Greetings from Las Vegas

July 25, 2013

wind farm in california

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello from the road! We are on day two of a road trip to Colorado. The first leg was yesterday, we drove from Oakland to Las Vegas, then stayed with Ben Blair’s sister Carol last night. (What a hostess. She makes pancakes! And has a pool!) It was a bit strange to be on the road with just Betty and June — such a quiet car. I’m sure the volume will feel more normal when we pick up the 4 oldest from Cousins Week today.

Our transition period from France to Oakland continues to be transitional. Our first week in Oakland felt a bit temporary, a bit like camping. We knew we’d be leaving right away for “summer vacation” — Cousins Week, visiting Grandparents, and heading to Colorado to see friends and make arrangements for our belongings to come to California.

As we were packing our suitcases I kind of gave them the side eye, like, “Really? You again? Already?” I confess, I’m not actually craving any travel at the moment. If I could pick, we would hold still for awhile. But I know this trip is necessary and practical. And I know it will be good one. In fact, it’s already been really wonderful. I love driving through the familiar desert landscape of my childhood.

Next stop, St. George. Then, we’ll finish the day in Moab, Utah. Crossing my fingers for a hike to Delicate Arch tomorrow morning.

Do you have a favorite road trip? A favorite high way? I love coming from Las Vegas to St. George through the Virgin River Gorge. That stretch of freeway is packed full of memories for me.

P.S. — Around the halfway point yesterday we drove by the biggest wind farm I’ve ever seen. Amazing!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel July 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

Where in Colorado will you be?! I don’t know where you used to live in Colorado but…if you’re in Boulder, grab a sublime latte and some deli meats and cheeses from Boxcar Coffee Roasters/Cured or have lunch at The Kitchen (not Next Door, the original is better); have authentic chai at Wisdom Teahouse if you make it south to Monument; and, if you’re headed to Colorado Springs, a stop at Raven’s Nest/The Local is a must for their cold-brewed toddy, homemade organic pop tarts and Mexican chocolate shortbread (or, better yet, head to The Local’s food truck for their infamous burger). Enjoy the trip!


2 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

Such fun suggestion, Rachel! Thank you.


3 Sally July 25, 2013 at 11:56 am

Once travelling from California to Colorado I went through the Virgin River Gorge during a thunder storm. The water in the river ran even with the road. What a sight. Stretch is packed full of memories for me too.


4 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

Wow! That must have been spectacular, Sally.


5 Christy@SweetandSavoring July 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I would love to spend more time in western states! Following along with your travels and transitions is such a treat, but I can understand how it might feel exhausting at this point :)


6 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

So true. Traveling can be exhausting! But I was able to sleep in this morning and it was such a treat. Sleep if my favorite.


7 Jeanette July 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

One of the most beautiful drives in my home state of Washington is the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway. You really get a taste of almost every landscape in the state- desert, mountains, valleys, and islands. I highly recommend it!


8 Jeanette July 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm
9 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

Looks gorgeous, Jeanette! I have only made one visit to Seattle, and otherwise haven’t seen any of Washington State. I would love to spend some time there.


10 RuthWW July 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

The several timesI have traveled from Las Vegas to St.George, I love the twists and turns of that road along the Virgen River. I also remember my many ancestors who settled that area back in the mid 1850′s…..and their trials and everyday life. I am so grateful I live now…..and can drive a car thru the area and not go by horseback or wagon.


11 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

It’s such a dramatic stretch of highway. So beautiful!


12 Melinda July 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

We just hiked to Delicate Arch two weeks ago and it was soooo hot (and beautiful, as always). I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much in my life! Moab and St. George happen to be two of my most favorite places.


13 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:10 am

The heat of St. George, my hometown, surprises me every time. Hah!


