day seven

We are here.


day six

Today we left Pennsylvania with no major mishaps. I only slept an hour longer today than I was supposed to (I have such a patient husband), so we got a good start. We headed up to Buffalo, New York to see Niagara Falls. It was pouring rain all day, so it was kind of a soggy experience.

The falls were beautiful. I quite enjoyed it, despite my bad puddle dodging abilities.

After that, we went to Palmyra, New York and saw the Hill Cumorah, the Palmyra temple, and the sacred grove. It's so amazing to finally be seeing all these places that I've wanted to see my whole life. There is such a special spirit at the church sites, especially in the sacred grove. It is such a peaceful and calm place. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to have been there when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared. I'm so grateful to have a husband like Wade, who could recite to me Joseph Smith's experience from memory. It was a really good experience for us to share together.

We drove to Syracuse, NY and went out to dinner to "celebrate" our two month anniversary today. We had mashed potatoes! Such a nice change from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and go-gurts. :) Can you believe we've already been married two whole months? This little road trip of ours has made it feel like 5 years at least (just teasing, husband).

We only have three more hours left until we got to Boston (hurrah!!), so you better believe I'm sleeping in as long as I dang want to tomorrow.

departure: Erie, PA 10:00 a.m.
old churches: 29
times the wind almost blew wade off the road: 6
tolls paid: $30.60 (lame!)
odd colored houses (and to qualify as "odd" means hot pink, bright yellow, neon green, etc.): 11
puddles kali stepped in: 3
ferris wheels: 3
llamas: 29
longest train: 66
cheapest gas price: 3.79
weirdest town name: Lackawanna and Schenectady
arrival: Albany, New York 11:15 p.m.
Total miles traveled: 461

Also, I am wondering what exactly the staff here at Holiday Inn thought about Wade when he checked in. For some reason, when we got to our room, it said this on our door:


day five

We do not have much to report on this here day. (I'm learning how to talk like an ohioan) The biggest event happened this morning as I was organizing stuff in the front of the truck. I heard a loud crashing noise in the back where Wade was putting our luggage in. Apparently, he had tried to re-arrange a few things so we could stop killing our dear love fern. Well, my giant box full of scrapbooking stuff took a dive. Only my mother can understand the complete horror I felt as I came running around the corner to see thousands of brads, eyelets, and buttons scattered all over the gravel. I almost cried. And then I laughed my head off. Wade wanted to desert them. I, on the other hand, love my precious scrapbooking supplies. So I plopped myself on the ground and picked them all up, one by one. Needless to say, we got kind of a late start today. :)

Upon leaving Chicago, we were slapped in the face with another toll road. We had to pay a few a couple days earlier, but this is just getting ridiculous! Why on earth do we have to pay to use the freeway? Altogether, we paid four more toll roads between Chicago and Ohio, and we finally just got sick of seeing this:

so we took the long way, around cities like this:

We took a stop in Kirtland, Ohio. It was too late and dark by the time we got there to see anything, but we did find the Newel K. Whitney store and the Kirtland temple. It was rainy and wet, but I saw my first firefly there!

We are now staying in Pennsylvania, where my cute little brother is on his mission. Basically it makes me crazy that he's so close and I can't go see him.

departure: Chicago, IL 12:30 p.m.
dead possums: 1
total tolls paid: $14.75
weirdest town name: Sterrettania
pheasant feathers flying at us from the truck in front: 10,329
postcards written: 3
longest train: 42 cars
drop in temperature since yesterday: -20 degrees
phone calls home: 4
rainbows: 1
nights in a row wade has fallen asleep as we're writing this: 5
arrival: Erie, PA 11:30 p.m.
total miles traveled: 490


day four

Waking up was a bit more pleasant today than days past. There was no driving today, just exploring Chicago. You see, four years ago to this day; a young man came home from his mission. That young man was me, and that mission was the Chicago North Mission. We spent the night last night, and the night tonight in one of my old areas. We left the truck, or beast as Kali calls it, and took the train into the city.Upon arriving, we purchased some Jamba Juices for breakfast and headed over to the Millenium Park where we watched children play in the water and get spit on by an older lady (see picture for proof).hi people. This is Kali. Your good narrator for the night keeps falling asleep as he is typing. So i guess it is left to me to finish, seeing as you're all in such dire suspense of the day's activities.
After the random spitting head fountains, we stopped by a large metallic jelly bean. Now what on earth is a large metallic jelly bean doing in a city like chicago? Well, I don't really have the answer to that. All I know is that it was cool. Really. It had the reflection of the city in it, and when you stood underneath, you could see like seven of yourself. Quite entertaining.

