Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've got a bit of free time this morning, so here comes the recap. :)

Day 0 (Monday, May 14)
Monday was our day to pick up the U-Haul and load it. That's all we really had to do. We picked it up no problem, and had to make a few stops along the way to get a few pieces of furniture that were being stored elsewhere: the vanity from Jerome's old house that I loved, and my pappasan from Cindy's basement. We picked up the vanity, and Jerome stayed in Marion briefly to say goodbye to some of his teachers, while I took the U-Haul back home.

Our plan was to back the U-Haul up to our front door, load it, and be done with it. Well, because the frat boys like to park on the driveway between our building and their house, there was no way to get the U-Haul onto the lawn. Technically speaking, they were legally parked, and what we wanted to do wasn't 100% legit, so we couldn't exactly try to have them towed out of our way. Instead, we sat and watched the lawn and street all day, and finally were able to get the U-Haul into a position where we would be able to load it.

Luckily, we got this done right before Jerome's dad arrived, so we had extra help loading the truck. As it turned out, I mostly just directed traffic while they loaded. I also tried desperately to clean a little, but since we didn't move all the furniture, it was a bit haphazard. We ended up having to choose a few things to leave behind, including my desk. I didn't mind too much, though, because I needed a new one anyway. The desk I had wasn't meant to hold an old-style monitor!

Day 1 (Tuesday, May 15) - Carbondale to Kansas City
On Tuesday, we were up bright and early to load the car and get on the road. Our first stop was Scott City, Missouri, where we would load all of the stuff from the U-Haul into a semi-trailer. This way, we didn't have to drive a U-Haul cross-country, and our stuff would not arrive in Seattle for a few days after we did, giving us time to find an apartment.

After loading up the truck, we headed into Cape Girardeau to return the U-Haul, and then we were on our way. We headed up towards St. Louis, so we could say goodbye to my parents. We hit some REALLY nasty weather near Crystal City, which slowed us down quite a bit. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as the people who were headed south, and were backed up for miles due to an accident on their side of the highway. We stopped by and saw my dad and my mom at work, and then hit the road again, to see my sister and her family in Kansas City.

Unfortunately, with the running late, we didn't get to see my nephew, since he had gone to bed before we arrived. But Sarah had saved us some dinner, which was super tasty. We sat and talked with her and Nathaniel for a while, and also saw Ben (Nathaniel's brother) briefly. Jerome commented after we left that you can tell that Sarah, Megan, and I are all sisters. He says we all talk the same--that our voices are similar, and that we use a lot of the same words and expressions. I'm not sure what this says about our family, but I don't think it's bad. :)

Day 2 (Wednesday, May 16) - Kansas City to Cheyenne... or Laramie...
Up bright and early again on Wednesday, because we had a long drive ahead of us. Theoretically, it should have been about a 9 hour drive. But due to me making a small wrong turn, plus stops, and chaos in Cheyenne, we were in the car almost 13 hours that day.

We drove north from Kansas City, headed for Iowa. We weren't in Iowa long, and then we headed into Nebraska. This is where I made the wrong turn, and we ended up going a little out of our way as we cruised through Omaha. Of course, after Omaha, Nebraska got VERY boring. There aren't even many billboards to break up the monotony. Nebraska is also a very wide state, which means it takes a long time to cross it.

Luckily, we found a couple of interesting things. In Kearney, Nebraska, we stopped at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, which is this big archway/museum built across the highway. It commemorates stuff like the '49ers, the Mormon Pioneers, and the people who traveled on the Oregon Trail. We took a whole lot of pictures there, which I haven't gotten off of my camera yet (and Jerome put his onto his computer, not mine).

We also stopped at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles, where Jerome took a TON of pictures. I took pictures of the vehicles that looked steam-punk-esque, and flowers, and a typewriter. I am a geek. :) He enjoyed this museum a whole lot more than me, but I did get to see some pretty neat stuff as well.

We eventually got to Cheyenne, which was where we hoped to stop for the night. The place was packed, unfortunately, and we couldn't find a hotel room. So we headed on to Laramie, and stopped at three hotels before finding a fourth hotel that had ONE room left. We took it. It was WAY more room than we needed, but we just wanted to sleep at that point.

Day 4 (Thursday, May 17) - Laramie to Boise
Thursday was supposed to be our longest day on the road, at an estimated 10 hours. As it turned out, Wednesday was actually longer, because we were only in the car for 12 hours on Thursday.

We started out in Wyoming, which was growing increasingly boring as we moved across the state. Traveling on I-80, most people go through a tunnel... but not us. We ended up driving PAST the tunnels on a business highway, because we had stopped for lunch in the town near the tunnels. I was bummed, because I LIKE tunnels. I kept hoping for more tunnels later on, but no such luck. :(

We dipped briefly into Utah, where we discovered that the whole state must be a construction zone. I don't think there was more than a few miles of highway NOT under construction.

Then it was on to Idaho, which was a boring mix of Nebraska and Wyoming, especially because there was really nothing to do or see. Our highlight of the day was stopping in a little town called Jerome, where we went to Wal-Mart and bought bathing suits. :) We finally arrived in Boise, and I insisted on sitting in the pool for just a little while. It was in the 80s in Boise, so the water was pretty decent, but got cold after a bit. At any rate, I felt much better after sitting in the pool.

Day 5 (Friday, May 18) - Boise to Seattle
Started out a little later than usual, because our estimation on time for this day of driving was about 8 hours. We decided that arriving in Seattle at rush hour was a horrible plan, so we slept a little later and then took a few stops on the way.

Our first stop was in Oregon, at a museum that claimed to be an Oregon Trail museum. We had two options in that town... one claimed to be a museum, and the other was an interpretive center. I picked the museum, cuz it sounded more historical. Boy, was I wrong. It was basically a little small town museum, with very little of interest. Mostly, I looked at old boots and desks and said "ooh, I want that." The interpretive center probably would have been the better choice. Ah well.

The next stop we made was in Washington, near Yakima, at the Yakama Cultural Center (or something like that). It was a really quiet museum, and somehow I felt a little weird being there, as though it was designed more for people of the tribes represented there to visit.

At any rate, our delaying tactics worked well, and we got to Seattle around 6 p.m., but not before first stopping in a little town that had PILES OF SNOW!!!!! This was when I realized that my shorts were a poor choice for Washington. :) We ran into a bit of traffic coming into Seattle, but that was because the Mariners had a home game that night.

We drove around for a bit, looking for an apartment that we were thinking about seeing on Saturday, and ultimately deciding that we didn't like the neighborhood it was in. So we headed for the hotel, where I started making a list of apartments that we could go see instead.

And that ends the exciting excursion. Stay tuned for other exciting developments, like whether or not we will get the apartment that we want! Waiting for a phone call on that this morning!

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