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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

We are Here

Little late on the last update, the past few weeks have flown by. We have mostly unpacked, celebrated Christmas with family and even started preschool for Bella. Last pictures show Bella and Fraser hanging out with Gramma Jo and Grampa Earle. Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Route 66 and Joshua Tree

We woke up this morning to a feisty Fraser, but he did drink quite a bit of Pedialyte mixed with formula, so we were very grateful that he appeared to be turning the corner. The goal was to hit more of Route 66 and then through Joshua Tree National Forest before we arrived in Carlsbad by mid afternoon.

Fraser developed a stubborn streak in the car and refused to drink any bottles in the car during the day, but he was smiling and feeling much better. He also kept up on his sleep. During one of those naps, we were along a remote portion of Route 66 when we came across an old diner and motel, so we decided to stop and stretch. We enjoyed the break. Bella and I agreed that the bus we saw would be a worthy replacement to Uncle Tom and Dave's bus back in Siouxland.

From there, we headed through Joshua Tree National Forest. It was a nice diversion with some cool scenery. Big rocks and funky trees and cactus. A 40 foot tall Joshua Tree in the middle of the park is the biggest.

From there, we were into the home stretch and ready to finish the drive. As we got to town, headed toward Earle and Joanne's house, Fraser and Bella both woke up, so we stopped by the 'new house' before the furniture shows up tomorrow. Fraser again refused a bottle, but he got in his usual 30 minute work out routine in front of the fireplace. Funny kid.

Well, we made it. We will provide one last update when we get loaded in this weekend.

From Flagstaff to Needles

This is being posted late as the hotel's purported broadband did not exist.

We woke up on Wednesday with Fraser feeling better and drinking 10 oz of Pedialyte, but he was still very tired and lethargic. We decided we would leave in the early afternoon and let Fraser catch up on sleep. This also meant we would bypass the Grand Canyon as we wouldn't have enough time to stop there and have a reasonable drive on Thursday to Carlsbad. We grabbed lunch at a diner on Route 66 that had lots of trains, which was a big hit with Bella, so we decided we would stop by the historic train station in downtown on the way out of town. As you can see, Bella got to see a real big train up close.

After that, we hit the road for a short 3 hour drive to Needles, CA, just across the border from AZ and in the middle of nowhere. We arrived here in time for the puking to start again and make for a tough night again. Probably the highlight of the night was Bella winning two stuffed animals(penguin and a bear) in the metal claw machine. It was in theory her last try and somehow she got two with one grab.

Only 350 miles to go, a stop through Joshua Tree National Park, and hopefully no more puking.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Three Dead Sheep, White Knuckles, and the Bare Naked Ladies

This day had it all, to say the least. We are winding down in a Residence Inn in Flagstaff, AZ with two bedrooms and a hang out room with a kitchen. Bella is sleeping well in one and Fraser in the other, however, he is not 100%. He did well through midday drinking Pedialyte, smiling big, then we mixed in a little food and the vommit returned and a small fever. We're watching him closely.

We had a nice drive after leaving Durango about 2pm, right through the 4 Corners(got a fun pic per Dave B's recommendation) and some great scenery. Then the sun went down and it was the thickest fog I have driven in, going up over and down mountain passes. You could barely see beyond the front of the car. Doing about 40mph, when cars start flashing their lights coming from the other the right head light out again? North and I confirm it is on, when all of the sudden we are upon three dead sheep in our lane. Quick turn to the right onto the shoulder and we avoided them. Funny, we had just seen signs for elk, deer, cows, even horses, but no signs for sheep. The Bare Naked Ladies are the only thing to keep me from tensing up too much.

The morning started off with Bella and me swimming for an hour, so it wasn't a total loss. She was in good spirits all day. If we feel well in the AM, we will head to Grand Canyon, if not, we will wait it out at the hotel and determine the next days path.


Woke up to Fraser getting sick at 6am. Stay tuned, we'll let you know how he's doing a little later. Emetrol and Pedialyte should hopefully do the trick. He's still smiling and no fever.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Daddy's Bday and off to Durango

We woke up in the AM, led by Fraser ready to roll at 6:30am. Uncle Pat ended up spending the night, so he was there to greet everyone and hang out in the AM, but Uncle Doug left by 7am. The morning included a visit to a mall with a play area for the twins and Bella. By the time we got back, Fraser was ready to wake up from his nap. We had lunch with Kathy and the twins and then hit the road. A fast 24 hours, but a lot of fun.

