Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 31st

Yep, still alive.
Just to check in, I am an On Call Nanny in Seattle, and I am camping this weekend with my parents, and by that I mean with one of my really dear friends, and my parents. I miss Georgia this time of year, and by that I mean, I miss my friends and family in Georgia, and wish we could just sit together more often.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Friday the 6th: DAY 9

This morning I woke up around 7am to go running. I actually ran around this small town to see the sights. The weather was perfect for running… very little humidity! When I got back Jamie was finishing up some blogging and then we headed for the hot tub.

We stayed in for about 20 minutes and then ate a small breakfast at our hotel. We got cleaned up and headed out get some pictures around town and then onto Tacoma.

(Jamie) Pictured here are some of our favorites Jamie's Depot was established in 1983, sadly one year off of The Amazing Jamie's establishment. Ash-lee got attacked by a bear, and (as usual) all I could do is scream.
We also chanced upon the Stewart Lodge. . . we have not chosen to mention how much Ash-lee has missed her boyfriend, but since in real time (nov.2) Ash-Lee and Bryan are already engaged, I think it is safe to say TONS! She missed him tons. And the only thing that could have possibly made our adventures any better, was if he had chanced to meet us at every stop. . .

(Jamie)I think this is an appropriate time for a wound up date. Ash-lee's finger is still disgusting but her spirits are still high. I have turned a new leaf and been able to help her dress the wound for cleaning and such several times. Okay, maybe "turned" is to strong a word. Perhaps the correct sentiment, is that I love Ashley having fingers more than I hate glancing at finger guts. I am still slathering neosporin on both our injuries (stupid Peter Pan monument). Any-hoo back to the goods. . .

We drove through mountains and Seattle as well. It was so neat to finally see the wonderful place Jamie has always talked about. She explained various sites in Seattle and even more when we got to Tacoma. We made it safely to her parents’ house where we were greeted by lots of smiles and hugs. WE MADE IT!! WE DID IT!! Three thousand three hundred and sixty five miles later we had made it to Tacoma, Washington. Jamie was home!

We can’t stop there though. (Although I did stop taking pictures for the evening. . .Ash-lee hadn’t told me we where continuing. But in retrospect it makes sense. She’s doing most of the talking, why shouldn’t this cover her whole trip). I only had until 6am Sunday morning to play with Jamie and her family so we have to tell you all the fun things we did. After visiting for a bit we showed them all our treasures we collected along the way. We then helped Jamie’s mom and sister get ready for Jennie (Jamie’s sister) and James’ (Jennie’s new baby boy) party on Saturday. It was a welcome party for new baby, James. Jenny was making a super cute cake while we were trying to help clean and run errands. After sub-sandwiches for dinner, we unloaded the trailer into Jamie’s new place. Her brother, Nathan, and some of his friends helped us along with Jamie’s dad. We did it really fast with all that help. Then her dad took us all out to Dairy Queen for ice cream. So nice! After we returned home we stayed up to see the finished product of the cake and then headed to bed.

Thursday the 5th: DAY 8

After sleeping in the most comfortable bed we had ever slept in, we were able to sit on the deck with Cynthia and enjoy the beautiful morning. It was an absolutely perfect temperature. This is just the beginning of my love for the Washington weather. Jamie of course has loved it always. While we enjoyed the morning air and the beautiful view, Joey made us crepes for breakfast filled with a cream cheese and whipped cream filling along with strawberries. I had never had crepes before and these were divine!

After breakfast we headed out with Cynthia and Joey. They showed us where Cynthia plays the piano for this Country Store and we were able to see lots of the farms nearby. We came back to the house where Cynthia told us her story of how Joey and she met. They were truly meant to be.

We had lunch and then headed on our way. This was to be the last leg of the trip. We would be in Tacoma Washington by 10pm that evening or so we thought…

After driving for a few hours we stopped at a large fruit stand/antique mall to look around. Jamie got two huge bags of cherries for her family and we headed out again. We also stopped at the gorge near George. (There is actually a town in WA named George. . .) Jamie was so excited to see water she made sure we stopped to survey this new WA terrain.

Evidently WA has either seven of nine, or five of seven different climate zones. They are only missing arctic, and tropical. . . . I think.

We soon came to a traffic sign which warned us about construction on the mountain pass which would add at least an hour to our trip. It was fairly late in the evening so Jamie called her mom to ask about this construction and what she thought we should do. Her mom said we may not get into town until 1am because we also needed to grab some dinner. Her mom suggested we just stay in a hotel for the night so that is what we decided to do. We pulled into the small town of Cle Elm and booked a room at the Timber Lodge Inn. (We chose the Timber Lodge not for it's stereoscopically rustic WA feel, but for the fact that it had Big-Rig parking in the back, from which I would not have to turn around!)