We also saw buckingham fountain, which i don't have much to say about. Definitely not as bizarre as the face fountain.
Chicago is home to the Magnificent Mile. And Magnificent it was. If only we had more time (and money) to wander the stores. The Forever 21 had two floors. I was so overwhelmed, but in such bliss. Wade said on the escalator up, "Aren't you glad I don't feel awkward in places like this?" Glad? Ecstatic.

Wade finally got his hot dog that he has been talking about ever since I met him. I'm not a big hot dog fan. In fact, they repulse me. So I just sat and watched him eat one. But...it did look really good. So I tried a bite. I am happy to report that I am a true fan of chicago hot dogs.

While we're on the subject of food, let's talk about the huge pizza we had for dinner. Wade could only eat two pieces. And that is saying something. Our waiter's name was German, and he was Italian. Huh? Anyway, he was nice.

As we were walking around the city, we saw signs for Wicked. We had no idea it was there, and so on a random whim, we decided to go see if there were any tickets left. We had balcony seats, but the show was amazing!! We loved it! It was such a cute twist of the wizard of oz. I found it to be quite clever really.

departure: Chicago, IL 10:00 a.m.
ingredients on Wade's hotdog: 6
drunk men on the train: 7
times we fell asleep on the train: 3
complete strangers that took our picture: 4
stinky smells: garbage, cigarette smoke, and the sewer
stops: almost every two blocks
arrival: Holiday Inn, 11:00 p.m.
total miles traveled: unfortunately, our feet don't have mile counters. (what are those called? I'd ask wade, but I don't want to wake him up)

I would like to end by quoting Wade's father in a text we got today regarding yesterday's adventure and Wade's test of patience:
"Wade you make a father proud. I would have driven the truck into the Mississippi"
ha ha ha ha ha.


day three

I very well could be losing my mind. And I'm surprised I have not caused my husband to do the same. Yesterday, I realized I packed away our video camera in the back of our truck. We bought that video camera so we could film our adventures. So I insisted that we pull it out. We parked in a Walmart parking lot, and my good husband climbed inside, yanked out some boxes, and dug out our bag with the video camera. Only, it wasn't in there. It was inside my suitcase the entire time. Whoops. Wade so lovingly threw it back in the truck, packed everything up and we were on our way. So today, as we were heading across the Mississippi river, I whip out Wade's camera, only to find that his battery is dead. So I pull out my camera, only to find that it is missing the memory card. It was in the bag we packed away again. Of course i just HAVE TO HAVE A PICTURE of the Mississippi river. So we pulled over and AGAIN unpacked the truck and pulled out the memory card. A bag of flour hit wade in the head. ha.

We drove across the river and came to the "Welcome to Illinois" sign. In case you haven't noticed, it has become our new family tradition to take a picture of every sign. Well I had completely filled my memory card by this time, so I was frantically deleting pictures so I could take a picture of the sign before we drove past. I got one. So without wanting to delete all the pictures, I went backwards through them and deleted them one at a time. I DELETED the one of the sign. Imagine my heart ripping in half. So 9 miles from Nauvoo, good ol' Wade turns the huge, honkin', mighty truck around so I can take another picture of the sign. Don't worry, I deleted that one on accident too. Only to find that i really am completely losing my mind, because I never really deleted either of them. wow.

onward. We went to Nauvoo this morning and attended a session in the temple. It was absolutely gorgeous inside and the temple workers are so nice and friendly. They treated us like celebrities. In fact, one couple loved us so much, they took us on a personal tour of the temple after we were done with the session.

We also saw the grave site of Joseph Smith and his family, his little store, and the mansion house. I wish we would have had more energy and time to spend walking around to more of the sites, but my legs just wouldn't have it. We then went on to Carthage where we toured the jail where the prophet was martyred. It is so incredible to stand in a room where you know Joseph Smith has been. It's also heart breaking to think about him losing his life in the same place. We feel so lucky to have seen such testimony building things today.

