Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Van Down by the River

I love vans. No seriously. Most of my friends have vowed never to be "mini-van moms" because I guess vans are uncool or something. I am not a hip mom. I am a practical mom. Vans are practical and so cool.
The van pictured above is my mom and dad's van. It is not my ideal van, but it has a lot of memories tied up in it. I have traveled around the world (well the Western States at least) in this baby! One of my favorite memories is yelling at Jared when he farted that he "saved it all up" just for vacations. Now I can add singing hearty renditions of "The Ensee-Weensie Spider" and "Where is Thumbkin" to my favorite memories. (I already had exciting singing memories in the van, but the songs weren't so juvenile)
Last week, while Mike was on a business vacation to Ft. Walton Beach in Florida, my mom, Shaelynn and I took the girls to visit my Grandma in Kennewick. It was a really really really long drive. We left at 9:00 a.m. and arrived at 11:00 p.m. I think it is a feat I will not repeat (ha that rhymed). Next time I will break the drive up into two days.
Kenzie summed it up best when we arrived and were getting her ready for bed. "We drove and drove and drove and I cried and I cried and now we are here and I am sooo happy!" She said it in a very melodramatic voice, with a perfect 'primary president tone' on the "I am sooo happy" part.
A long time ago Mike and I decided that our children would appreciate the scenery and interact with us during car drives. On the way home from Washington, I decided that plan only worked in theory. Whoever invented the portable dvd player was an angel from heaven. I think Kenzie watched 5 videos. I did make her take a break to play "Animal Sound Bingo"

Enough about driving. We had a great time and ate great food(made by my Grandma, who is by far the world's best cook), and left too soon.
Here are some pictures which sum up the trip:
We stopped for lunch at Shoshone falls in Idaho. When we rounded the corner and the falls came into view Hannah got so excited she kicked her little feet and yelled "Ta-ta-ta-TA DAH!"

These are the seatless toilets at the fabulous Shoshone falls bathrooms. They made me feel very uncomfortable. It seems like a good idea, but then, it seems really weird.
My Grandpa and his pet duck. Everytime we visit he has something interesting to show us. I think the pet duck is now my favorite. It even tops the fart machine he demonstrated for Mike and me one year.

Shaelynn, Kenzie and Grandpa swinging at the Sacajawea Park. One night we took a picnic dinner there and it was really cool. Lewis and Clark camped there. Shaelynn and Kenzie, looking fabulous in front of an educational sign at the park.

Yeah, I look way cute in this picture, but it's the only one I have of most of us. My mom was standing on the walkway trying to balance her crutches in the bouncing water.

My camera is dying. All the pictures at the waterpark by my Grandma's house were blue-ish weird. We had a great time at the waterpark. Shaelynn tried to push me in, but it was Kenzie that really got me all wet.
The requisite really awesomely cute self portrait. Why is it that Shaelynn and my Grandma look so cute?

On the way home (already?? It was a short trip), we found the cutest park in Burley, Idaho of all places. I couldn't believe how much fun it was.

So, if you're ever in Burley, Idaho visit this awesome park.
Well, that was a lot of pictures, and a long travelogue, it was almost as long as our van trip. We were glad to get home and see Mike again. We missed him on our trip and fondly thought of him during meal times by exclaiming, "This is the best meal I have ever had."
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for entertaining us and letting us eat all your delicious food and put yucky diapers in your pristine garbage can.


Natalie said...

Nothing like a road trip to bring a family closer together....and closer to the mad house! I agree, the portable DVD player is like manna from heaven!

Your posts always give me a good laugh! You are such a fun writer!!

Anonymous said...

Loved having you. Hope you come again and bring Mike. I will cook him up "the best meal I have ever eaten" kind of dinner. Oh yeah, that could be a tuna sandwich. Sounds like your trip home was much nicer than coming up. We really enjoyed your visit and hated that you couldn't have stayed longer. Love ya, GB

Hollie said...

Do you think that Lewis and Clark had a chance to swing while they camped there? Looks like they missed out on a lot of fun if they didn't. And I need to find out where in Burley that cute park is. We've spent some time in Burley and honestly I've never seen anything there that is as exciting as your cute park pictures!Oh and I'm a van person myself. I learned long ago that I'm pretty low on the cool spectrum, so I also embrace my love of vans.

ClingerFamily said...

That is a great post! The boys and I just did a Wyoming to California stretch in one day. We stopped in Twin Falls Idaho at 8:30in the morning to buy a DVD player, it helped the last 11 hours of the trip seem so much faster than the first 3. HEAVEN SENT!

Mike said...

I better clear up this "business vacation" of mine in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. I guess Steph considers it a vacation if I don't have to take care of the girls. She didn't mention the fact that I only landed in the Ft. Walton Beach airport, and that I never went to the beach, rather stayed in training at Eglin Air Force base for a long boring week. She claims she didn't mean to type "vacation". Yea right!

Stephanie and Co. said...

Hollie, your comment about Lewis and Clark is still making me laugh. Kellie, that is so funny that you had to stop to buy a DVD player. They are serious sanity savers.
And poor Mike. It was a business trip where he had to take boring classes about air force acquisition. I really didn't mean to type vacation. It was a subconscious thing. :)


We reluctantly had to part ways with our green Astro van last fall. I'm too lazy to link them all from my blog but I posted several entries about my sweet momtastic ride......irresistible to all who drove past our house. I'm completely serious when I say that not a week went by that we didn't have people knocking on the door wanting to buy our 1998 crusty-seated van. My husband said it's because they stopped producing the Astro/Safari and that it's one of the only "mini" vans that feature a chassis like a truck making it a great work vehicle. I guess other models are built on a car frame and can't handle as much weight.

I'll never forget the insane amount of ash trays that van had scattered throughout the vehicle. They really catered to the pro- Phillip Morris crowd with that design! Anyway, I'm driving along and I hear one of my kids scream at her sister, "Hey, Stop poking your fingers into my ASH HOLE!!!!"

R.I.P my little green van


Oh, and I think I love your family. I'm an LDS convert and I often feel way out of place among the very righteous and lovely sisters in my Ward. They don't say naughty things like the F word (Fart) or even pee (they say 'tinkle'). It's nice to meet someone keeping it real. Fo real!

My bestest blog friend Millie is from Kennewick! Now she lives in Vancouver. I just got back from spending the weekend in Oregon and Washington with a gaggle of blog ladies and I couldn't stop marveling over how pretty it is up there and how nice the temperatures are compared to Houston's 100 degree-100% humidity.

joyce said...

ummm, was that really MY DAD on the swing??? Huh?? I don't believe I have EVER seen him swing before. Too funny! I'm going up there in October and am SO excited!! Plus a little relieved that I don't "get" to bring my kids along for the ride. Fun post, of course...

Hollyween said...

Um, I can't believe my Dad was on a swing. When we went, he and Bette sat in the car while we did our swinging. Seriously, I can't get over that. Next time I come, I'm totally making my Dad repeat that. I have to see it for myself!!

It's so much fun there, but whoa! It took you guys forever!