This past week, we made our annual trek to Utah to visit my grandparents. It's a long drive, 13 hours not counting stops, so it can be grueling even for adults! We usually split it into two chunks, and camp someplace in southern Utah or northern Arizona on our way up and back.
We weren't sure how Elmer would handle such a long time in the car, so we didn't go as far as we usually do on the first day of driving. We didn't leave until about 12:30 on Sunday, and arrived at Jacob Lake campground about 7:00 PM, with only a quick stop in Flagstaff for a snack. Elmer did pretty good, but the last hour was very hard for him since it was past his bedtime and he wanted out of the car! Once we stopped at the campground, though, he was happy as a clam. We gave him his dinner, then went across the street to eat our own at the Jacob Lake Inn. We all got to bed about 9:00, and Elmer fell asleep just fine in his bassinet. However, he woke up a couple of hours later and was a little cold, so we brought him to sleep with us on the air mattress. He was all cozy and warm, but probably would have slept better if WE weren't so restless! We're not used to having him sleep with us!
We packed up camp early the next morning, and set off again after breakfast. Elmer was great - we learned that he travels best in the earlier parts of the day. After a few stops every couple of hours for some snacking and wiggle breaks, we arrived at my grandparents' house in the late afternoon. Needless to say, they were excited to meet their newest great-grandson!
We rested the rest of the day, and had another relaxing day on Tuesday. We enjoyed a break from the car and only left to go over to my uncle Eric's house for dinner. We had a great visit, and it was fun to introduce Elmer to his uncle, Aunt Debbie, and cousin Kash!
On Wednesday, we went to visit our friends Mike and Havilah. We spend a lovely day hanging out with them, going to Thanksgiving Point, trying ghost chili hot wings (well, Chris, Mike, Ruth and I did), and having frozen yogurt. Elmer especially enjoyed cuddling with Havi and being entertained by their children.
It was already time to leave on Thursday, but we managed to have a brief visit with my Gramma Bea before hitting the road.
We were anxious to get home, so we made a really long push and drove all the way to Flagstaff. Luckily, Elmer fell asleep after stopping for dinner in Page, so he wasn't so unhappy about driving so late. We stayed at a hotel and left bright and early on Friday to get home by 10 AM. It was a great trip, but we were all so happy to be home! We've been relaxing and napping ever since!
Elmer experienced a lot of firsts this week: first really long drive, first time nursing in public places, meeting lots of family and friends, and sleeping in lots of different places. He was a real trooper! We learned a lot about his (and our) limits, so hopefully our next trip will be even easier.
Of course, there are more pictures!