Day 7 Saturday.  A day “off” according to Mike.  No concert.  Bryan and I woke up with no particular plan, only knowing that at 6:00 we would be meeting my nieces again for dinner.  We ended up spending part of the day at the nearby mall, which I think is at least twice the size of any mall in Salt Lake.  Bryan had a blast because this mall had a Lego store!  We spent at least 45 minutes in the Lego store, and he even filled a container from the “choose a brick” wall.  Walking down the mall we discovered the most fascinating restaurant called “Rainforest Cafe” where they had life size animatronics throughout the restaurant.  Including elephants, gorillas, and large butterflies.  There was also a starry sky, and every 15 minutes a thunderstorm that brought the animals to life.  This of course was where we ate lunch, vacation is for fun!  After lunch we had ice cream cones and went back to the hotel.  We had dinner with my nieces and their father at a Mexican food restaurant that has been open since I was a teenager.  I recalled having our swim team banquet there while we were eating!  I ended up telling their dad the story about my “loose screw”.  We laughed and laughed again–much like on day4 when I saw them. (mileage days 3-7: 497)

Day 8 Sunday.  Sunday we were driving to Vegas to see the Road Show for the third and last time.  Mike was also flying in to meet us there (yeah)!  In addition to this we knew we were going to meet up with Chip (SaharaChip) from the online stream chat.  Sylvia picked us up at the hotel about 10:00 and off we went.  We met Chip when we got there, and Mike took a taxi from the airport.  Bryan was very excited to see his dad after not seeing him for a week (and so was I).  It was time to go down to the venue at 3:30 since for the Vegas show we all had Donor Passes due to someones generosity towards us.  We all went slighty different ways for different reasons, and all I will say is, in the process of walking to the venue, I went around the building the wrong way!  It was a long walk.  We still got there in plenty of time.  When it was time to line up for the meet and greet we met a gentlemen who worked at the venue named Mike (yeah another Mike).  We had an nice conversation.  When we went into the meet and greet room we had a few minutes to wait, so I asked the whole room if we could pray together while we waited–they said yes-so we did.  In that room while we waited for the guys to come in we prayed together for the ministry that would happen that night.  It felt just like the chat room but only in person!  What a privilege to go to the feet of the Lord that night with all those people who were supporting the ministry that night.  The show was once again amazing.  Each person doing exactly what God had gifted them and asked them to do for Him.  They lifted up His name, shared His word boldly and rightly, and we worshiped as a body of believers.  Once again it was wonderful to share in person the worship experience with someone from the chatroom.  Knowing that regardless of our locations, that the Lord brings us together as one body because of the Holy spirit is beyond my comprehension.  After the show that night I purposefully stayed so that I could get in line with each band so I could to pray with them.  I managed to do this with Sidewalk Prophets, Remedy Drive, and Fee.  To encourage them and lift them up to the Lord, letting them know that their ministry is being covered in prayer nightly by those of us in the chatroom.  The Lord is so sweet and gracious to us, that He would allow us to lift our needs to Him, come before Him, listen to us, and then answer us.  We ought not take that privilege lightly. (mileage: 229)

Day 9 Monday.  Time to go home.  The Road Trip will end.  Not an exciting drive, through the desert.  Turned out not to be as boring as we thought it would be.  Halfway between nowhere and Ely on Hwy 93 Mike saw a sign for a restroom and pulled off the highway onto a little tiny side road and went about a 1/2 mile.  What a huge surprise!!  We came upon one of the most beautiful parts of God’s creation I have ever seen.  A place called Cathedral Gorge.  I would imagine few people even know it is there, much like those Volcanoes and lava fields we saw on day 2.  I have never seen the Grand Canyon with my own eyes, but I would imagine this is like a mini Grand canyon only with spires in it.  It was awe inspiring.  We stayed there about 15 minutes, it was snowing!!  We plan on returning there.  We continued on from there.  On the rest of our journey we saw a small herd of Elk.  Fascinating.   God is wonderful.  We arrived at home after 11:00, pulled into our driveway, and the Road Trip was over. (mileage:425)

