Hey everyone! I made it to Washington state and I am ALIVE! Boy oh boy did we have a long trip. Most of you know that I am a photographer on the side and I took a LOT of pictures on our cross country road trip. However, my iMac is in storage somewhere so I’ll be posting cell phone pictures throughout this post.
The day before I left, I had dinner and drinks with my best friends and we all cried our little hearts out. I did NOT want to leave. Michael would tell you that I pretty much did nothing as far as helping with the move, because I was in denial. It was so hard and still is.
The drive felt like forever. And ever. And ever.
When we left Fort Drum, we headed to Niagara Falls. Michael and I had already been but we wanted to take the girls onto the Maid of the Mist. Savanna was NOT having it but Madison enjoyed it. Michael GoPro-ed the whole thing so I’m excited to see his video when he is done. We all looked pretty fly in the blue rain ponchos they gave us. Savanna was just terrified going onto the boat and pretty much wanted to hold on tight like the ship was sinking. I’m over here like “Calm down, Rose.” She didn’t understand.
When we left Niagara, we visited my OG BEST FRIEND (still is, don’t worry Jess), in Toledo, Ohio. We stayed the night there and I got a little tipsy with my girl! Our kids got to play together for the first time in forever. Enjoyed the Roadhouse that night with her and then Chick-fil-A the next day with our families. Catching up with her is my favorite. We literally could talk all night about everything. It just comes natural after being apart for so long. I’m counting the days until I get to see her again.
Day two was CHICAGO! We checked into our overpriced hotel and headed to the Navy Pier. On the way there, we stopped by a little beach and the girls got to play in the sand for a minute. Fun fact: I didn’t know that Chicago had a beach. Wanna know why? Because I didn’t know it was along one of the Great Lakes. Just me? Yep. Anyways, Savanna got to ride the carasoul on the pier and Madison attempted the ferris wheel. We ended up going back to the hotel and Madison and Michael went to the pool while I stayed with Savanna. After that, we headed back to the pier to watch fireworks and Madison made it ten minutes before passing out on me so I took her back to the hotel. The next day, we explored downtown Chicago and all of its little monuments. I learned that walking up hills will never get easier and Savanna totally agreed with me on that. We went to the “Shameless house” and got our pictures taken outside. The cast didn’t realize I’d be coming that day so they didn’t buy plane tickets. Rude. Just a tip: if anyone visits that house, do not bring children. The outside of it was not in the best area and you could just smell all of the drugs.
After we went to the house, we drove to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. And seriously, everyone should plan a trip there before they get old and wrinkly. This was our favorite part of the trip. Our hotel was only $100 and it included passes to Kalahari (dry) and Noah’s Ark, which is America’s largest water park, and a ton of coupons to use at every single place there. WD is only like two miles total but it’s just so amazing. The things to do there are endless. We wanted to extend our trip by a day so badly but knew that we couldn’t. Our family cannot wait to go back!! We had never even heard of it until our movers came and told us to stop there.
The next day, after the waterpark, we drove to Sioux Falls and stayed the night before heading to the Badlands! It was filled with endless valleys, canyons, and more hills. It was a sight to see, that’s for sure! The girls were yelling at Michael every time he got near a cliff. It was so cute! After that, we drove to Mount Rushmore! Madison was on cloud 9! She lives her presidents. It was so much smaller than what I expected it to be. Michael and I were so excited that our girls got to see this and have pictures to look back on when they are older. We ended up staying the night near there before heading to the Devil’s Tower. We didn’t stay long because, well, there really wasn’t much to do other than look at it. After that, we headed to Little Bighorn where it was scorching hot. Scorching. Savanna and I witnessed an Indian prayer circle so that was kind of cool! After that, we headed to stay the night in Billings, Montana.
The next day was the worst. Absolutely terrible. Most of my closest friends know that I hate driving on mountains. It’s absolutely terrifying to me and I guess I just don’t see whyyyyyy they can’t make a road that goes around the mountains. Just saying. Anyways, Michael wanted to take a scenic route to Yellowstone, which was whatever, it would be a piece of cake. No extreme mountains, just a scenic route to look at farmlands and cows, right?
In his defense, he wasn’t expecting what was coming our way, at all. Beartooth Highway. Beartooth freaking Highway, I hope to never ever see you again. Talk about scary. One of the worst experiences of my life. We drove separate cars and I tend to drive faster than him, and because I thought this was gonna be some sort of flat land Highway, I ended up way ahead of him without a care in the world. We had a meeting spot so I wasn’t concerned. All cell phone reception was gone, barely any rails along the hills and turns of the steep mountains, no oxygen, and I could go on and on. A couple of anxiety attacks later, Madison and I were ready to just die. We were so over it. We finally reached a little town after the highway and we stopped into one of the gift shops and there was a shirt that said “I survived the Beartooth Highway” and I snatched it right up. It was that bad, so bad that I am proud that I did it. Cut to, miles ahead, we made it to Yellowstone and waited for Michael and Savanna to reach our meeting spot (30 minutes later). We explored a little bit of Yellowstone and got caught in walking-bison-on-the-roads traffic jams. There were so many people there that we didn’t get to see some of the things that Michael wanted to see but, it was what it was. I’m excited NOT to go back.
After that, we stayed in a small city in the western part of Montana before driving all the way to Fort Lewis, Washington! We have already been here 13 days and explored a little bit of Seattle and Olympia. We bought year long passes to the Hands On Children’s Museum, went to every mall around, parks, saw the very first Starbucks (insert little dance), etc.. We are still in a hotel but we do get to move into our house TOMORROW. Madison started school last Wednesday (cue the tears) and Savanna started today (even more TEARS). We are so eager to get out of this hotel and let our girls do cartwheels without getting a noise complaint (eye rolling over here).
Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to post much better pictures of our trip! I’ll be sure to update on our journey here, as well!