Sunday, October 9, 2011

The rest of our trip to North Carolina

I've been busy and blogging lately is a chore, so I don't do it. So much has happened and I need to catch up! First, I will finish with the rest of our trip to North Carolina. So after we left the campground in Kentucky, we drove all day and made it to the Thousand Trails campground in Advance, North Carolina about 30 minutes before they closed the gates. It was dark and probably around 10PM. It was CRAZY humid even at that hour and we put the tent up with only the lights of our suburban. This is when we first saw fireflies! The kids went running around chasing them and trying to catch them. It was a little weird when I first saw them because I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. It almost looked as though someone was walking in the woods moving a flashlight back and forth. They were the coolest little bugs and we haven't seen any since! Bummer.

It was really hard to sleep with the humidity and we tried unzipping  all of the covers to reveal the screen to get a breeze - but there wasn't one. :(

 We packed up and drove straight to Fayetteville, North Carolina and stopped in at a realty office. Why? Because we were homeless and had nowhere to go and unpack after being on the road and living out of suitcases for 2 and 1/2 weeks. We looked at 2 houses that day, one that wasn't ready and was in the process of getting work done and the other smelled of animals and the garage was flooded (with carpet flooring) as the water heater was left on and running. That's all we had time for so we made our way to hotel....

Sunday, August 28, 2011


So I forgot to mention a strange experience I had at Carthage. The tour guide brought us to the first room on the main floor where food was prepared. I tried to pay attention to what he was saying but I got really dizzy and it felt like the floor was moving. I've had this happen a couple of times this summer where I get dizzy for a second, then it passes. But at Carthage, it didn't pass right away and it was very intense. I didn't know if I was going to black out or not and I almost said something to Anson, but it passed. Then when we were taken upstairs to the cell room, it was dark and there weren't any windows, I felt it again, but not as strong. As I walked into the room, I had to walk really slow and hold onto things and then lean against the wall as the tour guide spoke. Again I thought nothing of it.

When the tour was over and we were in the car talking about our experience, Anson Sr. said Ammon had whispered to him while in that first room (where I felt dizzy), that he had felt like the floor was moving. It turns out that we all had felt that! But me and Ammon were the only ones that felt it up in the cell room. I don't know what to make of it. I talked with my mom who had visited Carthage years ago and she said she never felt that.

After Carthage we drove a a few hours and stayed in a hotel right on the border of Illinois and Indiana. The boys thought it was okay to go to the fitness room at the hotel and let Ashton try and run 12mph on the treadmill. Here's the result:

That morning we took off and drove all day to a Thousand Trails campground in Park City, Kentucky. We had the worst time finding it, but once we did, we set up camp and the kids hopped in the pool.

It was so hot and humid that Anson and I jumped in too. It cooled us off and was very relaxing. We watched bats fly above us and the insects, bugs, crickets and whatever else came out at night chirped (or whatever bugs do)so loud it was almost hard to hear somebody next you talking. We saw a couple of them and they were HUGE! After we swam, we drove into town and ate dinner at Pizza Hut. Our server had an accent and she kept calling Anson Sr. sweetie and honey. She was young too. It's just the way they talk there but that would get really annoying! They were very pleasant and nice though.

On the way back from the bathroom,  Anson Jr. spotted this praying mantis. It was HUGE!

The next morning it was sooooooooo HOT & HUMID that after I showered and toweled dry, I would immediately get wet again. Now matter how much I toweled myself off, I would get wet again. It was so frustrating. It was the worst! After 30 minutes, I finally got dressed and we headed to North Carolina.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Our first stop in Illinois was to the LDS Visitors Center in Nauvoo and then up to the Nauvoo Temple. I got a ton of pictures of the Nauvoo temple but it was hard to get it at a good angle.


 It was 101 degrees while we were there and it was miserable. We walked into a few places like Brigham Youngs house, the print shop and John Brownings home, which were okay but the guides wanted to tell us every little detail about the history and on and on and on, and we were trying to get through as fast as we could because we wanted to make it to Carthage before it closed. Here's are some pics of the few things we saw. The boy's favorite - the home of John Browning - inventor of the machine gun and worlds greatest gun inventor! 

The Print shop where "The Times and Seasons" and "The Nauvoo Neighbor" was printed.


Before we headed out of town we stopped at the overpriced gift shop.

We headed to Carthage, a half hour away, and made it just minutes before the next tour started. The took us in a room and played a short video of Joseph Smith and then took out to the actual Jail. Our tour guide said that the jail had eventually been sold to a couple who bought it to convert to a house, and the one of the only original things left of the house were the doors. They kept the one with the bullet hole in it and allowed visitor's to come and look at it. The church eventually bought it and tried to restore it back to how it once was.

