Thursday, July 24, 2008

From Michigan to Utah armed with Cheetos, Diet Coke, and a sedative called DVD Player


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Friends in Michigan who will be really missed. (Reed got stuck with an Oreo in his mouth)

Good bye to lush green forests of maples, sparkling fire flies, Lake Michigan, pasties - (n. [pas-tees] - A pie or turnover, especially one filled with seasoned meat or fish), wonderful friends, the Slowest Driver in Lansing, Ludington, really bad roads, the YMCA, Michigan State University, parks, and much, much more. I got a bit weepy as we drove out of our townhouse parking lot and I thought of how much Michigan had felt like home for these past three years of law school. Now we are done and on our way to Utah, a grueling bar exam, and then hopefully, and soon, a job. These last few days and weeks have been filled with all kinds of emotions concerning our future and basically can be summed up as existing in a state of limbo.

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Well, we managed to leave the parking lot and get on the road not at our 9am goal but at about 4:30pm. Mike and Melissa (Chris' brother and his wife) volunteered to fly out to Lansing and drive back with us to Utah. They are certainly angels to have done this and I'm sure they saved Chris and I a few trips to the psychiatrist because of their benevolence. We took turns riding in the Penske truck and the van. Our first stop was Warren Dunes Beach on Lake Michigan, just two hours from home, so that we could show Mike and Melissa the lake. We stayed the night there and recovered from the long day of packing and cleaning. We love "hotello" pools.


I can't really remember much about our drive though this state other than keeping my eyeballs wide open for the signs that said either "Welcome to Indiana" or "Welcome to Illinois" for Douglas.


We were properly welcomed with a sign and a toll road. The best part of this state was crossing the Mississippi River. Of course there was that incident when we had to pull over nowhere near a rest stop and discover another use for a corn field. I wouldn't eat corn from Illinois if I were you this summer.

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We finished crossing the Mississippi River and tried to gain an appreciation for corn field after corn field, one of which was fostered earlier in Illinois. One thing of note for future travelers of Iowa is that it's the home of the World's Largest Truck Stop, just outside of Davenport. We stayed the night in Council Bluffs at a not so "Best" Western, starting slowly the next morning with a border crossing into Nebraska.


Flies. I believe I could be charged with mass murder should I some day be captured by a fly army and brought before a tribunal. Isaac doesn't have a fear of flies unless they are locked up in a car with him. Because of the many stops we've made we were reluctant to stop and properly expel the flies from our car. Besides, every time we'd stop a whole new herd would find their way into the air-conditioned vehicle bound for Utah. So, being the agile passenger I was I squeezed myself through the birth canal of our car coming out breach and landing in the back seat encrusted in Cheeto crumbs and M&Ms. I found the stiffest piece of paper I could (the instruction pamphlet for proper car seat installation) and began hitting and whacking anything with wings that went buzz. I performed this ritual twice until Reed started helping. Nebraska will be preserved in my memory as a state with flies, more corn fields than Iowa, and a wonderful hotel in Sidney called the AmericInn.


Since before this trip my only opinion of Wyoming was from some wonderful trips to Yellowstone Park up in the north west corner of the state. My opinion of the states' beauty has changed, boring! We actually did have one exciting experience at a rest stop when we discovered a family of prairie dogs. Cute! With the help of some sunflower seeds we attracted a few of these adorable animals. We fed and even pet them. I was surprised they'd come so close.

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After leaving Wyoming the questions of "when will we be there?" and "how many more miles?" escalated from every hour to every 5 minutes. Starting in Wyoming and continuing into Utah we were in a state of awe as we remembered and enjoyed the awe and grandeur of these magnificent mountains. We made it and are partially settled into my parents' unused house in So. Ogden as we await our future.

Today is Pioneer day and what took us 3 days in a car took the pioneers 3 months or more to travel. We are glad and grateful to be here and are also grateful for those who came with faith and fortitude to this beautiful state before us.

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Who couldn't use a bath after a journey like that?! They even have a few days of bubble growth to attest to it.

Just a funny memory from the trip...

I just remembered something said by Douglas to Mike and Melissa on our drive. Douglas noticed some skid marks on the road made by truck tires. Douglas told Mike and Melissa that they should have wiped their tires. Douglas' audience didnt' know about our battle with underwear and skid marks and therefore added a whole new stinky perspective to the marks left on the side of the road.


Natalie said...

Hooray! The exodus is complete! I'm glad you all survived, especially after reading about your journey from the front to the back of the minivan. I can totally relate (crawling to the backseat to breastfeed a buckled-in child while traveling at 85 mph) and laughed so hard to imagine that horrific task. We are still in Lansing, thanks to standby tickets during a holiday week on a Utah-based airline (the pioneers are great, but is the 24th of July really a reason to travel on JetBlue?), but hopefully we'll be in Alpine tomorrow night. Have fun unpacking. I miss you lots!

gublergal said...

Yes, WY isn't much to brag about. But it does make the experience wonderful of after miles and MILES of wide open spaces to enter Utah and see those amazing tall moutanin peaks! I'm glad your drive was for the most part without incident!

The Hoyal Family said...

I am glad you made it safely! I can't believe you did it in three days! I love the prairie dog adventure- how fun! Good luck to Chris.

The Melo's said...

Well, we are happy that you made it safe and sound but sad that you are gone! I love the picture of the ground hog with it's hands outstreched, that is priceless!

Sorensens said...

WOW, I did not know you guys are moving, you know Colorado is only eight hours away and Erin has never visited us yet, I say you need a girls road trip to see me. Looks like a fun trip and I love the Prairie Dog pictures.

Oh, I saw you tagged me awhile back so I did it and that was so much fun.

Mike and Melissa said...

Hee-hee, I know why you shouldn't eat the corn from Illinois...nuff said. Becky, the pictures are great!! We really enjoyed the trip with you guys. Mike and I still have yet to download our pics, and then we will send them to you!

Jordan and Elaine's Family said...

I'm glad you made it their safe, and with your sanity still in one piece! Good luck in Utah. We sure miss you out here!

Melisa said...

Miss you already!

That skid mark comment is such a crack up!

Steven and Becky Trujillo said...

It sounds like quite the trip! I'm glad you made it safe. we are going to miss you guys and your smily faces. Tell your husband good luck from all of us in MI on the bar!

mommymuse said...

I'm so glad you are back!!! Loved the descriptive details of the journey :) Hope to see you soon--stop by next time you're down!

Stephanie said...

I love the prarie dog pictures!! That's something I would totally do. And oh the memories of the world's largest truck stop :) Hope you guys are going well. How did the bar go?

Cindi M said...

I can't believe you guys are gone already and that your twins are already six! It seems not so long ago that I was teaching them in nursery. Now, see, if I'd kept up with you, I'd know these things. Oh, and I love it when people admit to drinking Diet Coke. Love that stuff! Hope things go well for you in Utah!

The Milligan Blog said...

Yay!! Back in Utah at last huh!! Hows being back? Cant wait to come see you when we get back from the East coast!! See you so very soon..

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