November 21

Movin’ on Up – You Can’t Get There From… Anywhere!

After a night (well, a few hours actually) of listening to the refrigerator and heater/AC unit tick (we didn’t wanna sleep anyway, right?), we crawled out of bed to get ready for our trip home.

Another 12 year old picked us up in his mom’s taxi (that’s the only explanation) and we headed off to the airport. He was a very nice taxi-boy, and had even worked in Phoenix for a couple of months last summer, during which he says he lost 80 pounds and promised to never return. He dropped us off at the airport right behind the only other car going to the airport (this is how horror movies start) and helped us carry our bags and boxes in to the counter where we DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT IN LINE!! (did we mention the horror movie?)

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You have a 50/50 shot at getting the right gate.

We knew we were at the right terminal, because there is no left/wrong/other terminal.  Small airport indeed.  At this point we were wondering if the Cessna was going to be too full for us to catch the flight out and wondered if Lowell was gonna come walking in from the hangar.

After speeding through security (again, no line!) things got really crazy! The food court/newstand was clear at the opposite end of the gates from where our plane was… and we needed some breakfast desperately! Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to get from the first gate to the last (ie from 1 to 2).

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all these planes lined up just waiting to take us home!

When flying standby, you have to watch the flights to see which you might be able to catch, and have the patience and schedule to jump to a different destination/time in order to get where you’re going.  We caught the early flight because it looked really good getting into Denver, and pretty good getting from Denver to Phoenix.  And sho’ ’nuff!  We caught the flight (on a real plane even!) to Denver and even got to sit together.  (newlyweds, am I right?)

Then things went crazy.

Somewhere over Utah the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed.  If not for the courage.. oh wait.

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the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane

The flight got bumpy and therefore Dee’s arm got bruised. Little planes make Cindy nervous, especially when they don’t stay at a consistent altitude.  The weather in SanFran was definitely not the same weather that we left in Denver, but you gotta figure that they’re used to rain and fog and clouds and stuff like that in Seattle San Francisco.  We landed safely at Terminal 3 and hopped the shuttle to Terminal 1 to catch the flight back home.  Yay us!

We really love rain.  I mean love. rain.  Which explains why we live in Phoenix, M-I-Right???  We found a $50 sandwich and a $12 bottle of water and sat to stare out the window and watch the scenery that we never get in the ol’ hometown and wait for our flight.

As in most airports, finding power for your iPad, iPhone, iMac, iAndroid, iLaptop, iVacuumCleaner (or whatever other electronic gadget you have) is very much like fighting the crowds at Walmart on Black Friday.  We found this airport to be surprisingly different.  There were even a few seats right in front of the little status board (which mostly says “you’ll never get on this flight”) that had power attached to the bench, and those seats were mostly empty.  Crazy!!

What we didn’t know is that those seats were mostly empty because the people whose overly large behinds would normally be in them were standing in line at the “customer service” counter (draw your own conclusions as to why that phrase is in quotes) because their flights had been delayed.

Being the savvy standby flyers that we are, we keep an eye on the aforementioned status board, another on the united app on our iDevice, and another on the united.com employee (or family thereof) page.  Imagine our confusion (aka outrage) when the flight to Phoenix disappeared from the app and the website.

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Canceled or Cancelled?? Doesn’t matter… You’re not going ANYWHERE!!

The empty seats started making sense.

We started looking for other flights that might get us back to our abandoned cats before thanksgiving, but “canceled” was quickly becoming the word of the day.  We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t fly when it rains???

As we’ve done before, we started looking for alternative routes to home.  Unfortunately, this time there was not a route through New Jersey, or anywhere  else, that would get us home.  And when flights start canceling, future flights start filling up.  Out options were to camp out in SF for the weekend, or drive. Seriously, the flights were full for the next couple of days.

Remember 9/11?  I remember hearing about people at a conference in Utah who actually BOUGHT cars to be able to get back home because the airports were closed and the rental agencies were out of cars.  Dee was ready to purchase. Cindy would have gone for it but Dee was only ready to purchase a scooter.  🙂

We finally found a flight to LA, where we figured we could rent a car to drive back home.  So back on the bus to terminal 1.  And… guess who we (ok… Dee) sat by (across the aisle from)!!!!

You’ll never guess!

131120 Rexburg (9)And since you’ll never comment to play the guessing game (:-/)… it was Megan Price from… well from everything… but most noticeably from Grounded for Life and Rules of Engagement.

She was very awesome and gracious and famous and stuff.  🙂  She also was tired cuz she worked all night (we know that cuz we bonded on the bus ride), so we settled for the subtle stalker photo you see here.

