I arrived in Utah in fairly good condition - the boys are really good travelers and the one person (Lane) that would have made it difficult was flown in by her Nana. Audiobooks and iPhone are my best car trip friend. Anyway, we got into Utah and I decided that my one and only day would be spent going to Lagoon - an amusement park right outside of SLC. I spent many a summer going there yet I have never brought my own children there as a parent. After a cool $300 spent on admission tickets, I took my boys on all my favorite rides and I did it all - even after they wanted to stop. I officially roller coasted them out! Favorite ride that holds up after all these years - old fashioned roller coaster. Ride that gives you the best thrill - tie between Tidal Wave (sitting in the back seat) and the Rocket. Ride that gives you a headache - Wicked. Ride that smells exactly the same as it did 25 years ago - Terror Ride. Overall it was pretty much worth it to relive all those memories although next time I wouldn't take the non riders since they don't have as much fun just watching from the ground and want to go home after 4 hours.
Chase on the little kid boats - the same after 30 years!
As luck would have it, Jeremy arrived in GB shortly after my arrival having driven 12-15 hours a day. I loaded in the van and we drove out to our new homestead in the country, feeling as foreign as if I had landed in an European country instead of a upper Midwestern state.
That night we had a wonderful family reunion with all my Utah family - cousins, aunts, uncles. I grew up with these people and they remain a firm important part of my history. We don't talk a whole lot over the year and mainly keep up with each other through social media but despite that I carry a very strong loyalty to them, like we are connected stronger than anything. I can't explain it other than I really really love my Tribe family. I love seeing them when I get the chance
Now that my day in Utah was complete, Jer loaded up the van with dogs, boys, and snacks and headed towards Wisconsin early Monday morning.
I stayed behind to hang out with mom, get a much needed pedicure, and prepare for my journey the next day.
I flew out to Green Bay, solo, the next day. A memorable experience because I flew by myself - a first after possibly ten years! I sat next to a young woman on her way to Brazil to serve a mission for the Mormon church. We talked the entire flight time about God and angels and spiritual matters and agreed that each of us is embarking on new unseen adventures and we wished only the best for one another. I don't remember her name but she was a kindred spirit and a part of my story of moving to GB. She said that it was equally a blessing to her to sit to me as she prepares to fly out to a foreign country.
That night I flew into Green Bay - flying right over green fields, red barns, and the bay. Upon disembarking, I was met with a small very clean airport that features new tractors and farm equipment in the airport corridors. Wow, I'm not in Portland anymore. (Here's a funny tidbit - now that I write this account and have lived here a few months - I recognize most of these "farm" equipment as common appliances in a Midwestern home. I even see the zero turn tractor lawn mower that we are saving to buy for our 3 acre property!)
First impressions of GB upon arriving in mid August: very green. People keep up their properties here with mowing, trimming, landscaping. So Many Roundabouts! every road is a "county" road instead of having a name (I have since learned that is the outer perimeter roads that are labeled county like "county road GV, or county road XX" but the inner city roads have proper names like Mason street and Broadway). It's not as flat as I thought it would be and the huge huge volumes of large deciduous trees contribute to a feeling of levels of terrain.
People in Green Bay, for the most part, take very good care of this city. It's so so clean, so well cared for, and decorated along the byways with landscape arrangements and flowering plants to enhance the appeal. I haven't seen one homeless person on any street corner and it seems like every lawn and every patch of grass along the road is mowed. I even saw this on a business's lawn as we were driving by...a community reward for excellence in landscape maintenance. Did you think such a thing could even exist? It does, in my new town! (De Pere, WI)
In this point of the story, we move to the introduction of our new home- our beautiful 3 acre homestead. That's a whole post in itself and for those so excited to see our new home, I'll share parts of it. Until then, let me show you what I pulled up to that first night in De Pere - country road leading to our driveway...