Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Journey to Utah

We took 4 days to drive to Salt Lake City. Knowing our first night would only be as far as Des Moines IA, (so we could spend the first night with our daughter Emily), we were in no hurry to start. We enjoyed the Mardi Gras brunch at Woodlake Lutheran church and after going through the house one last time with Kevin and Charlotte, our renters, we had a great send-off from daughters Beth and Katie.

We broke our journey after only a short drive to visit Burgarts in Clear Lake IA. It was good to see our friends, get a tour of their remodel, catch-up on families, and have a pick-me-up snack of Jeanne's homemade cookies. (Thanks for the great cookies, Jeanne! The bag you gave us took us all the way to Utah!)

It was after dark when we reached Des Moines. We stopped at a Fuddrucker's restaurant for supper and to watch a bit of the last quarter of the Super Bowl. Emily was too tired to leave home and join us, but her directions to the Hawthorne home were perfect and we reached her in time to watch the end of the game. It was good to see Emily's new home and to meet Ann and Bill Hawthorne, her hosts in Des Moines. We heard a lot of the history of Wildwood Hills Ranch where Emily would start work in the morning.

Up the next morning to a good breakfast by Ann and then off following Emily to Wildwood. How could we forget to get out our camera? We have no pictures of Emily's new home in IA or of the Ranch where she will be working most days! Snow had been falling the day before and our first visit to the Ranch involved driving and then walking through fresh snowfall, about 6 inches. Emily's first duty in her new job was to give us a tour of the place. We met fellow workers, Mr. Lynn, Mary Lou and Matt. We saw a group of the horses walking in the pasture, and toured most of the buildings including the bunkhouses, art building, dining hall and the main house where Emily's office was to be. It was close to 11AM before we got back on the road.

Monday's drive was pretty uneventful with some blowing snow near Des Moines but pretty good driving on I-80 all the way to Ogallala NB where we stopped for our second night. We ate supper at a steakhouse called Front Street and then headed back to our hotel where we watched "Waitress" on my computer.

Tuesday morning we were back on the road after a good breakfast at the hotel. We reached downtown Denver before noon and were able to find Ellen and Scott at the historic synagogue where Up With People Cast A 2008 were rehearsing. They were able to get away for lunch so we walked downtown to the Paramount Cafe where we caught up on their news of life as staff for UWP Cast A, and about the last of their adventures with the fall cast B in Manilla. They had to hurry back to work, but we checked out the US Mint (closed for tours that day) and then toured the capital building before heading back to the synagogue. Scott's parents, Gene and Chris Enebo, were also in Denver to see the rehearsal so we had a nice visit with them in between songs by the cast.

You can follow Ellen and Scott's adventures with Cast A by checking out their blog: http://schmenebojourney.blogspot.com/ We left UWP Cast A 2008 and headed to our hotel where we checked in and rested before joining the Enebos at their host family's home, Julie and Jon Stone, who we hadn't seen since their wedding last Thanksgiving. Julie and Jon are good friends of Ellen and Scott, both being attendents in Ellen and Scott's wedding! It was good to see them again and to enjoy good food and conversation in their home in Denver. Once again our camera stayed in the car so we have no photos of the Stone's home to share. Chris and Gene had to leave first as they were also leaving Denver in the morning. We finally said our goodbyes and thank yous for a wonderful day in Denver!

We got up and on the road early the next morning after a good breakfast. The mountain scenery on I-70 was gorgeous until we reached the stretch near the ski resorts, and the snow began to fall and blow! One lane stayed open on I-70 but it was slow going all the way to the Utah border. This last day of driving took us 10 long hours, stopping only for rest breaks and lunch. (We were glad we didn't go N to I-80 as it was closed from the blowing snow!)

We reached Amy (our contact for the condo) by phone as we drove through Provo, and were in Salt Lake City in 1/2 hour, following her directions to the front door of 5 South 500 West, the Parc at Gateway, our new home in Salt Lake City, Utah! It took several trips to unload the car and a quick trip to The Thaifoon, a restaurant just across the coutyard from our condo, where we got take out spring rolls and Pad Thai for a late supper about 8 PM. It was so nice to be finally here! We studied the SLC map to decide how Wayne would get to work the next morning and then watched an episode of the Irish RM before heading to bed in our new home in Salt Lake City, Utah!