Monday, July 8, 2013

Travel Leg #1 -- Phoenix to St. Louis

We're here!

And getting here wasn't nearly as bad as either of us envisioned. Neither Charles nor I are great long-haul drivers, and with the baby, it is impossible to literally just jump in the car and go anyway. And Clare is not a calm, low-key, chillaxin' kind of baby. She's a get up and make mischief kind of baby. We were anticipating the worse, and didn't hold out much hope on the best. 

Rollin' front seat style (with a terrible smile from me)
And back seat style

We did the drive in 3 days. I listened to a mediocre audiobook that I may or may not finish. Charles listened to a lot of music. Clare napped two of four stretches (we each did 2) each day and was entertained/fed/screamed for 2 stretches. All in all, not bad.

Playing with Baby
Using Piglotta as a hat/eye mask
And as a pacifier
Driving out of Arizona, we both had new things to experience. While both of us have been on the East Coast (and out of the country, though not together -- someday), neither of us has done a cross-country road trip. Once we passed I-25 driving across New Mexico on I-40, we were both in uncharted (for us; cartographers we are not) territory. We spent the first night in the lovely interstate town of Tucumcari, NM. The second, we spent in the truly lovely city of Tulsa. We arrived at our rental in St. Louis Saturday afternoon.


We're both from Arizona, and both agree that Arizona is a wonderful state. We also both agree that what you see of New Mexico from I-40 leaves a lot to be desired. These were our thoughts Friday and Saturday as we trekked across 3 states and areas neither of us had seen:

Panhandle: "This is not what I'd imagined the Texas panhandle to look like at all. This is nice. It's windy, but there's so much stuff. I expected it to be, I don't know, browner. And emptier."

Oklahoma: "This is definitely not what I had expected. I guess the Dust Bowl was like 80 years ago now, but this is so pretty and green!" We really did both like Tulsa. Even if their A/Cs were waaaaaaaaaaay too cold.

Missouri: (mouths gaping) "This.Is.So.Green." We kept joking about how ugly the scenery was. Which is silly, because I've seen green before. But this took me by surprise for some reason. For realzies. I also marveled at the "creeks" that were significantly bigger than any river in Arizona that actually, you know, has water. Except the Colorado through the Canyon, but I don't routinely see that. I see dry river beds.

Yesterday, we went to Mass at the Cathedral, and then drove down to see the Arch and the Mississippi. Thanks to the always-winning combination of heat, humidity and church clothes, we made it a quick trip, but I was insistent about seeing the Mississippi ASAP, because I never had before, and it just seemed like a thing I should do if I'm this close, ya know? We also did practical things like to the grocery store and get Charles ready for his last first day of school.

I took exactly one, lame, cell-phone from the car picture of the Cathedral, because we only arrived with a couple of minutes to spare before Mass, and Clare really felt like screaming during Mass (definite F for the day), and we were not in picture taking mode by the time we were done. Run-on sentences for the win.

We got a few cute decent shots at the river, though.

The Mighty Mississippi -- Clare is underwhelmed

Arch -- Mama's happy, at least

Today, Charles is off doctoring, and Clare and I are going to settle back into our routine. It feels simultaneously normal and surreal.

Last first day of school!

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