We actually did catch the flight to LA, probably cuz so many people missed their connecting flights in to SanFran cuz of the drizzle, and only had to sit on the runway for 30 minutes before taking off!  (yay?)

As soon as we landed we started mowing people down so we could get to the Hertz rental place.  Dee was in no mood to buy a car by this time.  As usual, each rental agent who finished with a customer immediately went on break or retired and left us standing there wishing we had chosen any other agency. (yes, another :-/ )

131120 Rexburg (11)We passed on the all  the upgrades and extra insurance (which we’d totally love to get one of these days and just ruin a car) and ended up with the little red mini-SUV-crossover-wagon-wagon.

So in the pouring rain (which you can drive in but evidently can’t fly in) we headed off from LA to… Buckeye (there’s no abbreviation for Buckeye).  And 23 hours later, at about 2:30 AZ time, we made it home.

A rather rough ride home, but it was such a fun drive up, and it’s so good to see Dee’s home and family and to see Stormy and Spenser settling in up there in the land of the icy/windy spud.  Right now it’s time for us to get some much deserved sleep, and to start looking for cheap direct flights for our next visit.  Anybody have Lowell’s number?

November 19

Movin’ On Up – To Some Downtime

‘I woke up to the sound of pouring rain’

131119 Rexburg (5)That’s a song by Skid Row, for all you non-metalheads. It’s also what happened here in Rexburg. The Springhill Suites were pretty sweet, and we got a room on the 4th (top) floor away from all the ice machines and elevators and civilization and it was very quiet and relaxing.  And without having to get up early and hit the road, we got to sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. It was almost like being on vacation! Except without the beaches and waves lapping gently at our feet.

131119 Rexburg (2)For the first time on the trip, we didn’t have frost on the truck windows (yes, that again), because it was raining and blowing.  Strange how we are so much farther north now, but the weather is frost-free.  We only had to travel 2 states away to find the rain, but find it we did!  🙂

 

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such cuteness!

Today we got to have some non-travel time, and spent the day playing with Hudson and packing and repacking all of our stuff so we could catch a flight back home tomorrow.  We picked up some extra stuff along the way and might need that moving truck to get back home!  Fortunately, we get to check a couple of bags each for the flight (thanks Noah!), so we won’t have to sell our plasma to cover any airline baggage fees.

We got our resting and packing and playing done, delivered the truck to the Budget place, and headed into Idaho Falls to find a hotel.  There are 2 flights out tomorrow… 5:35 am and 1:33 pm… both through Denver.  So guess which flight we’re trying?  :-/  The joys of standby.  But hey!  The price is right, Bob!

We checked into the Super 8 because they were close to the airport and had free transport and we figured if we had to get up in the middle of the night to get to the airport we were only going to be napping anyway.  We requested a pickup time of 4:00 for our free ride to the airport; gotta be there at least 90 minutes early for the flight, right?   The 12 year-old behind the counter kinda shrugged and said “I don’t think the airport is open then.”

Say whaaaaat?

Ya.  The airport doesn’t open until 4:30.  I didn’t even know airports closed!  Evidently it’s not a very big airport.

131119 Rexburg (4)We headed off to Applebee’s for dinner, figuring we’d spend our recently aquired gift-card (thank you Garners!) only to find Applebee’s closed for construction.  So off we go into the wild blue (named because the crazy wind is so cold here it turns your skin blue… or maybe that’s just Cindy’s new jeans…) and had a wonderful dinner at the Pelican Club Sandpiper Restaurant.  Very tasty!  I highly recommend you drive there if you’re in Idaho Falls.  But don’t walk or you’ll freeze!!

Tonight we’re packed away in our SuperRoom, with an alarm set for 3:40 am.  Good night Idaho!

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November 18

Movin’ On Up – Rollin, Rollin, Rollin


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Phoenix has some of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet (or at least in Arizona), but there’s nothing like a beautiful sunrise over the snow-covered Wasatch mountains!  Here’s a crisp morning sunrise over the gas station outside our motel window.

And speaking of windows, we found the frost all settled on our windshield again this morning.  We knew you’d want a picture of that, so here ya go.

131118 Rexburg (5)In Phoenix, if you leave your truck running while you pop into Circle K for 12 seconds, someone will drive off with it. Especially if you leave your child in it.  But here in Tremonton our running truck was just one of a line of trucks idling in the parking lot while the windows clear.  Ice-scraper?!  Psssh… who needs it?

And that’s why we don’t have frost in Phoenix.  Because of the crime rate.

