Day 0
Completely packed up and out of the Skyflower house. Pick up Mim at the airport and visit with our fabulous friends Heather and Stephanie at Waterloo on 360. After a great dinner and several beers, we head to our hotel room. Mimi and Bumpa stayed at the Crown Plaza while the rest of us headed over to to the Extended Stay America. Our plan was to have Riley sleep in the portable crib, Rip sleep on the pull out and Kirk & I in the double bed. It was apparent pretty quickly that Rip was not going to sleep on the pull out so when the lights went out it was Riley in the portable crib and Kirk, Rip and me in the double bed. Maybe two hours later, Riley decided she didn’t want to be left out and joined us…yes, that means there were 4 of us in the double bed. Needless to say, Kirk and I got very little sleep that night.

Day 1
Close on the house: 10 am. While Kirk and I were signing papers, Riley and Ripken were getting spoiled by Mimi & Bumpa. Riley ended up with a new outfit, new pair of shoes and some socks. Ripken ended up with new fireman boots and a really cool fireman jacket.
Depart Austin, TX: 11:30am
Arrive: Lubbock, TX 7: 30 pm


First Stop: Little Country Dinner…about 20 miles outside of Austin! Kids were starving and we figured it would be good to get them fed so they could go fast to sleep. And sure enough, they ate and went to sleep for several hours!

First Mishap: Eden, TX. It’s not widely known, but Eden, TX (population 2500) has approximately 2 cop cars for every car that travels through this little town. We think it has something to do with the detention facility located in the center of the town (maximum security from what I can tell). Anyhow, the road leading into Eden has a speed limit of 70 mph and abruptly goes down to 45 mph. And much to our sadness, we did not slow down fast enough and Kirk was given a speeding ticket. The police officer couldn’t have been more stereotypical of a southern, small town police officer: jeans, cowboy boots/hat, chewing/spitting tobacco. We didn’t really want to start the trip out this way but I think we’ve gotten over it…well everyone except for Kirk 🙂

Last Stop: McDonalds and a playground down the street. The natives of the kid variety started getting restless around 5:30 so we hit the McDonalds thinking there would be a playyard for them to get their energy out. Unfortunately, this particular McD’s only had food. So we ate and then headed over to a playground we say a mile back and let the kids and dog run around for awhile.

LaQuinta in Lubbock. Was a great place to stay. They take dogs, rooms were very spacious and best of all, TWO BEDS!!! Riley slept with Mimi and Bumpa which was very helpful as Kirk and McDonalds did not get along very well and Kirk needed some space. Rip, Riley and I were so tired we slept through a fire alarm in the hotel. Thankfully it was a false alarm!

Day 2

Depart Lubbock, TX: 9:30 am
Arrive Santa Fe, NM: 3pm (mountain time)

Nothing too exciting to report on this day. The rest of the drive through Texas was pretty dismal. Lots of little towns that are not quite ghost towns…very depressing. It took a couple of hours into New Mexico before the scenery changed into something interesting. First it started out as plains with antelope here and there. Then it started raining a little. Then we started going up in elevation. Then the rain turned to snow. Yep, that’s right, while it was 90 degrees in Austin on Thursday, on Saturday we were in a snow storm an hour outside of Santa Fe. The temperatures over the next few days is less than ideal…40’s – 50’s. Hopefully the sights will make up for the weather 🙂

As soon as we landed in Santa Fe we checked into our hotel and headed straight for food (did I mention we didn’t eat since breakfast???). We were very surprised to find a wait at the Olive Garden at 3:30 in the afternoon. While we waited, we fed the kids bread sticks as they were famished. Unfortunately, by the time dinner arrived, they were filled up on the breadsticks are ready to run around. Kirk and I tag teamed: Kirk ate while I watched the kids in the lobby then Kirk took over the kids while I ate.

After dinner we took the kids to the hotel pool in hopes of burning off some energy and getting them to bed at a reasonable hour. The big notable about the pool time is that Riley peed on Bumpa. I don’t think he was very happy about that 🙂

Now we’re all in our rooms relaxing and prepping to go to sleep. Here’s a link to the video so far. We’ll post more tomorrow.

Few other comments:

Camden is a little confused about whats going on. He’s enjoying going between our room and Mimi/Bumpa’s room. He’s riding in the car pretty well but I think he’s ready to get some exercise. Thankfully in Las Vegas he gets to go to a doggie day care where he’ll get lots of exercise!

Mimi and Bumpa hae been a HUGE help on this trip. I seriously doubt we would have been able to do this on our own so we are extremely appreciative of them taking the time to join us.

Ripken and Riley are doing GREAT in the car. The only time there has been any issues is when they need a break from the car seats and thankfully that has coincided right about the time we arrive in a town with space to run.