Once we left Denver, everything became ridiculously flat.  Then the flat became Kansas.  The most boring state I've ever driven through.  On this day I scoured our US atlas for cities bordering two (or three) states that had combination names such as:

Kanorado (Kansas, Colorado - the spark that lit the flame)
Texarka (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana)
Texhoma (Texas, Oklahoma)
Delmar (Delaware, Maryland - could also just be Spanish...)

We missed the sign for entering OK, but we did manage to get the sign on the way out.

After what seemed like forever in Kansas, we arrived in Oklahoma!  To be fair, the Kansas scenery did get better once we were an hour or so from the OK border.  We stopped for the night in Bartlesville, OK at the home of  Uchenna and Jen Paul.  They have a beautiful home and it was so nice to visit with them - even if it was as short as it was.

Missouri!  Within the first 50 miles of the border we encountered signs for at least 6 adult stores.  After that we noticed there were less signs and more churches.

The St. Louis Arch!  A stunning thing to approach, even from the highway.

Illinois!  and a sign for Indianapolis!

A huge cross seen from miles away.  The picture doesn't quit do it justice.


Our new home!!!

Someone left cookies for us!  We still don't know who left them.... but they were sure delicious!

The arrival of the pod.

Pod and car - gives some size perspective.

The miracle that is our stuff fitting in the pod.

Next time:  Our stuff out of the pod!  Ben as a magician's assistant!  Babs as a grad student!


  1. Wow! Your trip takes my breath away. So much to fit into such a short time. Glad you made it there okay.

  2. Your pod looks amazingly much smaller than ours. Love the pictures of the clouds! Glad you got pics of the signs entering the states! We wanted to do the same, but they kept whizzing by us! And cookies at your door step? Amazing!

  3. The Abbott's house sure looks festive with its bunting. very nice. Also, I've always meant to go to the roof of the conference center, but haven't made it yet. Somehow I thought it would be more garden-y. It was sure fun to see you guys, even for that brief moment. Hopefully we can spend a little longer together soon; what are your Thanksgiving plans?

  4. We don't have any plans just yet ... :)

  5. Let's see some of those Lysistrata designs! :)


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