July 2, 2010

Traveling with the "Perfect" Family

If you have ever had 2 children, especially 1 boy and 1 girl, you are aware that the world calls this the "perfect" family. Aragorn and I took off for a very long drive trip with our "perfect" family. Here is Bilbo.

Here is Poppy. Who started to cry at the end of the driveway, I'm quite sure she asked "are we there yet?"

Anyway this is our 1.2 child family.

Here we are at the end of our 2nd day and not one person has said "You have the perfect family, you can stop now!" I was really secretly hoping to tell that we really had 8 middle children or that the other 8 were at home or some other funsie.

That said, when a mother of 10 poses to bring the youngest two, you will notice that they are in the wrong car seats which is why Poppy's is too big and Bilbo's is too small. This happens when you train your bigger children to be responsible for the littles. And since I've been on this very long drive trip I have also had to change diapers and potty the 2 year old. I am glad I don't have to make the meals, too!

When you live completely "off-the-grid" you tend to take pictures of windmills...

and more windmills. We would probably take some of solar panels too but we never saw any.

Aragorn's idea of traveling is "going like 60" and hoping I get a good picture to share. I took about 8 pictures of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis from various angles and distances for no apparent reason but that each time I thought I'd never get another chance again. So this is the big arch. I really have nothing else to say about it... it's an arch.

And this is the famous bridge that I won a gift card to Panera Bread over. Thank you Lady Modesty!

Neat! Tom Sawyer.

Seems St. Louis was a little flooded.

We're now through St. Louis. Here's the Hotel

Scoping out what trouble can be found in the hotel room. Poppy seemed to take a liking to the air conditioner and electrical outlets.

Who me?!

What is it with these European swimsuits? Here's Bilbo sporting akin to baby speedo!

Poppy had the same baby speedo but with this cute little top to match.

This swimming pool had a max capacity of 10. I was really overwhlemed by the idea that my family would put the pool over max capacity. But this very long drive trip we are the "perfect" family so this wasn't an issue.

And just for the record when a woman enters a swimming pool room in a hotel wearing a modest swimsuit, it clears the place out quite quickly. The same thing happens if you bring anywhere from 4-10 children into a pool.

The next morning we take off... the next moring is actually this morning. And I proceed to get Tom his Water Joe and his Monster drink. If you are familiar with Monster drinks you are most likely familiar that they are very sensitive and are very prone to being easily punctured and then they spray fast and furious. So here I am holding this silly can of starting fluid... some drink coffee some drink this.... while Tom is driving 75+ (speed limit 70) and the thing is spraying away. However, I suddenly have this ridiculous thought that this could be spraying other cars as we whizzed by one. Where's the duct tape?! Yes, this was very absurd.
This is (I think) Six Flags.

The terrain changed drastcally from St. Louis and seemed to represent Pennsylvania all hilly and tree-y.
Bilbo was happily killing orcs with sound effects. However, it was just after this he decided to have a bout of motion sickness. Where are the wipes?! Where are the garbage bags?! Ugh.

I kid you not! Hot and Cold water towers....!!!

We saw several of these signs.

And then, I kid you not, we saw this. Horrifying or what?! I think it would do well to spare a prayer for the driver!
In our neck of the woods we have giant animal statues all over, mostly cows but here in Western Missouri the giant morel mushroom.

Although this is only 1 smoke stack, I could not help saying "Oh no! Not the gravy!"

As we pulled off the ramp Aragorn says "Look! We've entered Europe!" Yes, we were indeed driving on the left side of the road. The traffic coming towards us was on the right. However, that said, up by us the "in thing" is a round-about (in my hometown in NY we called them traffic circles) but here, there is nothing round about this it was indeed a traffic pretzel. Picture a giant pretzel, and you have this rather bizarre conglomeration of a road system.
It was about here that Bilbo had his second bout of motion sickness. Of course this meant we had no clothes to put on him so there sat this little boy in a pair of pull-ups... he was now in the correct car seat. So we had to stop at a WalMart to buy him some clothing. It is really uncanny that the one place we actually stop at on this trip was a WalMart... of all places!
The landscape through most of western MO was like this like they were abandoned farms. We wondered if it had anything to do with the Dust Bowl and the Depression? Anyone know?
This was the reason for our trip. We were picking up a windshield for an old RV. Without the windshiel it is not worth anything, with the windshield it is worth .... the price of the windshield plus travel and expenses.

And just what would you do with your old abandoned silo? Obviously use it for a giant tree pot.
I don't know what this is but I guessed a casino but it really could be anything or rather... manythings.

I don't know but that I have ever seen such an enormous rollercoaster.
And so you ask what else have you done in all the 13-1/2 hours of driving? Well, we listened to Fr. Isaac Relyea homilies someone gave us on CD and I did lesson plans.... lots of lesson plans. Oh and of course we talked alot....
To be continued.............


  1. It would be nice if you could get all the way home without someone telling you that you could quit after two:-)

    The "casino" you identified is the Ameristar. I didn't actually know this but I was curious so I Googled until I found it, using clues you posted along the way.

    The land in western Missouri probably doesn't still have anything to do with the dust bowl or great depression. I think that fewer people are farming and some of it is just used for cattle grazing. Buildings that appear to be abandoned might have been replaced by newer ones elsewhere on the property. I live in a nearby state and there is a lot of land that is allowed to revert back to its natural state of prairie or meadowland.

    I enjoy visiting your blog from time to time and have regularly prayed for Galadriel. I'm happy she is recovering. God bless.

  2. I guess you don't have "tippy truck" signs where you live if they (tippy truck signs and tippy trucks) are a novelty to you. We have lots of tippy truck signs here, and all too frequent tippy trucks. Just last weekend, as a matter of fact, the most local tippy truck that I know about to my home dumped 11,000 gallons of jet fuel onto the ground as it tipped. Snarled traffic for a whole day. Environmental nightmare, yadda yadda.


    May tippy trucks forever be a novelty to you! I expect them nowadays when I see a truck heading recklessly towards the ramp at excessive speed. :-(

  3. What fun to travel as a "perfect" family! I'm just sorry you didn't get a chance to surprise some commenting person with the news that you have eight more.

  4. When were you there? You know Jayne and Laura were/are visiting Susan in St Louis this wk!

  5. We were there on July first but literally were just driving through. That would have been so great to visit with all of you down that way.