Taking the Long Way Around | Our Summer Adventures to Our New Home

You all have been so patient with me as I wrap up the posts and projects from our Kansas house and even take some unexpected breaks over the last few months. But I am so excited to report that it is finally time to start catching you up on everything we’ve been up to in recent months, including our latest cross-country travels, our new home, and even some fun surprises. So much has happened in the months since we left Kansas, and I’ve had so many thoughts and news that I’ve been wanting to share with you. Now that we’re a little more settled and life is slowing down for the first time in months (!!!!), get ready for a slew of personal posts and life updates coming your way in the next few weeks!  Last week I showed you our final Kansas home tour, as well as the start of pulling the entire house apart. Today, we’re hitting the road and you get to ride along as we make our way across country…again! But be forewarned: this time we are taking the (very!) long way around to our next home!

Taking the Long Way Around | Our Family Summer Adventure

On May 26th, we anxiously looked on as every last one of our belongings was packed up and loaded onto a truck…in the middle of a tornado. Seriously. We’d gone pretty much the entire year in Kansas without a legitimate tornado threat. I guess Mother Nature was saving the best for last 😉 There we were: Henry and I hunkered down in our “safe place,” while the local guys never once paused during the thunder, sirens, winds, and torrential rain; they just kept loading the truck. In the 7 times we’ve packed out, we’ve never experienced anything quite like it! While there is always a sense of “Will I ever see my stuff again?” as the truck pulls off, this time around I couldn’t help but wonder “How wet will our stuff be when we see it again? Will it all be covered in mold? Is this an omen of what’s to come?!?”

Loading Day!

We spent the Friday before Memorial Day weekend cleaning the house and packing up the cars and then set off on our first stop of many this summer:

Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Our house was empty AND spotless, and we were all set to move into a local hotel for a few weeks (Greg didn’t graduate until June 9). At the last minute, we took advantage of a cancelation to go out to the military recreational facility at Lake of the Ozarks for a Memorial Day weekend getaway. After weeks of getting ready to move, farewell to friends, dealing with packers and cleaning the house in preparation for check out, it was so wonderful to literally escape for a few days. We hiked, canoed, swam and basically soaked up every minute of no stuff, no connectivity, and no responsibility that we could!

Taking the Long Way Around | Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Taking the Long Way Around | Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Taking the Long Way Around | Lake of the Ozarks, MO

We returned to Leavenworth, Kansas after a great getaway and lived for 10 days in a local hotel while Greg finished up school. We used this time to visit every last Kansas City spot we hadn’t yet made it to, including water parks, a baseball game and more! After Greg graduated from his military school on June 9th, we hit the road for an epic family road trip!

Lincoln, NE

From Kansas City we drove to Lincoln, Nebraska and stayed a single night in the city. Who knew Lincoln was such a COOL place, especially when the drive in every direction pretty much looks like this:

Taking the Long Way Around | Kansas

Cheyenne, WY

From Lincoln, Nebraska, we drove on to Cheyenne, Wyoming and spent an afternoon exploring the charming little town. It was here that Henry and I shared the best steak I have ever, ever had!

Taking the Long Way Around | Cheyenne, WY

Yellowstone National Park, WY

From Cheyenne, we finally made our way into one of our first major destinations: Yellowstone National Park! We spent three days and three nights camping, hiking, touring, eating, and animal watching our way through the park. Henry loved every single minute of camping (even during the 38 degree nights!!!) and showed us that he is quite the willing adventurer! From spotting wildlife (yes, we did see a bear!!!) to full day hikes…this kid loves the great outdoors!

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Salt Lake City, UT

After three days of camping (read: no showers), it was time for some city life! We traveled through Grand Tetons National Park (which I LOVED and really want to go back to explore more!) on our way to Salt Lake City, UT. There, we city dwelled and hit up museums, restaurants, public transportation (Henry’s favorite!) and other downtown gems.

Taking the Long Way Around | Salt Lake City, UT

Taking the Long Way Around | Salt Lake City, UT

Taking the Long Way Around | Salt Lake City, UT

Zion National Park, UT

After the three days of explronig, rest, showers, and laundry in Salt Lake City, we traveled onto one of our favorite stops of the entire trip: Zion National Park. Greg and I love National Parks and hiking (if you couldn’t yet tell), and Zion has long been on our list of places to visit. The scenery, hiking, and amenities were beyond our expectations, and we loved every minute of it. We stayed in a hotel this time (which suits me much better than our tent camping in Yellowstone 😉 and ventured into the park for two full days of hiking and adventuring. Henry yet again rose to every challenge we gave him…even wading quite a ways into the world-famous Narrows! He is STILL talking about how fun it was to hike through the water with our shoes on!

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Las Vegas, NV

After a few days in Zion, we were ready for another break from the great outdoors and made our way to our next stop: Las Vegas! Vegas isn’t the most kid-friendly of locations, so after 2 weeks on the road, we were more than happy to stick near the pool, play, relax, nap, visit the dolphins and take in a show. We had near-freezing temps while in Yellowstone and arrived to 112 degrees in Vegas – we really experienced quite the gamut of climates and experiences!

Taking the Long Way Around | Las Vegas

Taking the Long Way Around | Las Vegas

And then onto…

From Las Vegas, we made one more drive into our “new” home town to begin the long process of finding a house and getting settled. But that story is for another day 😉 I am not yet going to tell you where it is, but I’d love to hear your guesses!! And don’t worry…you don’t have to wait too long. Meet me back here on Thursday for the reveal of our “new” home town and “new”/next house!

