Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The final 24

The final 24 in rexburg at least. I have another long day, around 15 hours of traveling be tomorrow.

This morning my little I-Connect mentor girl headed to work at 10. She's going to be one of the guides for the new students coming on Friday. I'm proud of her for volunteering her time in this way.
I literally did nothing all day. I laid in bed, played on my phone, napped. I don't know the last non-sick time I did that. It was pretty fabulous. 

I texted Sarah and she sent me pictures of my babes. 
Delaney went with Sarah and co to gymnastics yesterday and to preschool today. I'm sure she's having a blast!
And Frankie continues to love and smother Adeline.
When Lexi got done at 2, she went and put out applications and then we went to the cheap movie theater to watch Max. Gotta love a theater where you can get 3 tickets, a large popcorn, and 2 drinks for $15.50. (:

After the movie fun we hit up another rexburg classic - Neilsons Frozen Custard. They had red creme soda, which totally reminded me of my dad and going to Taco Cabana with our huge cups for $.25 refills. 
These little cuties.
They were all in a tizzy because one of the guys that works there looks like someone from The Bachelor. Oh to be young again.
One of lu's roomies has a cat, Gus, and Lexi loves him.
Tonight these crazy college girls are sitting at home watching Hercules. It's been a fun trip and a great visit, but I am ready to be home. If only it didn't entail many hours on a bus, a plane (the worst), and then a car. Oh, if only. 

The third 24

We got into our very last state around 10pm Monday night. We had switched drivers somewhere around Jackson hole, Wyoming, and it was freezing!!! It was summer when we left, and now we've arrived at winter.
There were tons of animal crossing signs up in there, so not only were we freezing, but we were also nervous we'd get attacked by a bear or elk. One just never knows.
We had a deer and a fox run into the road at separate times, so we were super thankful not to hit anything. We were so happy to be in Idaho! The route we chose took us through several small ski towns (adorbs!) and was super windey, so I had no time to be sleepy. 

We rolled up into rexburg at midnight exactly. So some trip stats. 2500+ miles. 38 hours of driving (35 to rexburg, plus our detours) accomplished in just 53 hours. Only 2 real meals consumed. And no hotels stayed at. By our awesome driving, we were able to shave a whole day off of our trip. And it was actually really fun! And we don't hate eachother, so serious win. 

I was so excited to meet Lexi's roomies. Kendall was so sweet, she stayed up for us and had Lexi's bed all made up. And then she slept on the floor so the 2 homeless kids could sleep in a bed for the first time in 3 nights.
We slept in and enjoyed some Bachelor in Paradise all morning. They were stoked to find out that their new roommate Megan (below) loves the Bachelor too. 
At lunchtime we decided to head to the taco truck for some deliciousness. (Above and below) last year when we came, the taco truck was closed, but the restaurant (which I prefer) was open. Still delish, but the restaurant had horchata, so that's a deal.
We got Lexi checked in, and since I forgot my checkbook (doh!) we got to go to Walmart for a money order and some groceries. 

Emmi came over that evening and these two acted like they hadn't seen each other in years! It was cute. Emmi left for her mission in March, but had to come home for medical reasons, so it was a treat to see her.
We decided to head out on the town, but first, Lexi decided to cram her huge box into the rubbish bin. I didn't think it would fit, but these three worked together and got it. The fun never ends.
We settled on Costa Vida for an early dinner. It's kind of like cafe rio, but not as good. Still good, just not as good.
After dinner it was picture time!
These girls are so cute. (:
And of course one with the momma.
This is where we took pics last year. (: awwwww.
Then things got super crazy. Glad we didn't get in trouble for this one.
I am sooo thrilled and proud of lex that she came back to school here. Praying for good things for this girl this year.
It was pretty fun watching them climb up and down this thing, not gonna lie.
Aaand the momma.
Next up was the temple. I was soooo sad to find out that it is closed for a few weeks. I was really looking forward to going there!
And the momma.
For dessert, we got gelati at Karie Anne's. We had to plan out our meals, gotta be sure to get in all the rexburg favs.
We came back to the apartment and I played some bananagrams with kaylin, Haley, and their friend. Then, these crazy college gals and I headed to bed at 9. I mean, really, that's 11 o'clock our time, so not as lame. It was a really good day in rexburg and I am, again, so thankful to have this time with my big girl. 