We walked to dinner at the Sunset Café where we both enjoyed our meals. When we arrived back at the hotel we tried to get into the hot tub they offered but it was already closed for the evening. So we did some blogging and headed to bed.

(Please take a moment to notice the ever growing magnet nation. I (Jamie) was collecting these as a souvenir of all the different states Ash-lee and I had traveled. I was so excited and wanted to check how many I had gotten, to make sure I kept an eye out for the ones I was still missing, so I placed them on the mini fridge in the Timber Lodge. I discovered a devastating thing then: they do NOT fit together to make a nation. Since then I have discovered another rather more devastating fact: I left them on the mini fridge when we packed the next morning, and have never heard from them since.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Current Update

I am so very sorry it is taking me eons to get these blogs up. I wish I where better at configuring all the media. However, I am now warning you all of a week long pause. I will not be able to resume Ash-Lee's and Jamie's phantasmagorically named road-trip while I am in Texas helping my sister settle in with her newest baby. Long-short: *clap*clap*clap*clap "deep in the heart of Texas!"

Wednesday the 4th: DAY 7

3am is when the alarm clock went off and 4am is when we left Amy and Brenan’s house. We had to head out early because we had another 12 hour day and we needed to be in Spokane, Washington around 5:30 to Meet Cynthia and her church group for an evening of devotionals and games. I started the drive this morning because Jamie stayed up working on some of our first blog posts. She was super tired. So she slept while I drove us through the northern parts of Utah. It was beautiful to see the sun rise over the mountains.

Around 8 we stopped for gas and breakfast. We ate at Perkins because they have them all over the west and I was interested in trying one out. They had a really great bakery but the breakfast was kind of lacking. After breakfast Jamie took over driving. We found lava formations at this one rest area where we stopped. They were kind of cool. But other than the mountains we were having a pretty boring drive. I love seeing the mountains, but there is nothing out there on this part of the drive. So since we were a little too bored, I decided to make the day interesting, but not on purpose…

So we needed to stop for gas around 11am. We were somewhere in Idaho, ready to hit Montana soon. Jamie was pumping gas and I was wanting a drink from the back of the truck. As I was opening the latch of the tailgate on the truck, I pinched my left pinky finger in the latch. So it hurt pretty bad and it was bleeding a little but I did not think anything of it until... I started to not feel so well. I told Jamie I was not feeling very well, so she told me to sit down on the tailgate where I then proceeded to lay down in the truck because I felt like I was passing out.

(Let me reiterate! There I was, pumping gas and whatever, when Ashley tells me she hurt her finger. I leisurely inquire if she is alright and not being satisfied with an answer I lean over a see her littlest finger dripping blood on the pavement! The next thing I know I am helping her to sit down, all the while thinking, "Common' girl, get over it! I'm the one with the blood thing, your the reasonable one." After sitting down for a bit she leans back, which seemed fine until I caught a glimpse of her eyes ROLLING BACK in her head!!!! That is when I got laud, calling her name and the attention of those around. There was so much white in her socket, I saw it through the sunglasses!~Jamie)

I am not sure if I completely passed out or not but, I remember Jamie calling my name several times very loudly. Then several people came over to check on me to see if I was okay. After I regained my senses a little, this nice lady kept asking me questions like, “What is your full name?” and “What is your date of birth?” Jamie made me keep talking to her about all kind of things. I eventually moved to a grass area because I felt the need to throw up. I never did that thank goodness. The lady who came to check on me bandaged my finger up with some ointment and made sure I was feeling okay. Then out of nowhere a man comes over and says he is an EMT and asks if he can help. We explained what happened and he offers to take a look at my finger. We find out he is a firefighter and his station is right behind the gas station where we stopped. Apparently another fireman had been jogging by and called the station to ask someone to come check on me.

(It was more miraculous than that. So, we are in the grass and this normal (but cute) guy shows up telling us he's an EMT. Fine-and-dandy, he goes back to his truck to get his first aid kit. With no luck, he returns and I ask him if he will examine the finger as I unwrap it (No gloves=no EMT) he says sure and I begin. Let's just remember that this is JAMIE VESS unwrapping the blood-bulged finger, thank you. Then, out of no where this girl shows up on a bike with a dog, and a first aid kit in hand. MIRACLE OF MIRACLES! With the gloves our EMT takes the lead and sends me after water, assuring me she was fine, and that I could take my time. This is when I took the gas pump out of the truck and got the turkey for my dearest Ash-Lee. Upon return I was explaining to both the EMT and the girl on the bike that I was so grateful they happed to see us, and be here at this gas station. This is when they laughed and explained that they were both firefighters, the station was behind the gas station, and not only had their buddy called in the emergency as he jogged by, but EMT man called the station for a first aid kit before he came back to us. Still, I know when I've been blessed.)

