We left Albuquerque at 6 am on a Thursday morning with everybody packed and ready to go. With 4 kids 5 and under and me being so pregnant (33 weeks on the trip) I was overly prepared and organized. All the kids fruit and milk for breakfast was washed, cut, and put in individual containers the night before so they could eat on the road. We had over three hours to drive to get to the train depot and with only 3 1/2 hours before we were suppose to check in we didn't have much time for "issues". The train was suppose to depart at 10am take us to lunch then back to the depot by 4:30. I packed a massive diaper bag with enough juice, snacks, toys and diapers to last a week and prayed for the best. I knew this was going to be the hardest day on our trip and I was anxious to get it behind us.
Now for what really happened. We did leave at 6 am thanks to my upbringing with a military father that always left the house on time no matter how many kids he left behind. We only had to stop once for a potty break (mostly for me but I claimed it was the girls) and then Isaac decided that he didn't like breakfast on the go and threw up all over the car. We pulled over to change him but didn't have the time or ability to get into all the nooks and crannies of the car seat so spent the remainder of the trip holding our noses. Isaac got the weak stomach from me so I guess this is the point were I apologize to my mom for all the many times I got sick in the car. We made it to the depot on time and in one piece, boarded the train, and then didn't go anywhere. The train was broken and they couldn't get it working again. They told us they could either refund our money or add an hour bus ride to and from another depot. With hotel reservations already made we opted for the 2nd and prayed the kids would last the extra 2 hours on our day. And we did despite the fact that Dean threw up on the bus on the way back and there were a few minor melt downs. We had a lot of people comment on the size and good behavior of our family and I thanked them with a smile as I was trying not to pull out all my hair.
The rest of the trip was smooth sailing after that. We drove up to Laramie, Wyoming the next day to spend the weekend with Bob's brother Mike and his wife Melissa who is expecting a baby in January. It was the first visit we have made up to their home and I'm so glad we finally did it. It was wonderful seeing them and we kept busy going to their park next door and hiking at a nearby trail. The weather was perfect and the kids loved climbing around and being outside.
We spent our last night with Bob's cousin Gina and her family just south of Denver and were warmly welcomed. I have only meet her once shortly after Bob and I got married but we really hit it off with her and her husband. They also have a little boy that is five and two little girls that are three and 4 months that our kids had a blast playing with. Ask our five year old what the best part of the trip was and she will tell you it was hanging out with Ben. Great food, conversation, and they had outlet malls right off the freeway that Gina and I ran off to while Bob watched all 6 of the kids (Gina took her youngest). Couldn't get any better than that. We made it home safely the following day with little excitement except for a stop on the side of the freeway for a brief time-out spot for a temper tantrum. Over all it was a wonderful trip and well worth seeing all the family and sights that we got to. It did make me appreciate all the road trips that I remember going on as a kid. I can only imagine how much work that was for my parents to supply those happy memories.