Sunday, 1 April 2012

So much to tell....

He looks so calm in his sleep. Trust me, he is not that way always. He was our worst traveler by far. So where to start on what I know is going to be an overly long and boring post? How about I just bullet the random details I feel like sharing, (and currently remember.)

  • My glasses broke, one week before our move date, but it was actually relatively good timing, because I had time to go in for an eye appointment and the doctor gave me a free trial pair of contacts, which I am still using.
  • Remember that yellow car we bought? Yeah, the "Screaming Yellow" car--the body repair guy told me that was the color name. And yes, within a week of having our yellow beauty, it went to the auto body repair shop. Almost the exact amount of money we saved buying the car we spent fixing it again after Leo ran into it with our van on our driveway. In Leo's defense, Leo couldn't see the car, it was in his blindspot, and I had parked it too far from the grass. And both of us had felt that we should move it at various times during the day, and we never did. Shame on us for not listening to promptings when they come.
  • Elena left our neighbors pretty calmly, but the first night gone at the hotel, she cried for over an hour about missing Candace and Joshua and Levi and Lukenator. And she's mentioned Candace every day since. She's takes changes really hard. Isabel is oblivious.
  • Our neighbors were so, so nice in Provo. My visiting teachers brought us dinner twice. Natalie babysat my kids all day Thursday and Friday. And Sis. Johnson, an older lady who lived next to us on the other side brought baskets full of treats for the kids for the trip and coloring books and things like that.
  • Not only will I miss Natalie (I will call you soon!) and my family, I had to add these pictures on of Mt. Timpanogos, because I am going to miss the mountains so much. I loved my view from the dining room table.
  • Because we added on one car to our moving quote, we were delayed and then we couldn't leave when we planned on Wednesday, but left on Friday instead. Which meant a really long day on Friday because we had to wait till the movers finished loading the truck before we could leave.
  • But because of the delay in moving, we did make it to the Church Museum one last time. Elena had been begging us to go since she saw a picture of it in the March Friend, and she remembered going before and was desperate to go again.

  • I had planned the drive to Texas to be three days--6 hrs, 8hrs, 6hrs driving--and had picked hotels with nice pools so we could swim all evening long. And I planned to stay the first night back in Farmington, NM so I could eat here. At Tequila's. It's the best Mexican food place ever. Yeah, I know it doesn't look like much. But seriously, it's really good. (I took these pictures when we left the next morning.)
  • It's off of the Region Inn. We actually stayed at the Holiday Inn, but we didn't get there till nearly midnight. So no swimming and no Tequila's. Sniff. Sniff.

  • Instead we ate here at the Tamarisk in Green River, UT. Ummm, yeah. I don't recommend it. Had Sebastian not been screaming bloody murder for the last hour since he woke up from his nap, we would have kept driving on to Moab for a MUCH better food selection. I had a French dip sandwich and the au jous had literally no flavor. Usually they're overly saltly, but this could have been water. Leo said his enchilada was equally as bad. What a waste of a free meal. Oh, and for those of you who are thinking we should have gone to Ray's Tavern, well, that had been our original plan, but it was Friday night and that bar was FULL. Not really the best place to take kids.

  • The one good thing about Tamarisk was that the entire side of the restaurant was windows and it was right alongside the Green River. That went a long way in keeping my kids busy looking out the window instead of getting into mischief. It was really beautiful.
  • We had lunch in Alburquerque the second day at Red Lobster. It wasn't that great. I do love crab though, even more than lobster. Elena ordered lobster too, which she wolfed down and loved. Ana almost had a breakdown till I pointed out the few chicken choices. She doesn't like fish or seafood.
  • I think northern New Mexico is really beautiful too. Sorry no pictures. And I love Albuquerque. However, the eastern side of New Mexico is really ugly. And really junky. There was a noticeable change when we hit Texas. I mean, just in the way things are kept up or not. It was the same driving from Iowa into Illinois, except there it was the reverse. Pretty farms and towns in Iowa changed to ugly, ill-kept farms once you crossed the Mississippi. At least, that was the impression I had. Here it was nice looking places once you hit Muleshoe, TX. Trust me, Muleshoe was a big improvement over the little NM towns we had just come through.

