Archive for St. Louis

East of the Mississippi

After our stop in Broson, we headed to the metro St. Louis area.  We were officially East of the Mississippi, and on our last leg to Michigan.

Before arriving at our home, we stopped at a friend’s house.  James had worked with Blake at Scott AFB back in the day, and now we were going to park at his house for the night and spend time with him and his wife.  We had planned on having a poker party there but other things came up.  That was fine enough because then we got to go to Aroy Thai with Blake, Alisha, and Eric.  Yum yum! 🙂

It was a short and quick visit, but it’s always nice to reconnect with our STL friends when we are traveling.

We also enjoyed the green grass!!

And loading up the dolly one last time!!

When we got home home home – Valentine got to show off her special new trick to her Grandpa.  “Nice to meet you!”

The Journey to AZ (as told by Jen)

Day #1
We got a late start because we packed the RV and visited with family until late afternoon.  We finally got

on the road around 4 or 5pm.  We had to stop at the RV center in Green Bay to pick up tires for our trailer,

a cover for a vent (that we broke by running into the limbs of a tree), and once we checked the trailer we

needed to stop for some hooks for our emergency strap.  The emergency strap was dragging on the ground for

80 miles and the hooks flew off.  Not only that but the tire straps started to shred.  How our van didn’t

detach, I have no idea.  But I am thankful it didn’t!!!

We stopped somewhere north of Bloomington IL at a rest area and slept there.

Day #2
James was up around 5am and got us back on the road before Val and I even crawled out of bed.  We made it to

our friend’s house in time for Thai food with a group of friends from STL and set up camp in front of his

house.  I don’t think he appreciated the awning and lawn chairs coming out, but good discussions sure were

happening outside.

Most of the time, I sat inside the RV and watched Val take her nap.  I also listened to

Matt Monarch’s interview with Shazzie about natural parenting and raising children on raw diets.  It’s so

incredible that you can be pretty much anywhere and still keep up with all of your normal technology.

We had a late night that night because we went to Whole Foods and we went out to eat at the Macaroni Grille

in Brentwood, but we were all happy campers once we got back to the RV.  It was so nice to catch up with

friends in the STL area.  Some we missed (like Rebecca)!

Day #3
We drove through Missouri and Oklahoma on the turnpikes and hills.  Up and down all day…. drive drive

drive.  We made it to Oklahoma City to sleep where we were just going to eat some spaghetti in our RV and

then keep driving a little while, but we all passed out.  James went in the back to watch YouTube videos on

how to dump, I meditated on the couch, and Val was asleep in the pack and play.  I woke up at 1am to her

whining for milk.  She never sleeps away from me, so I was totally disoriented by the whole experience.  I

guess we were tired!!!

Day #4
We got on the road and made it through Oklahoma, Texas and started into New Mexico.  We stopped at a

Cherokee Diner where James had a buffalo burger and I had a buffalo steak and eggs breakfast.  We also

visited the trading post where we walked around for a long time looking at all of the cool trinkets and we

got to see some buffalo outside of the trading post before we kept driving for the day.

We drove through Albuquere at night, which was beautiful.  I’d love to see the city in the daylight and

spend some time there, but watching the lights of the city come on for miles was awesome as it was.  We

slept in a rest area and I woke up to a little palm tree and a mountain out my door.  Life on the road sure

was never boring!  The sights were something!

Day #5
We stopped at the meteor crater early in the day, where we had to pay $30 to see a big hole in the earth.

It was cool – I will give it that, but $30?!?!

We got to the KOA in Flagstaff that day and set up camp before heading to the Grand Canyon for big hole #2

of the day! 🙂  It was Grand!  We walked around for quite some time, got some pictures of the park, and

asked the Ranger about the hike down.  Hopefully we’ll be able to do that someday soon!

We ate dinner out, grabbed some things from the grocery store, and went back to the Angry Vegan to crash for

the night.  It rained on and off and it was pretty windy, so I didn’t sleep the greatest but it seemed like

the rest of the household did.

Day #6
We drove DOWN to Sedona, which was by far the scariest drive of my life.  Mountains, switch backs, rv towing

a van, looking over cliffs.  Yikes!  Part way down we had to stop because our brakes were smoking.  (RV

driving in mountains for dummies should’ve been purchased before that drive!!)  We stopped again to cool off

the RV a few miles ahead at Sliding Rock.

It was a park where the small waterfall goes down a rock that

looks like a natural slide.  It is very beautiful with the red rocks, big mountains around the edges of

view, and small cacti that I could look at close up.  My first experience with cactus! 🙂

Once we got to Sedona we had to be creative about parking at the Chocolatree.  It’s a raw, organic, vegan

place.  This made the Angry Vegan a little less angry. 😉 We got inside and they were closed still, but the

lovely girl working put together some great things for us.  Tropical smoothies, veggie sushi, pumpkin spice

pie, chocolate pie, and chocolate coconut cups.  SO AMAZING!

We finally arrived at our friends’ house in the early evening and we ate some awesome enchiladas (see how

the trip revolves around food, driving, and sleeping??) and talked before retreating to their driveway to

sleep in the RV.

That was our journey here.  Be sure to check back for more updates about visiting a town called Bisbee,

pictures of the remodeled (and lived in) RV, and what there is to do for fun in a dry, barren land with lots

of big hills. :0)