The second 24

I can't even begin to express the gorgeousness of our drive. Pictures definitely don't do justice. I am just so grateful for the opportunity to see (briefly) these parts of the country that I had never seen. The great big sky over Wisconsin - breathtaking.
Sunsets and sunrises. I can't even.
We took turns napping while the other drove. So that night Lexi drove till 12:30. While I drove and she napped, I finished To Kill a Mockingbird (love). when she started getting tired, we found a cute little truck stop right on the South Dakota/Minnesota border to take a quick nap. 6 hours later. Seriously! We slept for 6 hours! I was so surprised at us! We joked about how we were little homeless kids, changing and brushing our teeth in truck stops. It just worked for us. Crazy little traveling gals. 

we were pretty sure we had passed the SD welcome sign the night before, so that morning, while it was still a little dark, we walked on the side of the freeway to take our pictures. First, the SD sign is huge. Second, it's very reflective, so when you try to take a dark picture with a flash, the sign takes all the light. But we were there, rest assured. 
When we had driven into Minnesota the night before, it was on a bridge and there was tons of construction. So there were no signs. As we hiked back to our car after our SD pics, we talked about turning around on the freeway and looking for the Minnesota sign on the other side. Then we saw it and thought, it's not that far, we can walk. So we frogger'ed it across the freeway! That might just be a first for me. We had to hike through wet brush in the middle of the freeway, and on the Minnesota side. All worth it. 
Love these ones we took of eachother where you can see the sun coming up. The whole thing was just beautiful. And totally worth the hike. 
The sun rising over South Dakota. No words. 
We drove through several mini storms. This was like stormy on one side, completely blue and clear on the other. 
As soon as we got into SD, my phone did this. "No service." I didn't think it was a big deal, I figured it was probably just a dead zone, but then Lexi had service, and I still didn't. All day. It was so frustrating! That night I finally asked Matt to call sprint, and while he talked to them he'd text me instructions on Lexi's phone. They didn't work, and we were driving through dead zones, and then, like 10pm, it came back on. So weird.
Back to the day! Driving, driving, driving!
Amy said we had to stop at Wall Drug, and after seeing the billboards for hours, I was sold. It's a really cute story you can read about here.
Ready to eat! We hadn't eaten a real meal for 24 hours.
We had to take our pics with our free ice water! You'll understand if you read the story.
We got the girls squished penny holders, and made them each a penny for their souvenirs. (:
After we ate and meandered, we took a quick walk around the backyard. These pics are terrible cause it was so bright, but the backyard was so cute.
Wall drug was named that for the town, not the family. And no relation to Walmart or Walgreens.
Mini Rushmore.
It was this morning that Lexi started to get super anxious to get to rexburg. After the car issues we kind of cut out the fun stops for that day. But then we made such good time, and the car stopped having problems, that I was ready to see some more fun things. But Lexi got like an old person that just wants to get back to their schedule, she just really wanted to get to school. So she was not loving all the picture taking.
Wall drug is like, a block long on both sides of the street. On a busy day they serve 20,000 people.
From there it was just about an hour to Mt. Rushmore. Up a windy mountain, and there she is! Much smaller than I thought it would be!
I imagined it would be the size of this whole mountain. I was really surprised.
It's so fun to see something in person that you've seen in movies and pictures a million times. This was pretty cool!
We walked downstairs (against Lexi's wishes) to the visitor center and another view.
She wouldn't let me watch the 14 minute movie ("I just really want to get there!") but I did make her take the .2 mile walk to Rushmore point. Mini rock you walk into and see the monument.
And a more up close view.
Then we were done. This was Lexi's birthday trip choice. And she would have been happy with a drive-by. Sigh.
The small towns around Mt. Rushmore were so cute! Again, pictures don't do justice, but we drove through more cute little towns than I've ever seen.
Another few hours, and bam! Forever west!
I drove for hours in Wyoming without seeing a single home or person (other than drivers). That is a desolate state. Miles and miles of nothing. It's pretty in its own way though.
I started listening to (and finished) The Maltese Falcon while Lexi napped. And 80 mph is a nice speed limit. It was driving through this sparseness that we hit another 24 hours, and another 1000 miles, again, almost exactly to the minute and to the mile. Weird. Another fun day of driving, a bunch of fun things we'd never seen, and lots of girl talking time. So fun!