So let's back up a bit to July. We left California on Thursday, the 21, and made our way to The Boulders Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. This was a place that we had read about in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, and Grant had been wanting to stay there for a while. Since it was July in Arizona, we were able to get a decent rate there, because that's the off -season. (Let's face it, no one in their right minds wants to vacation in Arizona in July!) As we were driving through Southern California and Southern Arizona, I was shocked at the temperatures! We stopped at In-N-Out Burger in Palm Springs, and the temp was something like 115. Crazy! By the time we got to the resort, it was late afternoon, but the temperature was still around 110. We were definitely not in San Pedro anymore!
When we got to the resort, we could already tell how great it was, and why it was in that book. It was really beautiful, and it got it's name from these huge boulders that the resort was seemingly built in to. We got checked in and went to our room. The nice thing about this resort was that everything was included in the price - even valet parking, tips, and transportation via golf cart to anywhere on the resort grounds. That was so nice because we're usually too cheap to pay for any of those things, so we definitely took advantage of it!
Once we got settled into our beautiful room, we made our way to the golf course, because we heard this particular hole had great views, and we wanted to see the sunset from a good vantage point. While we were there taking pictures, there was another family that came to do the same thing, so we swapped taking pictures of each other.
The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast outside at one of the resorts restaurants. Unfortunately for me, my morning sickness was in full swing, so I didn't really feel like eating anything. And that's a big deal for me! I love food, and the menu had all these fantastic options, but I went with yogurt and granola. It was all I could even think about eating.
After breakfast, we went to the pool, and enjoyed being almost the only people there. Since I'm not on my home computer, I don't have all my pictures from the trip, so this is the only picture I have of the pool. But there were huge boulders built up all around the pool, and a nice little waterfall. It was perfect.
After we got cleaned up from the pool, we got ready to head out. Our next stop was our old stomping grounds, Albuquerque! We stayed at Edie's house, and after only being there about five minutes, Edie asked me if I had a secret. We hadn't really told anyone about the pregnancy yet, but I was definitely showing, so she figured it out pretty quickly.
We had a great time in Albuquerque. It's always so much fun to visit there and see old friends. While we were there, our good friends the Newnam's had a party, which really was a reunion of sorts. We weren't the only former Querquians to be visiting that same weekend - there were two other families there! So we had a great time seeing everyone at the Newnam's house. It was fun to see how much bigger our group had gotten, with the addition of all the kids.
On Sunday, we went to church and worshipped with our former church family at Providence Presbyterian. Then that afternoon, Edie had people over to her house for more fellowship! We ordered Dion's Pizza, which is a must when you're in Albuquerque, and everyone had such a great time.
Haley's little girl, Kate, saw the dress that Kendall was wearing at church that morning, and happened to have one very similar, so before the party at Edie's she asked if she could wear hers. Don't they look like sisters?
Monday morning, we packed up and started heading out for Oklahoma City. It was hard to say goodbye to Edie and the kids - even Kendall and Cami had a hard time saying goodbye!
So off we went. This leg of the trip ended up being the hardest for me. I had to pull over at one point and throw up, and felt horrible the rest of the drive. It also happened to be our longest drive. Needless to say, when we got to OKC that night, I was happy. I planned it so that we would be staying two nights there, so it was nice to not have to get up the next day and drive.
One of the main reasons for stopping in OKC was to visit with our friends, Ben and Carrie. Grant and I went to junior high and high school with Carrie, so again, it was like a little reunion! We met up with her and met her husband Ben in NYC back when I was pregnant with Kendall, but they had just recently moved to OKC, so I thought it would be a great chance to catch up with them. And it was!
On Tuesday we met Carrie and her girls, Kenzie and Kali, and the OKC Zoo. The heat was apparently following us on our trip, because once again, it was H-O-T! I think while we were at the zoo that day, it got up to 110, which is unusually hot for Oklahoma. Glad we could experience their unusual weather. We still enjoyed ourselves though. Oh, and the Zoo offered this great service, where they would keep your dog in a kennel for you for I think something like $7. That was great, since there was no way we were going to leave Watley in the car with that kind of heat, and we couldn't leave him in the hotel room. We also rented a wagon, which was perfect for the kids.
After the zoo, we went back to our hotel to take naps and showers. Then we met up with Carrie and her family again at Cattlemen's Steakhouse. Again, we saw this in 1,000 Places, but we had also seen it on TV. So we really wanted to visit it. One of the things Cattlemen's is known for is their Lamb Fries. Any guesses as to what they are?
Carrie told us about a canal ride that goes through downtown OKC, so after dinner, we decided to go check that out. It was a lot of fun! And walking around the downtown was so nice. Carrie's girls are so sweet, and just really loved Kendall and Cami. They all had a great time together.
After the canal ride, we made a much needed stop to get some frozen yogurt. I don't think anything ever tasted so good! After that, we headed to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. By the time we got there, the museum was closed, so we just walked around the outside part of the memorial, and I thought it was really well done.
The next day we headed to Memphis, again to see some old friends. This time it was David, Stephanie, and their 4 kids. And once again, Grant and I had gone to school with David since 7th grade. David and Stephanie used to live in the Pensacola area, so we've seen them quite a bit over the years, but they had just moved to the Memphis area, so we made sure to stop there on our trip.
Since we'd never spent any time in Memphis, we had to go to Graceland, which also happened to be in 1,000 Places. Um, Graceland is overrated. I mean, I guess if you're a huge Elvis fan, you'd really like it, but we're not, so it was just okay. Here we are outside of it.
Another thing we had to do in Memphis, which was well worth it, was to eat some BBQ! So after we left Graceland, we went to the downtown area. One of the most striking things about Downtown Memphis, was the smell - but in a good way! Even with our car windows up, we could smell BBQ, and it.smelled.good! With all the great restaurants there, it was hard to pick which one to go to, but we had seen Rendezvous on a few different TV shows, so we thought that would be a good one. It was a little difficult to find, because the entrance was in a back alley. But we finally found it, and it did not disappoint. I was glad I wasn't feeling sick on this day, because I thoroughly enjoyed the food!
We had heard about a hotel in Memphis where you could see ducks in the lobby. It's The Peabody, and it happened to be across the street from Rendezvous (actually, down the alley, and across the street), so we stopped in to see the ducks. The girls loved it!
Back at David and Stephanie's house, the kids got a treat by staying up late to watch a movie. They had so much fun!
The next day was going to be our last travel day! I was so ready to just get to Florida by this time. On our way from Memphis to Pensacola, we stopped in Tupelo, Mississippi, to round out our Elvis experience. We stopped at his childhood home.
After a few more hours of driving, and meeting up with our friends David, Joy, and their 3 kids for lunch in Birmingham, we finally made it to Florida! I swear, that last hour of driving was the longest. But it was so nice to be at my parents house and be done with driving.
That was also when we announced to everyone that I was pregnant, so it was fun to see everyone's reactions in person, instead of doing it over the phone or via Skype.
All in all, our move was great. The girls did so well for having been in their car seats for so long. They made friends along the way, and saw lots of fun things. We were sad to leave California behind, but excited to start this new chapter being closer to family.