Thursday, May 17, 2012

Road Trip!!

Hitting the Road! 

Earlier this May, our family had the absolute privilege of going down to Lancaster, CA to attend the graduation of a dear friend of ours at West Coast Baptist College. It was the first time we'd been able to get away for 2 days as a family since...well...ever! In fact, it was the boys' first road trip! We were so excited to go for several reasons. We were thrilled and honored to be able to see this young man walk the platform and earn his degree after 4 years of faith, hard work and determination. But, to be honest, we were more anxious to just be us! To leave the house, get in the car and take off to an unfamiliar (to the kids) destination AND to actually stay in a hotel, was a fantastic break from the monotony of the daily grind. The kids were beside themselves with excitement. Poor things, they've never (ever!) been on any sort of vacation, so even just the idea of a road trip was enough to keep them wiiiiiide awake the night before.

Lancaster or bust!!

We had so much fun!! The drive there was great! I absolutely love driving & weather was absolutely perfect! We decided to take the 99 down & drive the 5 back home for variety. Boy, was the 99 crowded..and under construction! Yikes, I did not care for it. But, it was still a nice drive. Dan relinquished the wheel to me in Merced & I got to drive all the way to the Grapevine. I gladly had him re-take the wheel. Oh man, there was NO way I was going to drive UP the Grapevine! I had hard enough time being a passenger! PEOPLE ARE CRAZY! HA!

The boys loved every minute of the trip. After Dan n I swapped places in Merced, we listened to about an hours worth of Jonathan Park, (If you've got kids, but never heard of it, go to . You'll be SO glad you did!) and then after that, we let the kids bust out the electronics. They had so much fun playing Angry Birds, Fall Down & Where's My Water. They also brought along their Didj & VReaders. I have to say...glory to God for earplugs! ha! Meanwhile, I was able to turn on the iPod & sing my way down the freeway, while the hubbers grabbed some Z's. It really was a lovely day of driving.

Jo - he got 3 stars in Angry Birds, and was quite proud!
Ben - enjoying his VReader.

Dan jr - this kid fell asleep only 2 hours into the road trip! Laaaame. ;D
 Normally, the trip from Manteca to Lancaster would be about 4 to 5 hours, but seeing as how it was the boys' first trip, we decided to get out a couple times. When all was said and done, we made it in just under 6.

Oh, and in case you ever wondered. There are NO GAS STATIONS between Grapevine & Avenue J in Lancaster. None. Nope. Zilch. Nada. Only the hand of God. HAHA!

Oh man, we had a 1/4 tank when we swapped drivers at Grapevine, and we'd been averaging 2 hours per 1/4 tank. With gas at $4.40 a gallon, and Lancaster ONLY an hour away, we figured we'd be fine...NOT!!! Wouldn't you know it, the idiot light (as we lovingly call it) came on about 5 miles after we'd pulled off the 5 and onto the 138 junction. I guess we hadn't taken into account the climb up the mountain eating up extra gas.  My husband was not pleased with my decision (rightly so!), but glory to God, we made it!! By His grace, and fumes alone, I'm sure.

Once we arrived, it was time to check in & meet up with the gang. The boys could not wait to see the inside of a hotel!! Our kids. They're so easily pleased. lol Then, we let the gang get back to their pre-graduation festivities, while we had dinner & enjoyed time chillin in the hotel room. Ben & Jo were all excited to be taking a bath in the's the simple things, right?! We enjoyed a few lovely hours of family down time & turned in a bit earlier than normal. Graduation was at 9 & we had to get an early start the next morning!

Seriously, these kids were super impressed with the hotel. We had a double queen with a couch.

It took them quite a while to fall asleep. Yay for streaming Netflix via a tablet & a cord to hook it up to the room's tv!

Dan Jr. got the couch all to himself! Unfortunately, he snored the whole night...riiiiight next to me. It was a blessing.

The next morning was nothing short of awesome. We were able to see a bunch of good fiends, catch up with some friends we hadn't seen in a long time & of course watch our dear friend get his much deserved diploma. Everything was fantastic. The music was good, the preaching was amazing (as always), and the emotions were high. I'm not sure what got me most: watching him walk, or watching his mother (my bff) watch him walk. Oh heart was so full, it started to spill out of my eyes! WCBC & Lancaster Baptist Church is always run first class. That was par for the course. But, what really got me, was that our Pastor & a man from our church, made the 5hr. drive THAT MORNING, to be there at 9am! They stayed for the service & then booked it back to PREACH and be at church THAT NIGHT! Talk about an iron-man marathon! Seriously, awesome was that?! What a display of love & devotion to a family in the church. It blessed my heart beyond measure, and I'm sure the hearts of the graduate & his family.

Once all the kissin & cryin & photo snappin was done, we all met up at a restaurant for some much deserved fellowship. What a fun time! To be honest, it always is with these people. Goodness, I love them. After a couple hours, it was time to change out of the fancy clothes and head back home. Yup, as quick as that, it was done. But, we had a WONDERFUL time & still had the road trip back to do! We decided to take an even slower time home, and stopped about 4 times! lol!

At Grapevine - Back in the saddle! Did I mention I LOVE to drive?!
At Grapevine - Kids were excited for another 5 hrs. on the road! Can't explain Ben's face, tho. ha!
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere - "Honey, look!" *snap* (I think it turned out great! lol!)

God is so good to me! He's given me amazing friends, a beyond wonderful family & the best husband EVAR! Even tho it was just 2 days, we had the time of our lives. We enjoyed the drive, the music, the radio drama, the games and just being together. We laughed more than we'd done in ages, and somehow ended up sunburnt on our faces! ha! How random! I know that to some, it might not seem like it was all that big of a deal, but to was priceless.


  1. I've driven that road many times, with family and alone the first time last year. We have family in San diego. Nice pictures.

  2. You and Dan are very blessed!