road-trip 2008

**warning: long novel-y post **

8 days on the road – 3 carseats, 4 states, 5 new locations, 2,000 miles in the van over desert landscapes, cactus plateaus, rocky mountain buttes, riverbed valleys...meeting family, friends, communities! ...including many Frappacchinos, Subway sandwiches, and priceless memories!

Day 1: Los Angeles, CA – SoCal Doan family!!
We had a great visit with amazing friends in Santa Ana! A Three Amigo reunion, along with our precious growing families! The kids bonded instantly and cherished our short time together. Asia even learned how to put her face in the pool from her 3-year-old friend Lily. Thanks Lily – we have been trying for 2 years now!  Now we just need some swim lessons! M&M – you two are incredible beyond words! Thanks for being such great friends AND family!

Matthew, Samuel, Josh & Justin
Asia & buddy Lily
both of our budding families (Samuel is hiding behind Asia)
Day 2+3: San Diego, CA – Heyn family!!
This was our 2nd time staying with the Heyn’s, and its been fun to see our families grow! Thank you guys for taking such great care of us, and for the fun time spent in the pool, playing with toys and sharing life. We cherish you guys! We also met with our incredible family in San Diego, and shared about life in China. *Justin spent his birthday with about 100 8-year-olds, teaching them about China & ice cream!

five cute kiddos
the kids with their ice cream cones at Canyonview

Day 4: Phoenix, AZ – Grandpa & Grandma McNabb & Aunt Gloreen!
We were greeted with a huge spread of food and snacks all prepared by Justin’s Aunt Gloreen! She prepared every detail ahead of time, and had activities for the kids, as well as homemade dresses and clothing for the winter ahead. Thank you Aunt Gloreen for all the special touches you added to our visit! The girls got reacquainted with Grandpa & Grandma McNabb (95 & 94 years young) while drawing pictures, playing with balloons and celebrating daddy’s belated birthday. G&G have so much wisdom & insights to share with us!

Asia & Aunt Gloreen making snacks

Asia & Sydney with great-Grandpa McNabb

Sydney with great-Grandma McNabb

Day 5: Albuquerque, NM – Uncle Eddie & Aunt KC’s home!
We made it to Albuquerque in time for a fantastic dinner and sunset over the big city. It was incredible to catch up with more family, and share stories at the park near their house. These two are so hospitable & generous! We slept in their guestroom, which was fit for a king & queen. We felt spoiled! Thank you both with all our hearts!

Aunt Karen (KC), Asia, Uncle Eddie, Sydney & Justin

Day 6+7: Durango, CO – the Johnson clan!
As we passed into Colorado – the entire landscape changed and was green and bursting with life. We were very drawn to this small town and the laid-back feel. It was also incredible to reconnect with old friends and share similar adventures. The girls bonded with O&P so well – that they cried as we left. Thank you all for such a sweet welcome into your family, your town and your passions too. We resonate with you deeply.

Asia, Piper & Oscar

fast friends....

Day 8: Colorado Springs, CO – more Doan clan!!
One last day of driving…but we made it!! The girls were troopers, and they were amazingly flexible! We dropped off our things at our hotel, and reunited with best buddies Nathan & Elle Doan for a taco feast! We loved getting to meet their daughter Sophia – and just BE together. Here we are surrounded by a wonderful community of friends, and to be refreshed – for 2 whole weeks!

(sorry no pictures for a bit! forgot the camera cord!)