From there, we headed West on 70, through the Eisenhower Tunnel(Bella thought it was 'cool'). Then we headed south to hwy 285 towards Durango. One very close encounter with an Elk, but North saw it in time and slowed down and it turned back. By 9pm we made it to the hotel and were already for a rest. Still working itinerary for the last few days of the trip, we'll keep you posted.

Colorado Visit

...just got done dragging Bella in her sleeping bag down the hall, so Doug could go to bed. (We put her to sleep in the guestroom where Doug & Kathy were going to sleep later).
Just finished playing 9 rounds of 'concentration', inspired by 12 intensive hours of 4, four-and-under toddlers running around. Kathy Won!! Dennis ate 15 spritz cookies. (p.s. Dad, we drank two bottles of Brunello with a Chicken Alfredo that Doug made). Seems like old days with a Franzen visit, only the Grueskins are still awake. Pat, Dennis & Kathy sitting around the dinner table blogging away - everyone else sleeping. Children all went to bed easily, of course after 2 hours at the pool and another 1/2 hour at the climbing room where Kathy & North had to climb into the jungle structure to go fish out the 3 older ones. Ryley had to be bribed with fruit chews, Gunnar followed and Bella was a good girl and came when her mom showed up in helicopter structure to find her.

Next stop, Durango. We have 4 days left to visit Grand Canyon and other sites before we hit Carlsbad on Thursday night. Oh yeah, Uncle Pat is spending the night. Is he ready for Ryley and Gunnar jumping on him, Bella pushing him to get up, and Fraser giving him a good morning wake up BITE! Enjoy the photos, just a snapshot of the day(signing off, its 1am)...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Fraser's Birthday

Wow, it took Shari Kiple mentioning it over donuts before I remembered, it was Fraser's first bday. We had a party a few weeks before hand, but I guess the gearing up for moving distracted me. After we left Chris and Justin's, we met the Kiple's at Sunkist Bakery for donuts. This has been one of Bella's fun things to do on the weekend. We had a nice visit with Shari, Chip, Lyndi, and Grace before we hit the road. Again, tough to say goodbye to friends.

From there, we headed south down Hwy 77 in Nebraska, not I-29. Had one last dog from the Art Center Dogs to track down. North had done quite a bit of investigating and discovered the new owner of the dog was located in Winnebago, NE. The owner left the door unlocked for us and we got the photo, all 35 dogs captured. From there, we headed south and wound up in North Platte, NE for the night. Nice hotel with an indoor pool for the kids to blow off some steam. Next stop, Arvada, CO to meet up with Ryley and Gunnar and Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dog, and Uncle Pat. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Our last Night

This was a long and busy day. Movers showed up early, but they didn't finish until 10pm. Bella had a great time at a friends house for a few hours during the day and North and Fraser watched the packing. We spent our last night in town with Justin and Chris--and their dogs---which Bella and Fraser enjoyed. Between my work, North's busy schedule, and chasing the kids around, it did sneak up on us. For all the things we will miss, its the friends that will be the toughest to not see so frequently.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

4 Days and Counting

Well, we made the big decision. No reliable Japanese transportation for this roadtrip. As you can see from the photo, Bella is quite keen on the decision and Fraser just giggled.

Monday, December 06, 2004

5 days and counting

Getting closer and getting busier. Modifying schedule and arrival dates. We also picked up a DVD player, this should be a nice surprise for Bella when the drive gets a little long. Also, Fraser is now facing forward in his car seat and ready for the west to come right at him.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Getting Ready For The Big Move

We are getting ready for the big move to California. We are organizing and purging. The movers will be here Wed-Fri. We plan to hit the road on Saturday morning and be to the Chisholms' by that night as we have big plans for fun on Sunday with them and Pat. Then we plan to head out on Monday, have some fun along the way, maybe even see the Grand Canyon and arrive in Carlsbad on 12/15. We'll keep you updated on the trip!

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Movin' on Out!  
<--- The last of the Sioux City Grueskin's are moving to Calif - this is their story of that trip

Bella in front of the old house in South Dakota
Bella in her silly smock
Fraser showing his fear of long roadtrips with his sister
Will Bella still remembers snow when she's 5?