Thirty pounds of snacks....
Four Rubbermaids for the Phillips.....
Six different hotels.....
Only ONE trip to the ER.....(bil had a stomach bug)
TONS of fun!!!!!!
Because nobody likes to sit and watch vacation slide shows, I will just share a few of the highlights of our adventure!
Because we took the "scenic" route for a lack of better words, our first day of travel was...ummm...interesting.
Our first restroom/snack break was at Lowe's. We all squawked a bit at using their facilities, but decided it would stretch our legs and it would be fine. (Not sure what the Lowe's people thought about a group of 16 people all wearing blue shirts piling into their store!)
Bathrooms the rest of the day were scarce which presented quite a problem for those people in our group with tiny bladders. (You know who you are...Noah.) Around lunch time...actually it was PAST lunch time...there were certain individuals within the 3 vehicles who needed to relieve themselves. We were in the backwoods of Texas and evidently there is some law against restrooms open on a Sunday. We pulled into this little town, thinking it would be the last one for at least an hour. Everything is closed. The MALE people in the trucks proceed to the back of the gas station to relieve themselves. Not sure how that works because I didn't follow them. I was busy cussing them from my TRUCK because there were no open bathrooms!!!!
We went another 30 minutes or so and came upon another gas station that doubled as our choice of restaurant for lunch. They had one toilet and a bunch of BBQ! Those BBQ sandwiches, my friends, was our most expensive meal the entire trip!! No lie!
Did I mention they only had one toilet??? And that it was the only open toilet for 100 miles in either direction??? And that you could not flush the toilet paper? It had to go in the trashcan??? EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!
The rest of the trip did get better and it was then we realized that going to Lowe's for a potty break was a rather ingenious idea!!
This was also the day that my baby learned to pee in a cup. I was so proud. For some reason, Josiah missed one of our potty breaks...maybe he was asleep or something, but it had not been long so I didn't think it would be a big deal. WRONG!!! As he is holding himself in the carseat, wailing from the back "I hafta go POOOOOTTTTTYYYYYY!", I realized I had no other choice. I climbed back to the back of the truck, unbuckled him, unzipped him, and held a styrofoam cup for him to relieve himself. I'm the mom! He had no problem whatsoever peeing in that cup. I was actually surprised because this is a kid who has never peed standing up! I did start to get nervous when the kid kept peeing and the cup was filling up! I had Noah start looking for another cup just in case! SHEESH! We also hit a bump that could have been disasterous, but again, mom saved the day. I put a lid on the cup, stuck it in his cup holder and told him not to touch it until we stopped!
PawPaw George and Grandma with the grandkids before going into Carlsbad Caverns. The kids had all just bought new sunglasses for the trip at one of our MANY stops at Walmart. Seriously???
The amazing thing about this cave that we walked through for about 2 hours was that it was all different. You would look up and the cave was totally different than what was in front of you. The way God designed this cave is awesome.
This is Noah and my neice, Paige. They look harmless, but these two by themselves are the most talkative kids you have met. Then put them together???? Whose idea was that??? I think it came from the other truck!
This is the train that we rode to the Grand Canyon. It was a 2 1/2 hour ride there and the same on the way back. There is some entertainment as well. On the way back, the guy who "entertained" us was hilarious. He is a homeschool dad and teaches music classes at the elementary school 3 days a week. So he was VERY good with the kids. He had us come up and do the hand jive, which fortunately I do not have the video of. SORRY!! He also had my dad come up and do some jive dance...THAT alone was worth the drive!!
On the way back, we were also robbed at gunpoint by train robbers. The kids all had their dollar bills up in the air for the "robbers". I had explained the best I could to Josiah (3 1/2 years old) that this was just play like, it was fun, blah, blah. So the first robber comes in and takes all the kids money...except for Josiah. He leaves and the second robber comes in. Josiah holds his little hand with the money up and with the most solemn expression, looked right at the robber and said, "Please don't shoot me." And he handed his dollar over. It was HILARIOUS!!! He told me later that "playlike is VERY scary". Gotta love 3 year old boys!
And then we get to the Grand Canyon. I think what impressed me the most (this was my first time there) was how ugly everything was on the entire trip. The landscape was dry, brown, and just boring. There wasn't much green, and even the pretty pink flowers at the top of the ugly cactus had these huge pointy things on them that made them totally unapproachable.
Then you look over into the most beautiful expanse of color you have ever seen. And no matter what the bus driver told us, God breathed this beauty into creation. It was not a meteor, nor was it 6 million years ago that something scientists cannot agree on formed this canyon. As Justin, my 11 year old said on the bus, "God said I want it this big, this deep, this wide, and THAT is how you get the Grand Canyon!"