Heading back to Indy

A new state!

The red hills of Oklahoma

click here for a fun short video from our time in the car today to give you an idea of some of our road trip ‘time-passing’ activities. Times have certainly changed from our ‘long’ family road trips between Indiana and Illinois! 😛

Noah has also be been taking a some pictures and has created a public facebook gallery of our trip. You can see it here:

Noah’s gallery

Las Cruces part 2

It’s hard to see, but there is a real road runner in this picture. It’s clearer in the next picture. As non desert types it was cool to see. Apparently they’re quite common in these desert parts.

Out for lunch on a HOT day in Mesilla, NM

Trip to Bethel Church

One of the key parts of our entire trip to the States was our trip to Redding, CA to participate in a training retreat for couples as part of Bethel Church’s marriage ministry, Love After Marriage

It was 5 intense days that included learning (experientially) how to help couples get breakthrough with tough conflicts and problems and some time (not enough) tasting the supernatural culture of Bethel Church. Very valuable but not always easy!

Lori and Barry Byrne, the founders of LOVE AFTER MARRIAGE.

A totally cool sculpture in the Sacramento airport of an upsidedown tree, which is very cool if you know the story of the dream which started LOVE AFTER MARRIAGE!

Santa Fe & Las Cruces New Mexico

Halfway to Las Cruces we stopped to spend the night in Santa Fe, New Mexico, home of some incredible art galleries and boutiques. Thankfully we did our tourist thing Monday morning. The weather was delightful and the traffic non-existant! Apparently a weekend visit is a different experience. Our first stop was the miracle staircase at the Loretto chapel. Miracle or not, it was cool.

A coffee shop I’d have loved to visit if it were open. I guess we’ll get our share at Bethel!

Noah and Rachel find another set of cool stairs in Santa Fe.

My sentiments exactly! 😀

We made it fine to Las Cruces and the following day we celebrated Rachel’s 23rd birthday by going to see ‘Brave’ in 3D. A lot of fun and it brought back good memories from Scotland.

The Scenic Day

Sunday was our scenic day of driving from Denver to Santa Fe. I took so many pics that I put in this post that I had trouble uploading it from my phone! 😛

We started the day driving from our friends’ house through our old neighborhood haunts. The first stop was solemn:

The week we left for our DTS in Germany in1999 was the week of the Columbine High School shootings. It was just a few miles from our house. When we arrived in Germany it was still world news.

Sunday morning we stopped at the park right next to the high school which was also next to the library we often visited. They had erected a memorial to the victims of the shooting and we spent about 20 minutes reading the inscriptions. (photo above) I found the inscriptions below particularly poignant.

The fountains at the memorial:

Then we drove over to our old house. We found it vacant, in some disrepair and up for sale as a repossession.

Then started a day of driving with beautiful vistas and clouds and weather.

Then we stopped at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

And finally we made it into New Mexico!

And since we couldn’t take the picture going in, we took it going out!

New Mexico also offered stunning horizons while driving.

Open House & Ultimate Shopping

We had the treat to see a few people at our Denver open house. while the turnout wasn’t much the time quality time. Good to see you Penny, Steven and Erica!

In the evening we went shopping! Denver has a shopping ‘nexus’ that surrounds Park Medows mall that is pretty amazing. The original destination was the American Girl shop so that Olivia could relive some American childhood memories (the bulk of which were actually experienced in Europe) 😛

Here’s the gang at the American Girl store. Noah and I also had fun in the LEGO store!

Hot road miles

Lots of long straight miles between Indy and Wichita and Denver in 100 degree (F) weather. Thanks to a good car all has gone smoothly.

This was the best I could to capture the Kansas state line.

Construction wasn’t too bad but we have had some stretches. Thankfully US roads are already wide enough that driving on my narrowed lanes is not quite the white knuckle experience that one gets in German or Swiss highway construction zones!

Thanks to our friends Brian & Vanessa, we had wonderful accommodations and food in Wichita. The kids even had some good fun lighting off fireworks in their cul-de-sac. Thanks Conner for leading the way!

Between Wichita and Denver we saw a sign and a wonder (at least to me! ) There in Colby, Kansas, in the desolate stretches of I-70 near the Colorado state line we found a…


I wish I’d gotten a picture, but at least I got a Frappachino and a latte.

Another day (shorter) of hot, straight highway driving brought us to Denver in rush hour. It was slow going but fun as we began to stir up old Denver memories and there had just been a good thunder storm that had come through. Nothing like seeing good weather come in over the mountains!

We then reunited with Angela who had been retrieved from her retreat by our friends Keith & Annie. We’ve now enjoyed a wonderful meal and good night’s rest in their lovely home.

Dry/Wet 4th & hittin’ the road

Spent the 2nd straight day with serious pool time (lots of sunscreen but a bit pink in the face anyway).

It’s been so dry in Indiana (and many other places in the States) that all private fireworks and public ones too were banned. So our 4th was calm. It wasn’t until the next day however that I realized that I had ‘missed’ fireworks.

Now we’re on the road in this beautiful Honda Pilot, courtesy of our friends. Thanks, Tom & Wendy!

Here we are at the first state boundry line. Unfortunately the rest of the state boarder lines have not been accessible for photo ops. 🙁

Think “The Long And Winding Road” by the Beatles…minus the ‘winding’ part! 😀