  • No mountains. But this was west Texas, right near Muleshoe. (I just love that name.) Here in Houston, it's green, green, green with tons of trees.
  • We stayed Saturday night in Lubbock at the Hampton Inn, only they didn't have it down that I had called and changed our reservation. So they didn't have our room--a double queen. But after spending a half an hour or more talking with the guy at the front desk, it all worked out. They gave us their largest room (a handicapped room) with a roll away bed and a pull out sofa bed. And even though by then it was closing time for the pool, they let us stay in it till 11 PM. The kids had a blast. And they charged only for the original room.

  • So this brings me to one of the best parts of the trip. If you ever travel through Texas and happen to go through Brownwood, STOP. Seriously. After two bummer meals, we finally hit jackpot.

  • We drove through town looking for a Mexican restaurant, but nothing looked that great, and we were just about to turn around to go back to a Mexican restaurant we had passed earlier when we saw Humphrey Pete's Steakhouse. And the parking lot was full, which is a good sign in a town that small, I think anyway.

  • Now I haven't had steak at the Timbermine for 10 years, so I can't compare to that. BUT it was the best ribeye steak I've had in a LONG, LONG time. It was so good. Elena kept trying to eat mine instead of her own fish sticks she had ordered. That girl has expensive tastes.

  • What's with the chicken? Those chickens are everywhere in Texas.

  • You know, it's a total waste ordering a kid's meal for Sebastian--for all my toddlers actually. They never ate anything more than applesauce at any of the restaurants. (Except Elena and the lobster.)

  • It was pig-licking good. Really. And not too expensive. Less expensive than Red Lobster actually. Okay, to be totally fair, the Cesar Salad was killed by too much dressing, which both Ana and I didn't finish because it wasn't that great. But that steak-really if you make steak that good, it doesn't matter what else is on your plate.
  • We've discovered on this trip that Ana doesn't read menus, she expects us to be able to tell her what she wants. This occurred not once but four times--I felt sorry for her at Red Lobster, because she doesn't like fish, but by the time we had lunch at Schlotzsky's and she ordered the same thing as me because she didn't look at anything else, not even the ingredients of what she did order--her words, not mine--(which I knew she wouldn't like) I was out of patience. I really don't understand that. Errr....the ingredients are listed by the name of the dish, and you have to look through the entire menu to see all your options (for anyone who suffers with the same issue).
  • Ana was really very helpful though on the second day of the trip. Really, really helpful. More so than she's ever been before on a trip. She kept Sebastian happy for quite some time. Also, she worked really hard on Saturday too, helping unpack and clean up. And she's hardly complained at all. I was really impressed yesterday.

  • Texas pride, anyway? I think I should get a big Texas sign to hang in my living room. Just kidding. But I did see flower pots with Texas emblazoned on them for sale at Walmart. A bit ridiculous I think.
  • We stayed on Sunday night in Georgetown with Leo's parents and we went and visited his Aunt Yanni and grandparents that night too. The next morning we took Ana but left Elena, Isabel, and Sebastian with Leo's mom, and drove to Houston.
  • First impressions of our house: It's practically perfect in every way. :) There's lots of room and storage space. We even have an attic. However, the little sitting room in our master bedroom is going to be it's own little room thanks to some Ikea curtains, and will stow all our food storage and sewing supplies--it will be tight. But I'm so glad we do have that room. So glad! The tile that I detest so much is NOT the kind they have. Hurray! But the double ovens are tiny! I don't know that they will fit my cookie sheets. I'll always have to use both to cook bread. Kind of takes the benefits away from having a double oven (you know, cook dinner in one, bread in the other, etc.) Oh, and the walls of my bedroom are navy blue and GRAY. Gray, really? I know that's in style right now, but that's got to be the most depressing color.
  • But really, I'm not complaining. I really like the house.
  • We had to buy a refrigerator. Umm, Leo was not impressed with that. Costs add up fast when you move.

