We said our goodbyes in Idaho and started our week long trek back to Arizona. We had plans to make a couple stops along the way, including a family reunion, and we made an unexpected stop as well – which turned out to be amazing.
Our friends recently bought property in Utah and we had planned to stop by for a visit as we made our way south. A couple days before, we made plans to stay the night and I’m pretty sure my kids thought they found heaven. At least a slice of it.
Their home sits on a private lake (which is shockingly very shallow at 5 feet deep!) and my kids couldn’t get enough of the water. Swimming, floating, jumping, boating. They were out there until dark and first thing in the morning the swimsuits were back on and they were in the water.
Steve wasn’t able to join us during this little layover but we made sure to facetime him so he could experience some of the beauty. We tried not to rub it in all the fun we were having.
I wish there was a picture to document Leslie and I sitting at the table as it grew later and later into the night and morning. We had just spent time with them in Powell, but there’s very little one-on-one time there. So this was our time to really catch up. To talk about the ups and downs of life – the wins and the losses, what we’re excited for and the worry on our minds.
We managed to cover a lot of ground at that table. Grateful our “stop by for a visit” turned into a sleepover.
Our road trip during the summer gives us focused time as a family that is hard recreate anywhere else. Our time on the road forces us to throw schedules and routines out the window in search of adventure and time with family and friends.
If you know me even a little bit, you know that I thrive on schedules and routines but for a few weeks every summer we beat to a different drum and I love it. (I love it even more now that my kids are getting older and it’s easier to throw some schedules out – harder when I had babies).
We jumped around for a couple stops before landing at my parents house. I think the only major adjustment was having the sun stay up so late into the evening. I explained to Briggs that the sun in Idaho is different than the sun in Arizona – they play by different rules. The first day we were there I was trying to put him to bed at 9 – an hour past his bedtime and through his tears he was pointing outside telling me that the sun was still up and not bed time. We adjusted quickly. The sun was out until 10 o’clock at night – which means many nights bed time was after that.
We played in parks multiple times a week – the weather was mid 80’s and by night time it cooled off nicely. This was my view for nights on end.
We picked fruit and ate more than we harvested.
We sought adventure by hiking the hills in search of treasures.
The boys went fishing (Hallie willingly opted out of this activity) and my dad patiently taught my boys how to cast.
We played make believe – over and over again.
We floated the river with cousins – a beautiful afternoon.
We played with cousins…again and again and again. And just when I thought my kids would be tired of them, the last night we were there my brother’s family came and kidnapped them for just a little more time. Everyone has a buddy.
I always leave Idaho with a hard drive full of pictures – I want to capture everything! More pictures to come…
Our summer roadtrip is always made better when we can meet up with friends along the way. Last summer, we made a side trip to Washington to see my college roommate and her family. This summer, they drove from Washington to see us in Idaho.
We planned a day together (which my kids claimed was not enough and I totally agree) and we enjoyed every last minute until it started to get dark and it was time to head home.
We sat at a picnic table while our kids ran around and we talked and talked. Before long we realized it was well past dinner time and no one was complaining because they were all happily entertained with eachother.
We never tire of our time with them. We never run out of things to discuss – and our conversations have depth and laughter. The best of both worlds. Every time we see them we lament the fact they live so far away – we would spend weeks with them if we could. Some years we have to settle for a single day – a day well spent.
We drove just over 3,000 miles and hit Utah, Idaho and Oregon.
We were gone for 37 days and we picked up Steve from the airport twice.
We wore life jackets on 14 out of the 37 days.
We saw license plates for 45 out of the 50 states. We missed Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, West Virginia – do you see the trend?
We saw 11 road kill deer.
We went to Sams Club/Costco 4 times.
We consumed 16 loaves of Grandma Sycamore’s bread. We also bought 8 loaves and brought them home with us and they are now in my freezer. No joke, I have the receipts to prove it. Why, oh why, did they pull those from Costco in Arizona?!? It is our very favorite bread.
We went to the local public library 4 times.
We filled up at gas stations 11 times, I washed my windshield only twice and we never washed the car. We thought about it one day but it would require removing the Thule roof rack storage and it just didn’t seem worth it!
We played tennis 6 times and basketball 5 times.
We only had one potty incident which is pretty amazing since Briggs is new-ish potty trained. It was his first long trip without diapers.
We listened to our road trip playlist…I don’t know how many times, but it was a lot. We know all the words to every song and we know exactly what song is next on the playlist! It was an eclectic playlist that included Imagine Dragons, Queen, Mumford and Sons, Pink, Post Malone and AJR to name a few.
We went to two temples and one concert.
We slept in 6 different beds and every new bed meant another family or friends that we could connect with. This is always the highlight of our summer roadtrips – the people we get to see and spend time with.
They are the reason we are willing to drive thousands of miles and spend hours in the car. Totally worth it.