Yesterday was a big day. We started off playing in a local park until almost noon. Once we realized how late it was we got on the road. We made it from Baker City to Yakima by about 3:30. We found a huge field that was home to several soccer games. Ainsley has been talking about soccer for about 6 weeks so we grabbed a blanket and watched a game. It was pretty fun. She thought that she could probably run as fast as those kids so we had her running between our blanket and a field marker. We were timing her and told her that if she didn't get under 19 seconds she wouldn't get dinner. She tried really hard, pumped her arms and drove her legs up and down like pistons. Her best time...19.51. She was so sad when Christy and I were eating, she just starred at her water glass with a tears welled up in her eyes. Kidding...totally kidding.
I actually think that the running hollowed out one of her legs because she ate a ton of food at dinner. After we all ate we looked viewed a series of bronze art pieces that celebrating the produce industry that really drives Yakima. One of them was a horse saddle which is were Ainsley was giving riding lessons to anyone who had previously signed up (that would be me apparently).
We eventually made our way back to the car and decided that we were close enough to head home. So we drove the rest of the way home in Highway 12, which in darkness is a damn slow road. Taking into account the 1.5 near deer incidents we had, the curving road and the fatigue it took us awhile to get back. We eventually pulled in around 10PM last night.
One of the first things we did was test out the bed to see if it was as comfortable as we remembered. The build-up to this point over the drive had become quite large and thankfully the mattress didn't disappoint. It felt marvelous. I went out and grabbed our clothes bags and pillows. We quickly rummaged through the mail and then hit the sack.
As we lay there in bed none of us could really believe that we were home. We were on the road 19 days and yet we felt like we had to cut the trip short. Christy and I discussed how things would have been different if I didn't have to return back to WaMu. In all likelihood we would still be gone. We would have spent more time in Zion and Bryce and maybe found something else to do along the way home. It's all good though, I suspect that we will be visiting these places again in the future, although I doubt that they will all be on the same trip.
Today we are going to get the car back in order. This should really stink. I mean we have about 15 pounds of dead bugs on the cartop carrier alone. The headlight housing is wrought with dead insects as well. I had to clean the headlights during the trip just to allow light through. The inside of the car...well you can imagine what that looks like. It has really been our "home" over that last three weeks. Never once was it packed the same way twice. There are items that need to be found, namely my cell phone is MIA. I am confident that it is in the car, but it could be days before it is recovered.
One odd thing I noted. Bees seem to like dead bugs. Everything we stopped somewhere, we would come back and the car would have several bees swarming around it. Mainly we found them "munching" on the license plate and cartop carrier. It was weird. Ainsley is going through a period where bees really freak her out, so this made for some interesting times when getting back in the car. Of course there was the occasional time when a stray bee would get in the car. Three miles down the road it would appear and the screaming would ensue. I'd roll down her window and Christy would guide the bee out. Teamwork at its best.
It is safe to say that I am glad to be home, glad to be somewhere familiar and known. It is also safe to say that I am sad the trip is over. We had a really great time and saw some amazing stuff along the way. The accumulated time spent laughing would amount to hours. The amount of time spent enjoying the company of my girls was endless. I knew that I had missed them over the last 6 months, but I didn't realize how much I had missed. I missed being there when Ainsley woke up, I missed the snuggle time she likes after being sad or getting hurt. I missed watching the peacefulness of her sleeping. I missed having my wife make me laugh. Having this chance to reconnect with both Christy and Ainsley was great and very much needed. This was really the best the part of the trip, feeling like a family again.
Stay tuned, I will publishing some trip stats later. Maybe tomorrow depending on how the car goes (fingers crossed).