Road Trip

Springfield, IL

After moving out, we started our drive in my 1999 Subaru outback, which some doubted could make the journey. First stop was Springfield, IL to drop off Spot with my Mom. We had a day or two to relax and spend time with family before beginning to drive again. I decided with the good weather and some time to burn it was a good idea to introduce Erin to the IL State Fair. It is kind of a big deal around Springfield. Erin was excited to eat some fair food, and short of an amusement park ride didn’t seem to impressed, but it did help us get 20,000 steps in after not moving much from a day in the car.

I think we covered fair food pretty well, obviously there was far to much to eat in a couple hour visit.

State Fair Food and Drinks:

Brazilian street nachos
Cajun Shrimp on a stick
Lemon Shake ups
Chocolate covered bacon on a stick
Red Velvet Funnel Cake
Home made Root Beer
Hand made Ice Cream
(Erin combined the hand made ice cream into a cup of the home made root beer for a delicious Root beer float)
Chocolate Milk Shake
Salt water taffy
Various Beers

Erin saw the butter cow, which I think she enjoyed mostly because she liked the movie butter which is on Netflix.

The famous butter cow
The famous butter cow

We topped off the food with a trip to Magic Kitchen, which is the best Thai food I’ve had. We even got in a short hike with Spot.



Then it was time to get back in the car and drive to Oklahoma City. We wanted to see Erin’s family that is in OK, before making our way to Denver. It was nice to have a bit more down time between the driving and get in some swimming with the hot weather. We also had some nice home cooked meals which we both are pretty sure we will start to miss once we get traveling, making a dinner with family a special treat. We skipped riding horses in OK as the temperature was reaching 100 degrees, but we still got to spend some time with the chickens. Including the farm famous hunger game chicken which was the sole survivor of last year’s coyote chicken raid.


Then we back on the road for the final leg of our road trip. A long and boring drive to Denver goes off without a hitch. Some people questioned if the Subarua would make it, but the proof is in the arrival. We also just fell short of having the car reach 80K miles, which is pretty funny for a car from 1999. Sadly after arriving in Denver it had some minor issues, so I can’t brag about the car too much.

We spent time in Denver visiting with Erin’s family and seeing my Brother. We also ran a bunch of final errands and checked of remaining to-do items before leaving the country. After visiting 3 DMVs we managed to get CO licenses and change our residency. Lots of time was spent on the phone with banks, insurance, and others to get various accounts in line. Each night in CO, we were treated to home cooked meals by our family which was wonderful.

We did manage to melt some records I was trying to bring to Shawn for his birthday. I guess a true moment of it is the thought that counts as we put on each record to quickly see it was unplayable as it had warped in the car, life lessons.


Thanks goes out to everyone who put us up or met up with us along the way. The road trip while a bit stressful as we tried to finish preparing for our trip, but it went very well and it was wonderful to get to see so many friends and family along the way.

Farewell DC

As our trip begins it is time to say goodbye to DC. My loving wife Erin bought tickets for a visit to the top of the Washington monument the day before we left. We had always wanted to see that view and after the earthquake, we were worried it wouldn’t¬†re-open before we left, so it seemed to be a very appropriate way to say goodbye to the city.

The last few days of packing put us in a pretty good place in terms of our travel bags and being packed up to move to CO. We said  our goodbyes to many friends and stacked our boxes high.

We put up our no parking signs for our moving Pod to arrive. We have placed no parking signs to move in DC three times. All three times they were ignored by locals who really just want to park. This has required us to hunt out neighbors and strangers on the street to please move the cars and to fill all the spots with trash bins and people, and to manually monitor the curb so the Pod can be placed. We had two no parking signs ripped down,  and we caught one neighbor in the act. Why does DC hate people who attempt to move in and out so much? I may never know.

So with the Pod safely at the curb, and boxes ready to go we had one last little problem, rain!

DC was set for a storm that would cause record flooding the day we were scheduled to have movers help us load our pod. Luckily, there were some nice breaks in the weather that allowed us to load without all our stuff getting soaked. Also, Bookstore movers did an awesome job helping us load things and keep them as dry as possible. They brought extra people and would stack boxes and things by the door when it was raining hard and run everything out when we had gaps in the weather. I really appreciated their work and give them the highest recommendation.

Bookstore movers, rocking it!
Bookstore movers, rocking it!

With the goodbyes said, our stuff loaded up, the car packed full. We took a moment to celebrate with a last pot pie dinner accompanied by the last of our garden tomatoes. Then we hopped in the car with a very confused dog to start our journey.

Thanks, DC, you have been good to us. We will miss so many people who were a part of our lives in the city and will always recall our time here with fond memories.

To ease the sadness, I took Erin to the IL state fair in Springfield, but that story will have to be saved for another post.

Books, Pie Pans, Don’t Ask Why

Books, Pie Pans, Don't Ask Why
Books, Pie Pans, Don’t Ask Why

Moving completely overwhelms me. I look around the house and cannot even begin to think about where to start.

My husband handles things much better. He is an engineer and he packs like an engineer.  He picks up the things and puts them into the boxes and then picks up more things, and puts them into the boxes, in an effort to perfectly fill every available space in a box, like tetris. And so our boxes are not categorized by type of item or room in the house, but by items that fit, perfectly, together. The rocks from our outdoor heater are not packed with the gardening supplies, but with picture frames. Thankfully, he also uses very specific labeling, so that we will know to look for the vacuum bags in the box with the winter clothes.

Books and coffee mugs
Books and coffee mugs

Dan also had a couple of extra days to pack, while I was still finishing up the week at work, and so, consequently, he has done more than his fair share, and our conversations go like this:

“Where is the spatula?”

“Oh, you mean the long-skinny? It’s packed.”

This is what our house looks like now.


Shots Shots Shots Shots Shots

Getting a bunch of shots does make your arms sore. But that is WAY better than getting polio.

Erins ShotsErins Shots 2

Erin got:

  • Meningococcal
  • Polio
  • Typhoid… One less way we¬†can die after we ford the river in Oregon trail.
  • Rabies

Kaiser Permanent Copay = $20 (high-five for having Kaiser)


Dan's Shots


Dan Got:

  • Meningococcal
  • Polio
  • Hep-A (Erin had already gotten¬†that vaccine)
  • Typhoid (oral — he’s a wimp)

Washington Travel Clinic (among the best self-pay prices in the region — most US health insurance does not cover travel vaccinations) = $430