  • Never ever use anything but the blue painters tape. Never ever. Never. Biggest stupid mistake we made. I just sent Leo for tape to Lowe's and he came back with regular masking tape. This is what happens. The paint just peels off with it.
  • Needless to say, we went back and bought blue tape and then I redid all the edges. This was Ana's room by the way. It had two walls painted a dark burgandy. It was really dark and ugly. So we painted them blue.
  • We had brought Ana to help clean, but the house was super clean and we didn't really do any. But it was good she came, because then we registered her for junior high and she got her first taste of it when school let out while we were there. She's a lot more nervous now.
  • We went back to Georgetown Tuesday night and spent Wednesday and most of Thursday there.
  • When Isabel arrived at our house, she ran through the entire house excitedly screeching, "Oh my gosh!!! Oh my gosh!!!! I love it!!!" She is crazy.
  • Friday we were waiting for our fridge to be delivered and and our stuff to be delivered, so I called the Relief Society president Thursday night, and she kindly arranged for lunch and dinner to be delivered on Friday. It was so nice. And then she stopped by on Saturday to meet us. She said there are tons of kids in our ward and was very friendly.
  • Saturday our stuff was delivered and I managed to unpack the hallway stuff and most of the bathrooms. Ana unpacked her room, and Leo the garage. Sadly, the kitchen is yet to be touched.

  • We all are covered in mosquito bites. Isabel and Sebastian's are particularly bad.
  • While Leo was unloading the garage, I sent Sebastian outside with him. Only, then when I came out quite a while later, Sebastian was gone. Isabel's first comment to me was, "Sebastian's going to be lost, he's been gone a long time." Not cool. Leo looked for him on his bike and when he found him--just down the street several houses away--Leo said he had a panicked look on his face and was crying a very scared cry. Poor little guy. And very lucky for us.
  • And Saturday night I madly searched through our things, because I thought today was Easter. Umm, yeah. My kids had a great Easter. I only realized my mistake when someone in General Conference--we did set up our computer so we could watch today--mentioned that next week was Easter. Oops.

  • And now it is dinner time. Sandwiches. Yum. And Leo just left for San Antonio, where he has orientation in the morning. Sigh. It hasn't sunk in yet that he'll be traveling with this job again. Not as much as when he was a pilot obviously, but still, I'll miss him.

  • So that's all, at least all I remember right now.


Benjamin Hillyard said...

I'm glad to hear about the Latorre family trek to Texas!! I sounds like things are getting settled. I'm glad everyone made it okay. I look forward to seeing more pictures after things quiet down and there is more time for exploring. Enjoy the warmer weather, it's about 45 degrees in Provo right now!!

Natalie said...

OH my goodness! I have been waiting my WHOLE LIFE for some news from you guys!!! I've never been so glad to see a blog post. Pathetic, eh?
So glad to hear that you guys arrived safe and sound. We miss you already. When you drove away Candace sobbed for the next two hours. :) She would ask me to help distract her and I would say, Go do this or that and then she would say, That reminds me of Elena. Waaaaaa. Then later that night she went into the fridge and asked to eat the grapefruit you guys gave us. She asked where we got it from and when I said the Latorres the tears started flowing again very freely. Needless to say I laid in bed with her that night almost until she fell asleep. Give us a call when you get the chance. And Happy easter, I guess. :) When you think about it, it's a great April Fool's joke!

Lynn said...

Holy! Where does the time go? I thought you'd still be on the road.....and here you are all getting settled in all ready.

Thanks for the AMAZING detailed post. I love it.

I wish you all the VERY best. What an exciting adventure. Hope to see more pics soon.

Andrea said...

Glad you are there safe. Email me more info on Ana and junior high. Miss you already.

Kayli said...

I'm so glad to hear from you! I'm glad you love your house.

Happy Easter!! Ha ha ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

That quilt sure is familiar that Elena and Isabel is sleeping under.!!!! Glad things are going well.