131118 Rexburg (8)First on the agenda this morning was a trip to the Pie Dump.  This restaurant is a long-standing tradition for anyone who grew up in the Tremonton/Garland area.  Dee fondly remembers all the classes he sluffed while sitting at the Dump eating a small plate (it’s a food item, not an actual plate) and drinking a few Mt Dews… (sluff is a Utah word for ditching school.  Gosh!)

 

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3 hots and a bowl. There’s about 2 lbs of butter in there…

We always try to grab some foods at the Pie Dump when we’re in Town, but for the past few years it’s been kinda tough.  They’ve either been closed for the County Fair (I know, right??) or for cleaning because school was about to open.   But this time we didn’t even tell Mom we were coming into town, so the Dump didn’t have any advance notice and we caught them off guard.  And open.

So some of Dee’s fam, Ben, Becky and Mom, joined us for all the rolls and most of the gravies.  So good!

The next mandatory stop is at MB Meat Packing to get some jerky.  I highly recommend the Teriyaki, Saddlebag, Colorado… oh what the heck.  Just get some of each!

We bid a fond farewell to the… the… (googling) beehive state and headed North towards our final destination.  Actually back home is our final destination, but you know what we mean.

131118 Rexburg (38)131118 Rexburg (3)We made it into Rexburg and to the Townhouse there at the UI (that’s what all us hip cats are calling BYU-Idaho) at about 2, which was really good timing because there were some guys walking home from class and the campus code forces them to help whenever they see freezing people unloading trucks.  We were very glad to see them show up, too, because heavy lifting really isn’t in our repertoire.  (Dee had to look that word up twice!)

We did get them all moved in and some of the furniture arranged and a few boxes unpacked and the TV hooked up (that should have been done first IMHO).  And now we’re off to the uber-chic Springhill Suites for a nice night  of R&R.  (resting and Rexburging)

So while we sleep, enjoy these pictures of our trip and try not to think that the scenery looks just like Utah only colder.

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so…. colddddd…
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Idaho? YOU daho!
(never gets old…)
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Pushin’ 82! Headed down a really big hill.

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That’s all folks!

November 17

Movin’ On Up – To Thurmonton

Tremonton looks exactly the way it did last time I saw it!  Well, in the dark anyway.  We’ll see how it looks tomorrow when it’s light outside.

Speaking of light outside, we woke up in Holbrook this morning.  Not really all that astounding when you consider that’s where we went to sleep last night.  It’s worth mentioning again how much we liked this hotel.  Very quiet.  Very convenient to the freeway.  Very many plugs.  Very good breakfast.  If we ever find ourselves in Holbrook again… well we’ll probably just keep driving.

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We’re not in Phoenix anymore…

We loaded up all the suitcases and headed out to the truck, only to find it completely unusable.  There was some kind of white ‘film’ over the windshield… very strange.  We started the truck up and headed into the hotel to call AAA and to get some breakfast.  Yay automatic pancake machine!!  It was very cold outside, so we contemplated using the pancakes as hand warmers while we went to check out the truck.  By the time we finished the free sausages and eggs and apples and muffins (and did I mention the pancakes?) the white stuff on the windshield was gone.  So then we were too!

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Choose your path carefully.
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Welcome to Utah! Set your watches back 20 years…

 

There’s not really a lot to say about the drive today… cuz it was driving through Northern AZ and Southern Utah.  Hey look… there’s another rock.  :-/  If it weren’t for the sign, you’d never know you went from one state to another.

 

OK.  We have to talk.  How is it that every house/trailer/shack/outhouse on the rez has a satellite dish?  I mean every structure.  Every.one.

131118 Rexburg (15)So that was our excitement for the morning.  We did pass a few scenic views, which we’ll hopefully remember to post in this story.  And… we got passed by a truck exactly like ours.  But it was probably empty.  And turbocharged.

The fun part of the trip was coming down through the canyon from price.  Not fun because Dee had to make an emergency roadside stop ((blush)), but because we got to play in the snow!  yay snow!  And by play I mean walk through on our way to the little convenience store.  Not everybody can make emergency roadside stops.   The snow on the railroad tracks is SO pretty.  So of course we didn’t get any pictures of that for you.  We suggest you google “snow covered rails”.

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It’s a Kay guitar, kay?
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A boy and his mom.

We rolled into Tremonton after dark and headed straight over to Dee’s Mom’s house.  We didn’t even call. Evidently she saw us on facebook, cuz she wasn’t really surprised to see us at the door.  Such a stalker, mom is!

 

Becky came over to say “hey” and we played catch with the dog (you HAVE to if you’re going to be at mom’s house), and Dee picked up Dad’s guitar and amp to take back with us.  That’s the guitar that Becky and Dee learned to guitar with, and the amp is the same one that Dee played bass through in his very first band.  (memories… light the corners of my mind…)  Remember the scene from Spinal Tap?  You know… these go to 11?  Well it’s right here.