14 Tasha July 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

As an east-coaster, I never tire of the Hudson Valley and enjoy getting lost just driving, picking/eating fresh berries along the way, cutting sunflowers, etc. and of course, watching my husband stopping to fish any and all bodies of water along the many highways, roads and back roads especially lol! He’s an avid fisherman and since we began dating at 16 (30 years ago, sheesh!) I have learned about and cherish my great love of this land and its views through him and his knowledge of nature. Each season paints its own design on the region making it my favorite place to be:) I do love NY ♥


15 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:21 am

The Hudson Valley really is exceptional. When we lived in New York, our very favorite park was called Rockwood Hall, right there on the Hudson.

I remember studying the Hudson River School in art history class out west, then seeing the actual landscapes along the Hudson River Valley, and confirming for myself how special the light is there.


16 Tasha July 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

Can you imagine how lucky I’ve been that the two schools I’ve taught over 22 years have both had river views!?!? The most recent is very high up and I am on the fourth floor facing east overlooking Storm King mountain which I’m sure you’ve notice painted numerous times…lucky twist of fate♥


17 The Prudent Homemaker July 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I had to giggle–I’m in Las Vegas and I know that wind farm, and it’s in California :) We don’t have that much green here or those rolling hills, either. It’s a magnificent wind farm; we think it’s pretty amazing, too!

Driving through the Virgin River gorge is a bit (okay a lot) scary for me. It’s beautiful, but I always am afraid I’m going to drive off the edge!


18 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:12 am

Right. It’s about halfway on the drive from Oakland to Las Vegas. So cool!


19 Hannah Q July 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I recognize that wind farm! I used to live not too far from there in California. Now I live in Boulder, so you are headed my way! Wishing you safe travels and a peaceful transition back to the States, especially once you have a chance to be “home” and breathe. :)


20 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:12 am

Boulder is lovely. Such a cool town.


21 Chase @ The Smell of Summer July 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I love summer road trips! It looks like you are having a fantastic time.

Chase Miller
The Smell of Summer – A Boutique Surf Lifestyle Blog


22 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

It’s been wonderful!


23 Summer July 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I love the Virgin River Gorge drive, too! I grew up near Las Vegas and my grandma lived in St. George. Then I went to BYU so we were constantly driving that road. Though I admit that as a kid I was always scared when my dad drove it because he liked to do it so fast!
One of my other favorite drives is in Alaska where I served as a missionary. The road from Anchorage to Seward is a national scenic route for a reason! I always loved driving it…except in the snow.


24 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

Oh. Alaska must be a wonderful place for a road trip!


25 Karen July 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I am from Canada ( the prairies) but my family and I are in South Dakota right now. We drove the Needles Highway in The Black Hills the other day and returned again yesterday because it was so beautiful. Returning to flat land tomorrow. I will miss the hills and mountains.


26 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

I love that you’re returning right away. So fun to find a drive you love!


27 Janssen July 26, 2013 at 5:41 am

I love that stretch coming into Las Vegas from the north (I went to BYU and also have a lot of family in Utah, so I’ve made that drive many many times).


28 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

It really is beautiful. And the drive from St. George to Moab is epic as well. I think it might be the prettiest stretch of freeway in the west.


29 Jessie July 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I drove through the Virgin River Gorge just yesterday. I’m glad to hear that’s an evocative spot for other people too. Lots of memories of driving home from school with my sister.


30 Design Mom July 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

I saw my friend from high school while we were in St. George and we reminisced about driving to Las Vegas to go shopping. Love those memories!


31 Jane Rhodes August 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

i just blogged about our recent move-cross-country road trip, and we loved every minute of it!

btw, until i just got caught up on your blog — i had no idea you were moving to Oakland!!! i just assumed you were still returning to Colorado. SO EXCITING! we hope to be in southern california in five years – the Laguna Beach/Newport area. we love california! i think this is such a good fit for your family!

and, we’ve purged like you have been so many times. it always boggles me that we continue to own so much stuff even when i feel like we’ve given away almost everything to good will, or friends. i try SO HARD to not be a crazy consumer!


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