We were allowed to take pictures, but I felt weird doing it to be honest. I can't describe the feeling I had there, but I felt it as a sacred place and a place of reverence, not something that should be photographed. I was okay with taking pictures of the room itself, just not my family standing in front of the window where Joseph Smith fell to his death.

We saw this beautiful butterfly in the gardens as we were leaving.

Ashton picked this butterfly off the grill of our car and asked me to take his picture! Haha!

We got lost in some cornfields as we left Carthage and saw Children of the Corn!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So when we couldn't find a hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming we just kept driving and driving and driving. Anson wasn't tired and the kids just kept watching movies. Finally we pulled into a rest stop late at night/early morning somewhere in Nebraska. Anson took a cot out of the trailer and tried to sleep next to the car. It was so humid we had to roll the windows down, but it was too loud to sleep because we were right off the freeway and the very last vehicle before getting back onto the freeway, and whenever somebody drove by us (usually semi-trucks) it shook our car and was crazy loud and bright with their headlights! Nobody slept and Ashton complained and complained. I waited it out because I knew Anson was really tired, but he couldn't sleep either and got wet from being after that fiasco, we started the engine and kept driving.

I tried to stay awake, but dozed off a few times. We drove through most of Nebraska at night but it got really foggy and started messing with Anson's eyes, so once again, we pulled over off the freeway this time and drove down a gravel road a little way and pulled over next to some cornfields and tried to sleep there. I fell asleep a few times but kept getting woken up by cars zooming past us! I'm not sure how long we were there, but after a handful of cars zoomed by us, he decided to leave because he was afraid we were going to get hit. The sun was starting to come up and it was still a little foggy, but we continued to drive. This is the only picture I have of Nebraska. (Lovely, I know).


We drove for who knows how long and Anson got tired again, so we pulled off at another rest stop somewhere in Iowa. As soon as we stopped Anson hopped out of the car and started dry heaving. His body was exhausted. At this point it was really hot and the boys and I got out of the car so Anson could hop in the back seat to lay down and get some rest. We went under a gazebo with a picnic bench and people watched, went to the bathroom, walked around, and looked at a map. I tried to keep the boys occupied, but it was miserable outside and I was really tired. Finally Anson got out of the car because he couldn't sleep and we went to the nearest Marriott (friends and family discount) which was in Des Moines and checked in early around noon. Finally! I was a upset that Anson didn't book a hotel earlier, he was exhausted, I was exhausted and the boys were exhausted. His reasoning was - why pay for a hotel for only a few hours? It seemed like a waste of money if we got into one around midnight just to checkout at 11am. Whatever. Pay the hotel. So it was nice to check in early and relax the entire day. As soon as we got there, I took the kids swimming at the pool there so Anson would sleep. We got back to the room a couple of hours later and the bed looked so inviting that...I don't remember anything after that. I fell asleep.

The next morning we headed to Illinois!

Friday, August 19, 2011


We left Utah Saturday morning of July 30th with the intent to stay at a hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. When we got into town we called around and every hotel was booked due to a concert and a rodeo that night. We called up the KOA (Kampgrounds of America) to see how much a tent site would be and they quoted me $77!!! What?! That's how much a hotel would have been! Anyway, we went to a grocery store there in the area, stocked up on food, got dinner and got back on the road.

Before we left Wyoming we went to the Wyoming State Penitentiary, after we stopping for gas. It was just up the road and we figured, why not? The kids got to stretch, be goofy, and see some wildlife. That deer was right there on the front lawn of the Penitentiary and didn't budge.

Oh, I forgot to mention that when we first pulled off the highway and started heading into town we passed a car in the parking lot where two older kids were in the car waiting for an adult and the younger one, probably a 9-10 year old girl climbed on top of the car and her older brother maybe 12-13 got out and started yelling at her to get down, but she stayed up there. It was funny and my kids were like "Where are we"? Then on another street on the way to the hotel, two guys were standing in a parking lot in between cars facing the street and peeing! Who does that?! I guess the further east you go the weirder people get.

Here are some pics of Wyoming through the passenger side window going down the highway at 70mph!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


From Idaho, we headed to Magna, Utah to stay with my brother Josh and his family. We got there sometime around 4PM and Josh took us down to the Great Salt Lake where the kids braved the smell of sulfur and dead animal and went into the lake. We went back to Josh's, picked up JoAnna and went out to dinner.

The next morning we took the boys and headed to Temple Square and walked around all day looking at all we could in that short amount of time. We went to The Beehive House where Brigham Young lived, The Joseph Smith Memorial building, The Conference Center, the LDS Museum, and the Visitor's Center. We went back to Josh's, ate dinner and visited the rest of the night.