There are a lot of things I hate about moving, but one of the things I love most is taking advantage of the relocation to see and explore new and unknown parts of this great country! Over the course of 13 days, 6 states, 2400+ miles, 3 National Parks (and 1 Vegas show!), we got to see and experience some truly awesome, beautiful and wonderful things as a family. These moments in between homes are just as much a part of our military adventure as our years stationed in one place, and boy do we try to make the most of it. It was a trip and a summer our little family will never forget!

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14 Responses to Taking the Long Way Around | Our Summer Adventures to Our New Home

  1. I love the photos of your trip! You deserved a great time, after all the packing and moving stuff. After reading about the tornado move from Kansas, I just had to share a true story about my parents’ moving woes, many years ago. My dad had just gotten his first job at a small college in Kansas after finishing his degree. Mom did much of the packing and cleaning, 6 months pregnant with twins (I was one of them). Moving day in Michigan was high winds, rain, and hailstones. The move included a small grand piano and lots of cast-off furniture (I mean, “future antiques”) from their parents. Just like you, they had two weeks to hang out in a motel until my father’s graduation ceremony. When they finally made it to Kansas, they found their furniture, in varying states of decomposition, arranged willy-nilly on the lawn in front of their apartment. The movers had carried in the boxes and lighter stuff and evidently then had just bolted. The furniture had been rained on (a very rare rain for that time of year, according to locals). It had then sweltered in the hot sun for the next week, and then went through a dust storm. All the finishes were toast, joints were swollen, and sand stuck in every crevice. Luckily the movers had taken their bed, a small chest, and a couple of straight chairs inside, because everything else was lost. They were on a shoestring budget, so that’s what they had for quite a while.

  2. I’m betting Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Or somewhere in Hawaii — Schofield Barracks or something. (My personal favorite of the two)

    You drove right by me in Provo, Ut and Brigham Young University! I would loved to have met you and your cute family.

  3. You were in my state! I am so jealous of your Yellowstone trip. I was there as a teenager and want to go back so badly. And Zions is amazing, right? I hiked Angels Landing as a teenager, and it was awesome. Including the me being scared of heights part. Amazing pictures. So glad you made it safe and sound. And I can’t wait to see what new adventures you have!

  4. How fun and exciting! I would love to take a trip like that, seeing parts of the country I have not been to. I can’t wait to see where your new home is.

  5. Hi Megan
    How wonderful to read all the details of your trip to join your new home
    I moved a lot but never had to drive so many kilometers as the more we did was 1000 +
    We never had too the time to visit places on our travel as the movers go straight and we had to arrive before them
    I read once your organization in order to manage without your stuff but once again congratulations
    I don’t know yourcountry so well especially the military places so I’mais longing forward to hearing where you arrive
    Have a nice week

  6. Love your post of your trip across America and your adventures in the national parks.

    I bet you are headed to California! I would guess southern part.

  7. How fun! I’m glad to hear you all are enjoying your move as much as possible. I think this is the best approach — and best way to not stress! Zion and Yellowstone are on my bucket list…last time I was in Utah I went to Moab and Antelope Island. Such a beautiful state!

    I remember when we got packed up to leave Okinawa, the rain just started pouring in (we left during typhoon season) and I had the same thoughts as you: “How moldy will our stuff be when it arrives?” Lol! 🙂

    My guesses for your next station are Yuma or Twenty-nine Palms in CA. Wherever you go, I look forward to seeing your next home decorating adventure! 🙂

  8. Sounds like such a fun trip! I absolutely love Zion and am so thankful my parents took me there several times as a kid! My guess is either Yuma or Camp Pendleton.

  9. Hmmm – chances are high for Pendleton or MCRD, and I hope it’s MCRD, as I lived next door at NTC during high school. Point Loma is a great part of San Diego. Where ever it is, hope you found a lovely home! Sounds like a fantastic vacation filled with fun stops across the country.
    Aloha, Tenney

  10. Yay, an update! I’ve been waiting patiently all summer. I’m guessing San Diego! Looking forward to seeing what you plan to do with your new space.

    I also have to say that beyond the organizing & sewing inspiration your blog provides to me, it more importantly reminds me that “everything is going to be ok,” and that is invaluable. You speak to those of us renting who really care about having a nice, “done” home while there (despite the chorus of family & friends who say, “You know this is a rental, right?” when they come over :D) … and to those of us who, ahem, tend toward the neat freak personality spectrum (a title I proudly own :D). But the instability gets stressful and what was just a “someday we’ll buy a home” has, after years of renting, turned into a deep longing for a home to call my own. We are not a military family but we relocated for my husband’s job and it was going to be temporary. We decided to stay in our area over a year ago but with the housing market here, it has been a long process, with a lot of getting your hopes up.

    So when I see that you can handle moving around frequently, and you do it with organization, creativity & style, it reminds me that I can get through this transitional period, too. I thank you for that.

  11. I thought you mentioned going “back” to somewhere you’d been before, so I’m guessing San Diego. But, Camp Pendleton is right there too…. Sad you’re gone from Kansas but glad you got to spend some time here. Mother Nature sure gave you a send off and a great story to tell!

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