Saturday, June 22, 2013


What Mike heard as he's packing the van: oh, oh, and this. and this too. and then just this one more thing...
So we got out a little later than we aimed for, but we were on the road by 8:30am, which for us is awesome. Mike and I started the trip realizing that we put this trip in our long range plans 5 years ago, and we are actually doing it. That's a little crazy.  The girls have been great sports. You can see the miracles that Mike and Mike Shell performed to get everything into the van. It was manly tetris at its best. While Veronica doesn't have much leg room, it works out because she's a dropper of things and this way she can just pick it right back up because it doesn't fall far.

We passed this town on our first day. It's all in the inflection.
Our first travel day has been excellent. We made a couple stops and had lunch at a rest stop. We threw the sticky ball a bit and just let everyone run a little.
Our first road repair!
This even got a good test later when we drove through an incredible storm. Lightning hit the field right next to the van. I may have screamed a little. We definitely felt the thunder slam into the van. It may have been said several times from the back of the van during the rest of the drive "remember when that lightning hit?".
Veronica did this herself.(well I added the smile after a few minutes). We decided it was a brilliant idea and made the "I'm not complaining" tape. We plan on threatening people with it later in the trip if necessary. and only if Veronica stops wearing it for fun.

We thought that we might have driven out of the storm, but it reappeared when we got downtown in St. Louis. Here Mike is consulting GoogleMike (aka MikeShell) about the weather prospects. They turned out to be terrible. The storm was just sitting on top of downtown. We parked and waited for an hour, but admitted defeat when the lightning and wind just wouldn't let up. Rain we would have ventured out into, but the lightning with the sideways rain was a bit much. The girls watched two episodes of Flipper. Veronica said "This is scarey, I'm not going to watch" so she turned her head sideways and watched out the side of her eyes. Alyssa just hid behind Vee's chair. Who knew there was such suspense in Flipper.

So our campsite was smack in the middle of the storm as well, so we bailed and are at a La Quinta for the night watching America's Got Talent. We're going to see the arch in the morning as the storm is supposed to be through by 1 am. We realized tonight that 4 girls on a bed doesn't work anymore. Mainly because Jillian and Alyssa's feet hang off by almost 7 inches now. Goodness they have grown so fast. but we have happy volunteers for the floor anyway so it's not so bad. We are really looking forward to the Great Wolf Lodge tomorrow. Jillian is desperate to get in a pool as we have not yet been this summer. Usually with swim team they are in everyday and it's killing Jillian that our hotel pool tonight was closed because of the storm. I almost stuck her in a bath just to put her in some water. :) The girls have been so fun though. We have had quite a bit of screen time today, but lots of chat time too. I think that's going to be my favorite part of the trip. That and listening to the girls sing "Holiday Road".  We play it every time we start driving:)