To be quite honest, we had a lovely morning, and a horrible night. It all started when some stupid construction shut down the main road we were driving on. We went through many small towns, going about 35 miles an hour for about two hours. We finally worked our way up to the Chicago area, where I drove and Wade navigated. It didn't turn out to be such a good set up, seeing as I don't know how to drive those monsters. Oh, and then we got lost. For TWO HOURS. I hope I like Chicago more in the daytime.

depart: burlington, Iowa 9:22 a.m.
*nauvoo, Illinois
*carthage, Illinois
*peru, Illinois
postcards written: 10
blisters on Kali's feet: 2
times Wade asked where we are: 7,308
construction zones: 17
camels: 5
weirdest town name: Hennepin
cheapest gas price: 3.57
dead coyotes: 1
speed demon diesels: 5
times Kali either ran off the road, slammed on the breaks, or cut off another car: 4
toll roads: 3
arrival: Chicago, Illinois 1:00 a.m.
total miles traveled: 298 (thats a rough estimate. we're too tired to care.)

we now leave you with a word from our sponsor:


day two

I haven't even started and Kali is already trying to censor me. This is Wade, by the way. There was much about today I wish to speak of. First being, my lovely wife's inability to wake up. She has this amazing ability to make me think she's awake and when I turn my back, she's right back to sleep. We started out today at Walmart. (Sigh) I'm not really a fan of this place, but this is not a political blog.
Much to our dismay, out long time friend George was found missing some... limbs after yesterday's travels. May he have a speedy recovery.
It's clear from our cereal choices who the adult in the relationship is.Nebraska lingered on for six hours, six long flat, corn filled hours. And then came Iowa, and it's giant windmills and the happiest place on earth, Adair, IA.
We found ourselves in a delightful little restaurant called, Happy Chef. (It looked a lot like
Village Inn). To make a long story short, Kali, once again ended up not feeling so 'happy' after eating out. We asked out server, Matt, to take our picture and he looked at us like we asked him to commit some sort of heresy. So we moved on from that place.
An hour and a half later we flew past Des Moines, and 10,000 hours later finally arrived at Burlington, IA. To compare last night's Motel 6 to tonight's Holiday Express, the extra 25 dollars went a long, long, long way in comfort and niceness and cleanliness, and comfort and room, and cleanliness. So good night world, until tomorrow...

hi. kali here with the IMPORTANT information. and the only thing that needed censoring here was the hideous picture of me sleeping with my mouth wide open. good visual eh? who needs a picture?

departure: Sidney, Nebraska 10:30 a.m.
times we had to repack the truck: 2
items lost during the bumps: 2 (our love fern and the leg of a mirror)
cornfields: 6,082
weirdest town name: Nishnabotna
cheapest gas price: 3.53
bathroom stops:
*coznad, NE
*minden, NE
*council bluffs, IA
*adair, IA
dead racoons: 3
llamas: 16
times a large, unidentifiable object flew into the windshield: 5
times wade flung one of those objects at kali: 1
arrival: Burlington, Iowa 12:30 a.m.
Total miles traveled: 702

Also, you should know that a nice man on a gospel radio station forgave us of all our sins today. Really folks, it's that easy.


day one

Today was the day we have been waiting for (if you're Wade) and dreading (if you're Kali), all summer long. We loaded up the 10 foot Budget rental truck with every ounce of our belongings...and then some. I was thoroughly convinced that we would never fit everything in it, but a large shout out goes to everyone who proved me wrong with their superior stacking and packing skills.

my grandma threatened to strap herself to the back.
then she realized what a bad idea that was.

We've realized that we need to find some sort of ipod adapter for the radio...because driving like this can be quite boring...

Have no fear though. We found ourselves jamming to some sweet old songs we occasionally found, and surprisingly knew all the lyrics to, such as, "no one else on earth could ever hurt me, break my heart the way you do." (even though you don't want to admit it, you know all the words too...) And sometimes, out of no where, for no reason whatsoever, having nothing to do with my surroundings, I found myself singing "home, home on the range." Wade held his breath through tunnels, I read a ridiculous amount and together we stared out into nothing-ness for approximately 10 hours. Wade was so eager to help me blog our first day...and now he's zonked out next to me in our lovely room in the Motel 6. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. I hope we have more to report than cows and sagebrush.

