This post is going to have a lot of pictures, so gear up folks. When we found out we were moving to Illinois, my Mom and I talked about all of the ways we could get us 3 and all of our crap in Utah back to Rockford in our tiny Mazda Protege. Basically the conclusion was that we couldn't. My parents were overly generous and said they would take some time off work and drive one of their cars out with us and stay for a few days. Honestly, we couldn't have done it without them
I for one am not the best road tripper. My max amount of time I want to spend in a car is about three hrs, so I was not looking forward to the upcoming 21 hrs...with a toddler. I thought of every possible way I could keep her entertained for the whole trip even if it came down to watching movies for ten hours straight. She did remarkably well. Below is a picture of her in the Pizza Hut parking lot in Rawlins, WY. After we ate she ran around the parking lot and picked up handfuls of dirt for about 45 minutes.
She had two major "melty's" (meltdowns). The worst was the second day when we were 50 miles out of Des Moines, which was where we were planning on stopping for lunch. She thrashed and screamed for the entire 50 miles and then for another 30 minutes after we stopped. Completely inconsolable. I thought I was going to lose it too. It was bad. After we ate we took an unplanned pitstop to the mall so she could wander and breath for a bit. Surprisingly at the kids corner all she wanted to do was lay in this snake and watch the other kids. Probably just happy to be out of that freakin' car seat.
Seeing this sign was the best thing I had seen in a long time. PS...love my classy way of storing my chewed up sunflower seeds? You make do when on the road for 1 million hrs.
When we finally got to Rockford it was a miracle and we loved our place. When we left Des Moines, Rich was there for a few more days than us and was in charge of putting a few big things into our storage shed. Amongst those big things were our couch and he took it to Goodwill instead of our storage shed. So we had to buy one and I can't complain because I am very happy with the new one. The picture above sums up how we felt after the road trip from hell. They needed a little R&R.
With my parents in town we decided to get back in the car and go see some of Chicago. We visited Lincoln Park Zoo, which has FREE admission. The catch is you have to pay $25 for parking, but we thought it was worth it. Henley was pretty much awestruck with all of the animals.
And then we also did get a lot of this. Not sure what she was doing in the picture above, but she did want a lot of her own space that day. She kept telling me to "tay" meaning stay places while she would run off. After the zoo we went and got some famous Chicago hot dogs and just drove around the city to get a feel for it. My parents are good sports.
In Rockford, we visited the Anderson Japanese Gardens, which were beautiful. They had tons of fish to feed, ducks to look at, and waterfalls galore. It was right down Henley's aisle. The only thing that could have been better was the temperature. We were melting.
She adores my parents, which makes me quite happy.
The sad morning my parents took off and left us to be adults. Pathetically I cried on and off all day. I tend to do that when we move to a new place. I think the hardest part about saying goodbye is that I have no idea when we will see them next because we don't have any plans in the works. Hopefully soon! Thanks again Mom & Dad for sacrificing so much to come with us to Rockford!