(P.S. Blood-bulged, no it was actually a portion of her finger flesh that was pinched so hard it popped her skin and extruded itself, never to return. Instead it sat out there, all nasty like.)

He was amazingly nice and he bandaged up my finger after cleaning it up. He said I probably did not need stitches which was great to hear. After making sure I was okay and could walk to the car, he left us to head on our way. He was so very kind and helpful!

Jamie was also at my side the whole time helping me to sit up, making me eat and drink water. She was thinking I was probably either dehydrated or maybe even a little anemic. We have not been eating very well on this road trip, lots of sugars and very little protein so we are thinking I needed some meat J She made me eat some sliced turkey and gave me ibprophen too. She was even the one who actually put the bandage on my finger because the EMT could not get the band-aid to stick with his gloves on. I was blessed to have her there as well as the people who stopped to check on me and my EMT.

So after that craziness… we stopped at an exit which had several opal stores off of it. As we went into a couple of these stores we found the husbands and wives who mine the opals from the Idaho mines and then cut and set the stones for jewelry. They were beautiful but pricey of course so we just window shopped. We did get a free chip of opal still in it’s original form.

(This is another of those "Jamie getting over" it things. The Opal mines where just a few miles from the firefighter-filled gas station. I was still nervous about Ash-Lee and wanted to make sure she was really fine. I know walking through Opal stores doesn't seem restful, but they where populated, and close to help should a relapse occur.)

We then continued our long trek to Spokane…we were a bit behind schedule though. Wonder whose fault that was? (I did not mean to pass out) J So after Idaho we ended up going through Montana (another state we did not realize we would be going through). It was pretty gorgeous with all the mountains but again very little civilization. We stopped at this one gas station where we picked up Car Karaokee. Jamie and I popped in the CD and sang along to each song with our inflatable microphone. It was pretty great J We arrived in Spokane around 6:30 and we only made it at that time because we gained an hour with the time zone change.

Here we met up with Cynthia and her husband Joey at their church. They had dinner for us and we listened and participated as Cynthia led a small devotional. We then played a few games with the group. Afterwards we headed back to Cynthia and Joey’s home which they have turned into a Bed and Breakfast as well. The house as well as the view was gorgeous. They live on the hills in Spokane where they are surrounded by farms. It was just beautiful country. After giving us a tour of the house and letting us get cleaned up, we stayed up pretty late talking to Cynthia. Jamie and she had a lot of catching up to do. They were up much later than I was.

Tuesday the 3rd: DAY 6

Today was a relaxed day because we were to stay in Salt Lake and visit a few friends of Jamie's. Amy and Brennan were at work and school for the first half of the day, so we went out to brunch with Trisha. She really wanted crepes so we looked up a place online. After getting lost a few times we finally made it to the restaurant only to discover it was no longer there but had been replaced by a Philly Cheesesteak place. So we decided to go to the Italian restaurant next door. Here we had a delicious Margherita pizza and fantastic dessert of chocolate cake with Italian cream. It was quite delicious.

(That's a LIE! Ashley is so funny because she will spare no verbiage while describing a days meals, but when giving guilty desserts she falls shamefully shy of the truth. We each ordered a different dessert. One was a chocolate and Italian cream cake with white and dark chocolate shavings. The second was a cream topped chocolate cake with fresh strawberries layered in the whipped filling and frosting. The third was a warm apple pie-lette, served a la mode with French vanilla ice-cream. You may be asking yourself "now what's so shameful about that?" The answer my friends lies in the proportions served to us (which, mind you, we had no control or inkling of). Each piece of cake was literally a fourth of a four tiered 8"round cake. And the apple pie-lette was actually a pie, just wrapped funny to be fancy)

We then headed back to Amy’s where Trisha, Jamie, Amy, and I all sat on the floor and chatted for a while. Amy, Trisha and Jamie got all caught up and were just having fun seeing each other again.

(Psst- Amy is almost halfway through her first pregnancy! Don't tell her I told!)

