Knowing we would be gone for a while, as a mom I was undoubtedly worried about how all the traveling would be for Avila. We would be across time zones, up at the crack of dawn, and out until late, but I put it all in the hands of God…and even though nothing worked out as planned, it all worked out for the best! Here is a tale of our travels…
All packed up, we drove 2 hours down to Vancouver. Despite screaming during the last drive, Avila slept all 2 hours of it this time! This was a good thing considering she would be up at 4am the next morning for our flight.
July 31 – Aug 1
The beginning of our travels to Linton, ND with Michael, Avila, me and my mom. We were heading there to visit her parents in a little town of 1,000 people. As a family we used to drive back every summer and I hadn’t been back since I was in high school! We took a 7:30am flight to Denver. We were then supposed to jump on Great Lakes Air to Dickinson, North Dakota with buddy passes from Michael’s friend, Jonathon, but the noon flight was booked and the 8pm flight that night didn’t look promising either. So, after Michael and Jonathon called pilots and rental car agencies alike, we ended up on a flight to Gillette, Wyoming! From there it was a 4 ½ hour drive to Dickinson (through South and North Dakota), where we stayed the night. The next morning, we picked up our other rental car (the one were supposed to have upon our arrival the previous day) and drove both cars to Bismarck, dropped off the car from Gillette, and drove another hour to Linton. Whew…we finally made it!
Aug 1st – Aug 2nd
We spent the days sharing memories, laughs, and driving to the farm. Grandpa sang to Avila in German, but whenever my Grandma held her, she cried! We even visited Avila’s Great Great Grandma! She is 92 years old and we had the chance to take a 5-generation picture!
Went to Mass and then it was back to Bismarck to visit my mom’s brother, his wife, and my 3 cousins – all of whom I hadn’t seen in 12 years! Way too long…
Aug 4th – Our 2nd Anniversary!
This is the day that tops the cake. We drove from Bismark to Dickinson, and on the way Avila had a HUGE blowout in the van! Yikes… We were scheduled to fly out from Dickinson at 3:30pm, but of course the flight ended up being canceled! Which meant that the 5:00 flight was full and there was no way we were going to make our flight back to Portland that night from Denver. To top it all off, there were NO hotel rooms available ANYWHERE so we ended up staying in a “roach” motel, of which I refused to sleep on the pillows! We did have a nice dinner out, though, and the running joke is that Mike had to spend his second anniversary with his mother-in-law!
We flew out at 5:45am, caught a delayed flight from Denver to Portland, and finally arrived in town at 1:00pm. (On a funny side note, since I didn’t want Avila to go #2 once we got on the plane and risk the same situation as the day before in the van, I decided to see if my trick to train her to go poop really worked. And to my surprise, it did! If I know it’s time for her to go, all I have to do is say our magic words and within 30 seconds Avila does her business! This still remains true today…)
This was supposed to be our day of rest because the next day we were scheduled to hit the road for Black Butte Ranch for an annual get together with my dad’s side of the family!
Aug 6 – Aug 9
We spent 4 great days walking the ranch, attempting to swim between the thunderstorms, and watching the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance. Michael got to golf and we even visited the Crescent Moon Ranch, one of the top Alpaca farms in the country. It was absolutely beautiful and my hubby got me an even more beautiful brown Alpaca poncho. It was a great time with family and I feel so blessed to have that opportunity.
Despite all the traveling, Avila did so great! She slept in airports, on airplanes, in cars, hotel rooms, and strange houses. She hardly fussed and was such a joy to everyone who got to spend time with her. Also, despite all the plane schedule mix-ups, it turned out that every flight we did end up taking was conveniently during naptime! During this trip Avila got her nick-name of “Super Trooper!” God really did provide for a great time away.
waiting to get out of the Denver airport
already tired from all the traveling of day 1!
with grandma kelsch
Avila with her new doll. It used to be my mom's!
Avila's Great Great Grandma, Katie Kelsch
hanging out at grandma and grandpa's
grandpa singing to her
with my mom in the sunflower fields of grandpa's farm
grandpa kelsch and mom
in the wheat fields that will eventually be my mom's
with my beautiful cousin, Nicole
With my uncle Jim, Aunt Carla, Justin, Joshua, and Nicole (not pictured)
Avila alseep right before I woke her at 4:00am! (This was in the nasty hotel...notice there are no pillows around us...)
just had to show it one more time...
Avila playing on the floor of the Denver airport
in Black Butte at our house for dinner
this was before we were thunderstormed out...bummer
my sister kelsey and us on one of our many many walks
The fam! These are my dad's brothers and sisters, my grandma salber, and just some of my cousins