Riverton, UT 10:01 a.m.
longest train: 107 cars

llamas: 2
colored tootsie rolls consumed: 32
bathroom stops:
* coalville, UT
*rock springs, WY
* rawlins, WY
*laramie, WY
*cheyenne, WY
dead deer: 2 1/2
weirdest town name: dead tie between "Wamsutter" and "Vedauwoo"
dinner: Subway
cheapest gas price: 3.55 (no joke!)
hotels ditched because of nasty smoke smell: 1
Arrival: Sidney, Nebraska 11:15 p.m.
and most importantly...
Total miles traveled: 590

Also, how come everyone in Wyoming is tooth-less?


my new family

The Poulsen'sScott and Kristy
Jared and Susanand their cute little boy Jackson
Wade and KaliJohn and TinaNiki
The guys
The girls

I'm so happy to be a part of this fun and cute family!



It's not what you think it is. Really.

As many of you know, I've had a lame ache in the side of my abdomen for the last two months. Actually, while it has been thoroughly lame, I don't think lame is the right word. Let me see if I can better describe to you the pain I've been experiencing:
I thought I was going to die.
Wade and I are new at this being married thing, so we didn't exactly jump on the health insurance bandwagon as soon as we should have. So I avoided going to the doctor as long as possible. But when the pain just got to be too much, and I had completely psyched myself into thinking that something was going to explode inside of me, I made an appointment to see my doctor. Only, for some reason, good ol' doctor Johnson is gone, somewhere, til October (why can doctors do that?). So, I saw a new guy. We had a good chat about my symptoms...
a lot of pain.
every day.
in my left side.

He then proceeded to do what doctors do best, and poked around to see if he could find anything weird. He came to the conclusion that I have
So he tells me that he wants to run some blood tests and do an ultrasound and then leaves the room. And I'm left to ponder what on earth I have done to deserve gastritus. I'm thinking, "If anyone has gastritus, its Wade..." (sorry, husband) Also, I'm thinking, "How embarrassing for me to come to a doctor for GAS."

When the doctor comes back in the room, he can tell I'm in deep thought. He asks me what's bothering me and I tell him I'm confused by his diagnosis and asked him if I had some sort of severe gas. And he laughed his head off. Talk about some misunderstandings. Just in case you're wondering what Gastritus really is:

Gastritis usually develops when your stomach's protective layer becomes overwhelmed or damaged. A mucus-lined barrier protects the walls of your stomach from the acids that help digest your food. Weaknesses in the barrier allow your digestive juices to damage and inflame your stomach lining.

I have sores inside my poor little tummy. :( Basically, he said it's like cutting your leg open and pouring lemon juice on it. Ouch. And you would never believe what it comes from.
Go figure.

I have literally worried myself sick.

On a happier note, the above mentioned new doctor felt pity on my poor, unfortunate, poverty-stricken soul, and gave me my money back for the visit. AND did my blood tests for free. AND gave me a ton of medicine for free. All because I don't have insurance. There are still good people in this world (which I am often left questioning on a daily basis, due to the fact that I work at Winger's...but that's another story).


a tribute to my car

Actually, this is less like a tribute and more like an apology to my beloved 2001 Chevy Prizm:
I'm sorry for the time I carelessly backed you into a large dumpster that had, unbeknownst to me, been place in our dorm's parking lot for moving out week. That put a real dent in the bumper.
I'm sorry for the time I deserted you in Logan canyon after loading you up with firewood and then locking the keys inside. I promise the hitch-hike home was not that great.
I'm sorry for the time I hit that pathetic bird and allowed you to watch it explode. I've never seen feathers fly like that.
I'm sorry for the time I parked you by a construction site on the day they were pouring cement. You look good in gray though, promise.
I'm sorry that I drove you back and forth from San Diego twice, with a few trips to St. George and Las Vegas as well. I was almost as hot as you were.
I'm sorry that one of those drives to San Diego was with a broken fan belt. Actually, it was a broken screw holding in the fan belt. Rubber rubbing on metal doesn't sound very good.
I'm sorry that I left you out on my wedding day. Saran wrap. Paint. Balloons. Root Beer. Enough said.

In all reality, my car has been my little side-kick for the past 4 years. And it's ridiculous to get sentimental over a car right? But, the time has come to sell it and I'm a little bit saddened by the situation. I am now handing it over to some 16 year old for the price of two months of rent in Boston (and living car-less for the next two years. Hello, public transportation.)