We are now comfortably situated in Pennsylvania and oh, so happy, to be out of the car. I was a little nervous about the whole situation (driving for 3 1/2 days straight with the Minster, discovering whether our duplex was livable or not, meeting friends, etc.) but all has turned out quite well and we are happy.
I haven't had time to take too many pictures of our new locale, but I thought I'd give you a novel of pictures showing our adventures over the last few weeks. Prior to driving to Pennsylvania we spent about a week in Los Angeles with the Collard clan for Mikey's graduation from USC. It was a lot of fun, but just slightly chaotic trying to get everyone coordinated...like nearly impossible. Nevertheless, it was quite fun and we are so proud of Mikey. Here are some shots from L.A.
This was Minnie's first time to the ocean, but the day was a bit chillier than anticipated and she was not too excited about it.
This was the longest hike of our lives to the Hollywood sign. Mikey and Nikki had made it sound like it only took 20 minutes to get to the top, and we were all in our swimsuits, prepared to go to the beach. Three hours later, we were all sweaty, thirsty and ready to go home.
Notice a faux Michael Jackson in the background. There were all sorts of crazies on the Hollywood walk of fame trying to make a little cash.
Mikey works for a PR firm for celebrities in L.A. and is able to get tickets to most shows in the area. The week we were there lots of them were booked up, but he was able to get us into Jimmy Kimmel Live, which was a lot of fun! Dr. Phil and Carrie Underwood were the guests, and they had a stage outside where she performed five or so songs. Besides this, we ended up seeing a few celebrities during our time in L.A., which was pretty surreal for us, but Mikey and Nikki are used to it after living there awhile.
We got home from this trip Monday afternoon and left Tuesday morning to start our drive to Pennsylvania. We spent the first night in Lincoln, Nebraska and then drove the next day down to Nauvoo and Carthage Illinois, which was so cool. I'd been there before, but it had been a long time. It was just really cool to stand in places where those who sacrificed so much once lived, and in Joseph Smith's case, were martyred. That evening we drove up to Chicago to spend the night, and then spent half of Thursday touring around the city. Both Bob and I had never been to Chicago so it was a lot of fun. It felt like a cleaner, quieter New York City. I loved it, but there's just an energy in NY that Chicago is missing (sorry, Chicago).
We finally arrived in Pennsylvania Friday afternoon and have now settled down nicely. Minnie was quite the champ throughout the whole drive, but I'm sure she's not excited about the trip home in 3 months.
Here are some pictures of our stops along the way to PA.
Awesome place for deep dish pizza
Bob getting us all packed up!
Enjoying her time out of the carseat
After this trip, Minnie will have been to Calgary, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago (as well as a bunch of other smaller cities) all by the time she's a year old. Hopefully we can squeeze in a few trips to other countries in the not too distant future. We are lucky she's such a good little traveler. She is now 9 months old and just keeps getting more independent and more funny. I'll get her 9 month post and a PA update post on the blog shortly!