Thursday, October 20, 2011

Like hitting a concrete wall at 80 mph!

Before I begin, I want to say happy "12th" birthday to our son Brandyn... it was on this day in 1999 that he had the terrible crash that almost claimed his life... we are so glad you are here Brandyn and we are proud of you and what you have accomplished since that tragic day!

Wednesday, 19 October

Wow.  Coming back to reality is tough...  The pile of mail was incredible (thanks Cindy), and getting used to our own house was kind of weird.  I went to Chang's with Tyler and dad today... then I spent some time visiting with mom and dad... Jack and Ty came too.  Jack still is warming back up... when he came over to our house for a few minutes today, it seemed to stimulate his memories... I think grandma is OK now.  I had to spend some time on the phone today straightening out some insurance issues... really Safeco... you think it would take $515K to rebuild my house on the same piece of ground!!!  Tonight I spent a couple hours looking through a large box of old photos that my dad had... it is awesome now that I know who these folks are!

Well, speaking of people and names, we promised you a fun blog tonight... during our road trip, we started taking photos of signs, buildings, and structures that had names that matched, (or were close enough to a match), to family members and our special friends... we could not find everyone, so if your name is not here, it is not because we don't love you!  We will try it again on the next trip.  This turned out to be quite fun.

Good Luck...

Something ironic about this...


My sister's name...

 Close enough...

 A little gratuitous...

Watch out Jessi... he has been watching you...

There you have it... see how much fun you can have on a road trip if you really try!  We love all of you and we can't wait to hit the road again as the Excellent Adventure continues to unfold!

Scotty and Deb

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 57 - The journey is over... for now.

Tuesday, 18 October

We slept in this morning because we knew we only had five hours to travel today.  We had a great lunch in the Swan Dining Room of the Grand Geiser Hotel before starting the final leg of our journey.  The hotel is amazing and we highly recommend it to anyone who wants a romantic turn-of-the-century experience... and they treat you like royalty the whole time you are there... and it is inexpensive!

As we drove up the Columbia River Gorge, we began to marvel again at how beautiful Oregon is and it started to feel good to be coming home...

 We took the scenic loop of Highway 30 to the Rowena Overlook...

 This is an HDR composite comprised of nine separate exposures, looking north to Washington.

Debra took this photo of the beautiful fall colors in the gorge.

Before we finished the last mile to our home, we stopped to see if Jack still remembers his grandparents... he would not come to us at first, but he warmed up to grandma pretty quick... grandpa will need more time.  However, seeing him meant that we saw everyone of our nine grandkids while on this road trip!  Jessica and Tyler invited us for dinner and we ate a wonderful Italian dish before heading home.

As we pulled into our driveway tonight, our neighbor Katelyn was waiting in her window to greet us as we got out of the car.  She was so excited to see us, so we went and visited with her and her mom for a few minutes before going inside.

Deb and I both said that this was probably the best road trip we have had so far... we had so much fun visiting family, and researching our family history.  We have many stories to tell and look forward to sharing them with our kids.

It is hard to believe it is over, but it is great to be home in our own bed and able to take our things out of a drawer, instead of a suitcase!  Tomorrow we have a special blog treat... keep watching.

Day 56 - Destination - Grand Geiser Hotel

Monday, 17 October

We left Lehi this morning about 11:30 Utah time and headed towards Idaho.  We decided to take the usual route home because the alternate route would have taken too long.

Along the way, we decided to take a side trip through Rupert, Idaho. They have a great museum and an historic town square.  The theater on the left is an Art-Deco style buildiing and was just completely restored.

Keeping a road trip tradition alive, we decided to stop in Baker City, Oregon for the night.  We stayed at the awesome Grand Geiser Hotel.  We had a wonderful Prime Rib dinner in the dining room (under the largest stained glass window in the Pacific Northwest.  Then we stayed in one of the Grand King Suites... #314.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 55 - Last full day in Utah.. Going home tomorrow...

Sunday, 16 October

Deb went to church with the kids this morning, while Haylee and I stayed home because we were feeling a little under the weather.  We listened to one of the Saturday sessions of General conference that I needed to catch up on.

After church, Grandma Deb and Haylee went for a walk so Haylee could take some photos of flowers for a project she is working on for school...

I think she did very well for a first grader!

While they were gone, I got some one-on-one with my grandson Oliver.  He is an awesome little guy (OK not so little), and it is going to be tough leaving him and our other grandkids that we have had so much fun with! 

Brandyn called again today from the US National Cemetery in Normandy, France.  We talked for quite awhile about the experience he was having.  We decided that we were going to go back over there together next year.  I will look forward to that very much.

Deb and I are leaving for home in the morning.  We are not sure yet which route we are going to take or whether we will take one or two days to make the trip.  We will decide in the morning after reviewing the weather conditions for all the options... I should not have washed the car yesterday... someday I will learn! 

We are really looking forward to seeing our Oregon family and friends again, but will miss everyone here and in Tennessee so much... it has been a fantastic journey.