So… Dee’s Dad’s amp goes to 12.  Oh ya.

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These go to 12…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While checking into the hotel in Tremonton, we got the usual “from the Ted Hathaway Hathaways?”.  Hathaways are kind of a big deal here.  People know us.  Well at least the people checking us in did.  She was the mom of a couple of guys Dee went to school/scouts with a long time ago when he was younger.

Also while we were checking in, the dude in front of us was talking on the phone (not being a jerk,  it was a legitimate call to find out why his company card wasn’t working) and said he was in “Thermonton”.  Never heard it pronounced like that before.  And I’ll bet it’s gonna be hard for whoever was on the other end of the call to find on a map! (hint.. there’s an app for that.  Find My Friends)

So now we’re all checked into the Western Inn, ready to collapse after a day of sitting up very straight.  In the morning we’re going for hot rolls and gravy (yum!) at the Pie Dump.  You’ll have to check in tomorrow to hear/read about that.

Goodnight all!

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We’re having a ball!
(yes, that just happened)
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The mountains are so gorgeous!
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One of the many rocks in Utah
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Aptly named…
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Dee’s hands at 10 and 2. And 8. And 4. And pretty much all day.
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Snow!!
November 16

Movin’ On Up – Hit the Road!

I’m a truck drivin man. ~ Dee Hathaway

Before we get into that, you should know that in this little adventure we are helping Stormy and Spenser (and little Hudson, the cutest baby boy EVER!) move from Pima, AZ to Rexburg ID. Why you ask? Well because it’s the start of winter and the perfect time to move to the great white north.

Well really because Spenser is going to BYU Idaho, which used to be Rick’s but the church decided that sounded more like a grocery store than a college so they had to change the name.

So in preparation for the trip we reserved a moving truck and packed our suitcases and fretted over who we should get to house-sit and whether or not we’d have to catch a flight through New Jersey to get from ID back to AZ (we’re still not sure). The plan was to take the truck to Pima today, load up tonight, hit the road in the A.M. in the morning (wait… what?) and show up in snow-potato country sometime Monday or Tuesday, depending on how many hills there are between start and finish.

Now you’re all caught up and we can start the story (no, we haven’t started yet)

We dropped Gracie off at Cindy’s Ma’s house early this morning (9 is early for a Saturday) and stopped to pick up the truck.
IMG_0040 Since we couldn’t take it with us, we dropped Cindy’s car off at the airport, which is convenient cuz then we’ll have a way to get home after this trip. 🙂 While Cindy drove around looking for a parking spot in long-term-short-term parking, Dee sat in front of the airport in a large, idling moving van. Could pretty much feel the laser sights from Homeland Security the whole time.

After averting an airport shutdown, we headed off to Pima. Probably our last trip to Pima. Not all that sad about it. Just so you know, a 16 foot moving truck rides like a truck, and of course we had headwind the whole way. (feel bad for us yet?)

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Definitely not like making the trip in the racer! We even got passed by a semi. Dee may never recover.

We posted some very hilarious updates on Facebook, and will keep doing that for the trip. So if you’re not friends with us on Facebook you’re only getting half the story and it sucks to be you right now. 🙂

The plan was for Pima peeps to show up and load up at 4, but we got in a bit early so we watched Spenser and Stormy’s dad load up the truck (we’re such good supervisors). As we were sitting around in a house with no food or furniture we really realized our fatal flaw of failing to think about what we were going to do all evening. In Pima. With the TV loaded in the truck. In Pima.

So we decided to head out tonight and hopefully make it to Holbrook, thereby putting us on schedule to be back in my hometown with fam for tomorrow night (yay!)

Cindy and I headed out early (even earlier than originally planned) cuz of the whole truck full of stuff climbing hills, plus that got us out of cleaning the house. 😉

And headwind again. I blame it on the hair and the need to always have a fan gently blowing the hair back. Don’t hate me.

IMG_0044The trip to Holbrook had it’s ups and downs… and we went a lot faster on those rare occasions when there were downs. The truck did really well… cruising along in 2nd gear at a steady 34mph for way too much of the trip!

We have settled into the Travelodge in Holbrook, which is an awesome place right on Route 66 most noted for it’s abundance of plugs in which to charge our multitude of electronics. Seriously… 4 plugs above each nightstand. Crazy.

And now we must head off to sleep because we’re going to hit the road early. Not crazy early like some people we’re traveling with cuz that’s just ridiculous. And in the morning… I’m making waffles!

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Pima in our rearview…
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Get your kicks… on I-40. No wait! Route 66.