Total Mileage on the car-1778.  Mikes estimate 1500.  Over by 278.  I think some of that was the side trips (about 40).  Then there was the getting lost on Tuesday night after dropping Mike off (about 50).  Let’s see,  I think he didn’t add in random driving around Southern California.  Lot’s of miles. Lots of laughs, friends, family, fun, prayers, worship, and surprises.  That is a good Road Trip.  Oh, and Mike’s travel during that time, twice that, since he flew home from Long Beach, then flew to Vegas to pick us up via Long Beach again.  So let’s give him credit for 3400 Miles.

Now that I am sitting down in a hotel room and not in a car, I can give you all an update on the road trip days 1-3.  So far things have been mostly as expected, with a couple of side trips, one planned one not.

On day 1, Sunday, we left West Wendover for church and drove the 120 miles as we always do.  After church we reset the odometer and headed out on our trip.  Our goal that day was to make it to Fillmore, Utah.  We decided to break up the drive to Southern California into 3 days rather then 2 on this trip so that I would not have to endure too many hours in the car, and so we could enjoy those days.  The drive was as expected, and we arrived in Fillmore.  After checking into the hotel my husband discovered we were just a few miles from several extinct volcanoes and the lava fields of Millard County, Utah.  Of course this meant the first side trip on the Road Trip.  We drove just 10 miles out of town to discover amazing lava fields where farmers had planted right up to the edge of it.  Several extinct volcanoes we never knew were there, that you can see from I-15.  Well worth the 30 minute round trip drive.  Then back to Fillmore for dinner and the hotel for the night.  325 miles on our Odometer.

Day 2 we had breakfast in our hotel and our goal was to reach Las Vegas, where we would have dinner at my sister’s house, then stay the night in Henderson.  We arrived in Las Vegas and spent the afternoon at my sister’s house, where she made us a very yummy taco dinner, complete with dessert!  We played Yahtzee, and boggle, and we laughed enough to make my cheeks hurt.  We then went to the hotel, which in google maps looked like a dirt lot with a hotel under construction, we were glad it still wasn’t that way when we found it!  Day 2 Mileage 304 miles -total mileage 629.

On day 3 of the Road Trip our goal, Ontario California where Bryan and I would spend 5 days.  We drove part of the way and stopped for lunch at a well known burger place with a play land.  Bryan very much needed this!  He had fun, and off we went to complete the last of the drive on day 3.  When we arrived we called Bryan’s aunt Melissa, and she came to the hotel to see us and have dinner.  We went to dinner at Coco’s, since they didn’t have a wait and we didn’t have time to wait!  Mike had to fly home to work for the week, so when it was time to take him to the airport, my best friend of 27 years, Sylvia, came and met us.  She is my “chauffeur” for the week (for those who don’t know or don’t recall-I do not drive due to my medical issues).  Sylvia went with Mike and I to Long Beach airport (why Mike didn’t fly out of Ontario airport 5 minutes away–it was way cheaper out of Long Beach!)  Bryan was given the choice to go with us to the airport-or hang out with his aunt, his aunt easily won and he stayed with her.  He got to go to Bass Pro Shops.  He was probably glad he did, since on the way back we had (not planned) side trip number 2.  Sylvia and I missed one of the interchanges coming back from the airport and went about 20 miles out of our way!!  Not so fun in L.A. traffic, and since I haven’t lived here 13 years it took me that long to figure out we were in the wrong place!!!  Well, we were in the car longer then we thought we would be, but we were having fun catching up in the process. Day 3 Mileage 369 Total Mileage 698.

Now it is the morning of day 4 and there is no real plan.  Play it by ear, do whatever, just hang out.  Which is going to have to be ok.  It is ok sometimes to not have a plan when you are on vacation.