We've been spending the last couple of days getting back into our routine of work, gym and, well, more work. Sounds depressing, but it is nice to get back to a schedule. Our trip was a great trip! A lot of traveling aka driving, I calculated it out to be about 38 hours of traveling in the car. No wonder why Keif slept the entire time in the car.
Our first stop was Gilbert, AZ. That was a 6 hour drive from my house in Valley Center, CA. We stayed with my Aunt Rose and her family there. I hadn't seen them in years so it was really nice to visit with her. We met my cousins' daughters ages 2 and 6. The two year old, Sariah, sang her ABC's for us and the 6 year old, Breanna, demonstrated how much better she could say her ABC's. Daniel got a kick out of how much Sariah talked, we couldn't understand her, but she was so expressive with her hand movements and facial expressions.
Next we drove 10.5 hours to Sanford, CO. Sanford is home to my mother's parents and siblings. Daniel has never met my maternal grandparents, so this was quite the treat for him. I'm sure the many stories I told him of my grandmother's little frame and spitfire attitude did not disappoint at the initial greeting. Daniel was surprised at how tall my grandpa was, probably because all of us are such shorties compared to him. He really enjoyed meeting them and only called them grandma and grandpa. My grandma was her usual self with trying to feed us all til we were stuffed; she made us breakfast the whole time we stayed there as well as dinner. Grandma was a bit intimidated by Keif, but he is an intimidating looking dog. Keif was able to hang out with my Aunt Regina's 6 year old dachshund Sugar. They did fight over his food, but other than that they enjoyed each other's company.
2.5 days are what we spent in the Valley. We filled those days with trips to the dunes, hiking Zappata falls, 4 wheeling and shooting in the mountains, and visiting lots of people. My cousin Nakayla gave us an exclusive tour of the Adam State College campus with the thanks of my Aunt Berna letting us borrow her key to see the rooms. I met a few new members of the family which made me wants kids even more, but that will happen someday. Daniel was impressed with how much he enjoyed being in the Valley and is definitely excited for the next time we go.
The third leg we drove 4 hours to Denver, CO. There we had a family reunion on the Martinez side. My dad had 5 siblings he hadn't seen since he was 8 so as you could imagine emotions were high. My mom and dad had already met up with everyone prior to the reunion, but now it was time for all the kids and grandkids to meet. What an amazing experience to meet people for the first time who are your blood relatives! There is definitely a lot of regret in not being able to have grown up knowing each other, but everyone was so happy to meet each other, so friendly and open. It made for an absolutely incredible journey. I look forward to getting to know more of my family from here on out. On this trip I was also able to meet my nephew Noah for the first time. He is so cute and was so easy going. I kept stealing him from people and he was good to go with me. I miss not being in closer range to where my sister lives. I love her family so much and enjoy the time I spend with them.
Next up, the drive to Provo, UT, the total time...7 hours...and a few minutes here and there. We missed a turn off on one point, but luckily we noticed it early on so it only delayed us about 20 minutes. I was able to have lunch with two of my favorite people, and it was much needed girl time, while Daniel spent time with Ben and his boo Maggie. After lunch we headed to the Creamery on 9th and got our stomachs full of delicious creamery ice cream! Too bad we couldn't travel with the icecream back to CA, we love that stuff. Our stay in UT was very brief. I wanted to see so many more people, but just didn't have enough time. We stayed at my cousin Branden's new house. It was very nice and made me more antsy to get our own place. His wife looked beautiful being pregnant and their son Ty is getting so big. Crazy how we grow up to start our own families.
Finally we drove 10 hours back to home sweet home. I probably will try to avoid a trip like that again for a long time, unless we had an RV to do it all in. The trip was wonderful and I already miss everyone we saw, but it's working hard that makes those vacations so much more sweet to go on.