Well, I have no pictures for this entry so bear with me. You know that nothing can ever come "easy" for the Potters. No, it has to be an outright adventure & our move was nothing less than that.
Our first real problem was rental van issues. I called every rental dealership in the state of UT trying to find a rental van for the day we wanted to travel. There were NO vans in the state until Thursday the 5th of August which was TOO LATE! We had to get there on the 4th. I was SO discouraged & called Trek asking what I should do. Luckily I've got the best father-in-law in the world who "convinced" Hertz to find us a van. Unfortunately, we could only get it in Cedar City which was 3 hours OUT of our way. I guess you learn to roll with the punches! So instead of leaving on Wednesday as planned, we had to bail early & leave on Tuesday. We were all heartbroken about it, but it had to be done. My wonderful dad took the day off of work & drove us all the way to Cedar City (that's 6 hours of driving he had to do. What a sacrifice! We love you Dad!) We got to Cedar City at 3, but they seriously wouldn't let us pick up the van until 4:00, so we had to find a little park to play at for an hour while we waited. The kids enjoyed playing with Baba on the swings. Once 4:00 hit, dad dropped us off at the teeniest tiniest airport we've ever seen. (Who knew Cedar City UT had an airport? Delta even flies there!) We picked up our AWESOME NEW Toyota Sienna & loaded it up with all our stuff for the move. We said our goodbyes to my dad & we were off on our next adventure.
Our plan was to drive to Tonopah, Nevada & stay the night. We were now traveling to Monterey in the opposite direction we had originally planned so we really needed to break it up. (It ended up being 17 hours total in the car.) Trek reserved a room at a National 9 hotel in Tonophah, so we just had to focus on getting to that point. Let me tell you, Nevada is just a whole lot of NOTHING! No towns, no food, no gas stations. It was almost scary. I would hate to break down on that road. There's nothing for miles & miles. But we made it at about 9:3o UT time (8:30 NV time). Next to our hotel was the "Clown Hotel." We were laughing hysterically at this. It reminded me of a hotel from Stephen King's "IT." I would be TERRIFIED to stay there! ha ha ha. We checked into our little "dive" only to realize they had "accidentally" given our NON-SMOKING room to someone else. All they had left were smoking rooms. I was SO angry! I walked into the room & started dry heaving. Being in a smokey room is one thing, but being pregnant in a smokey room is a whole other ballgame. I thought I was going to die. Cadence was upset too. She's very sensitive to things like that. But we made do with what we had & we were in & out as fast as possible. We went right to bed & got up at 4 & were on our way once again.
We stopped at Tonopah's one gas station to get gas & breakfast. They were out of milk. Poor Bladen hadn't had milk in almost 24 hours. What's wrong with Nevada? So we got him some juice instead & donuts for everyone & headed out. We weren't in Nevada much longer & it was nice to know we were finally in California.
HOWEVER, we did not realize we had to drive through Yosemite National Park to get to our final destination. Not only did we HAVE to go through, but you have to pay $20.00 to drive through it. Grrrr. I've always wanted to see Yosemite, but not like this. Well, & being a "forest" the roads were very twisty & turvy. My stomach was churning from morning sickness when all of a sudden I hear the horrible sound of one of my kids throwing up. Let me remind you WE ARE IN A RENTEL VAN! I turn around & Taya is covered in puke. We quickly find a place to pull over & I clean her up the best I can. As soon as she's clean she looks at me again & "Blughghghghaaaa!" AAAAAAAAAH! I start scrambling through all our stuff looking for ANYTHING that would resemble a bucket of some sort for her to throw up in. We resort to her brand new plastic tinkerbell stool (for potty training). We had to flip it over & it became her throw up bucket. Poor baby. She threw up over 25 times driving through Yosemite. About 30 minutes into Yosemite (about 15 Taya pukes), Lorien says she's going to throw up too. Luckily we found a little supermarket where the girls could go potty, walk around & little bit, & get MILK! I started to gag as I walked around. I'm so nauseous as it is & to be surrounding by so much puke was making me really sick. We got back in the car & Lorien started to dry heave. I immediately threw the tinkerbell stool to her & Taya started to puke again. What was a mom to do? I grabbed my cute apple make-up case & handed it to Taya. She threw up 5 times in it. Unfortunately it's made of cloth & not plastic. RUINED! I grabbed the stool from Lorien, gave it back to Taya & gave Lorien the puked in apple. Could this trip get any better? PLEASE? We only had to drive another 40 minutes through those crazy forest roads before we made it safely to a "normal" California road. Our rental stunk. The kids were pale & dehydrated. I just wanted to die. Now THAT'S what I call a road trip!
The rest of the trip went really well. Once we left Yosemite, Taya stopped throwing up & Lorien's stomach settled. We drove straight up past San Francisco & Oakland up to the Richmond Port where our van was. I can't believe our van beat us from Germany. HOORAY! We spent about an hour getting everything squared away at the port, but then we were able to simply drive away in our mini-van. Trek drove the puke filled Toyota, while I followed him in the van. The poor kids were starving so we found a Burger King to eat at. Talk about a scary neighborhood. If they weren't so hungry I wouldn't have stopped. We hurried inside & got our food. Everybody just stared at us. We were definitely the minority with our pale toe-headed kids. A couple women would stop by our booth & touch each of the kids' heads & comment on their blue eyes. I'm sure they were just trying to be nice, but it was a little scary. We ate super fast & piled back in the vans.
The drive from Richmond to the Oakland Airport was pretty easy. It was only about 30 minutes is all. The hardest part was trying to keep track of Trek in the Toyota with all the traffic & lanes on the freeway. I had forgotten how to drive the CA freeways. I've been away much too long!! But we made it, & they took the rental back no questions asked (thank heavens because it smelled like puke).
Then Trek drove OUR van to Monterey. It was about an hour & 45 minutes from the airport & the drive was quite beautiful. We were on Hwy. 1 for most of the time which drives right on the ocean line. I was THRILLED when we started pulling into the Monterey Bay area. It was like a photo from a magazine. It was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. And the best part? This was our new home.
We arrived at our friend's house right at 4:30. It was WONDERFUL having such good friends willing to let us stay with them as long as we needed to to get settled. We feel so blessed. The kids were excited to get out & run around with their boys & I was just happy to be on solid ground. They had a fabulous soup ready for us when we walked in the door, & then after the kids went down to bed, some ward members came over & we all played our favorite German games. It was a long eventful trip, but it ended beautifully!
It's good to be HOME!