Trisha had to leave to get back home after a while, so then Amy, Brennan, Jamie, and I headed to temple square in downtown Salt Lake. We did not have time to walk around to all the buildings, but we were able to walk around the temple and see a movie about Joseph Smith. The movie was fantastic! It really made us realize the sacrifices Joseph Smith and the early saints made to restore the Gospel. We also thought it was neat to have been in Nauvoo and then to travel to Salt Lake. We were able to see the distance and topography the pioneers traveled by foot as they too started their trek in Nauvoo and finished in Salt Lake.

After the movie we were going to head to Café Rio because I was told I needed to have their pork salad, but it was closed by the time we made it there, so we settled for a bowl of cereal, goodbye hugs, and an early bedtime back at Amy and Brenan’s house.

Monday the 2nd: DAY 5

I guess we never mentioned that it is Jamie moving to WA, not Ashley. So just to be clear, Ashley is the amazing friend and roomie who offered to take the ride of her life across the country, just to make sure Jamie got there safely. It is true: Jamie is spoilt! "I couldn't have asked for a better travel buddy or friend!"

I woke up early to go running in the hotel exercise room. I then got Jamie up and we headed out around 7:30 after enjoying a lovely breakfast at our hotel. Today was a long day, but super exciting! We were headed to Salt Lake which would take about 12 hrs but about 14 hrs knowing us. So the beginning of the day was pretty boring! We drove a lot. I actually started driving today which was a change of pace. Jamie bought state magnets to show all the places she has been in the U.S and to kind of document our trip. Other than that we were pretty much on the road, listening to Eat, Pray, Love which we happened to finish this day.

So once we made our way into Wyoming on the long stretch of Hwy 80 we ran into some major traffic in Rock Springs. We literally moved less than a mile in 30 minutes. We decided to use our GPS, Dale, to give us an alternate route. We knew this route might take us away from the amenities, so we fueled the truck and checked the air in the tires. As we began to follow this “alternate route” we were led onto a dirt road which looked as if it would switch back along the side of the mountain. Unfortunately, the road was a more direct route taking us straight up the mountain. It was rough, I'm not gonna lie. About 8.7 seconds into the first hill of this “alternate route” our tires began to slip on the gravel, as Jamie quickly switched the truck into 1st gear, to give what little more girt we could, she calmly stated, “This is the time when we start praying!”


After making it up this portion by weaving and faith, we looked for a place to turn around because heaven knows we can’t back up the trailer. We found no loop to turn around (as there was a healthy ditch on either side of the road) so we kind of just stopped.

(Can I just say, I prayed so hard: nothing eloquent, but one of those stupid prayers that need immediate answers, “Please, please, please, please!” I tried to stay calm, for the sake of all involved, but I just knew any second I would hit a bolder- filled- pot- hole wrong and lose a tire to the gaping ditch. The dust and heat did not help, and this is the very moment I learned what rear wheel drive actually means!~Jamie)

Luckily, there was a bigger truck descending the mountain. Jamie flagged him down and explained our problem (6 cylinder truck, 2 wheel rear drive, 2 ton U-haul trailer, on a steep loose-rocked dirt mountain). He was so nice and offered to turn the truck around for us. Don’t worry Jamie took her wallet and phone and we kept an eye on his truck idling nearby. He was so kind though and turned the truck around so we could proceed down the mountain. We were very blessed and grateful for his help.

So the other problem of standstill traffic had not disappeared by this time, so we decided to see a movie at the local theater, which was right off the exit. We saw Dinner with the Schmucks which was kind of crude but mostly hilarious. Jamie liked it more than I did but it was a fun adventure.

We also saw the advertisement for the movie of Eat, Pray, Love which we are both excited to see. It comes out August 13th. We decided to compare notes on the movie since we won’t be together to see it L

After the movie we continued our trek to Salt Lake after eating Taco Time for dinner and taking a dinosaur ride. Note: we got what we though was the vegetarian taco, and it had sunflower seeds in it. Turns out that's a good choice for soft TT tacos!

(I must chime in again to emphasize that we had Taco Time Drive-thru! It was the first and last time I tried that one. Nothing bad happed, but I was so stressed the whole time about how things where lining up and where all my corners where that I couldn't eat my burrito right away! Ashley doesn't know this, but that is really why we took the dinosaur rides!)

We found our way to Salt Lake but needed to head to Lindon, Utah to Amy’s house for end destination. Apparently there are two zip codes for the Lindon area, so at 1am in the morning we went to the wrong area of Lindon. After calling Amy, and getting her correct area code we made it to her house where we hit the bed as soon as possible.