The First White Thanksgiving of our Lives!

This Thanksgiving we have had the most memorable "Perfect" Snow "Storm"! (^_^) Hubby accepted his offer from Johnson and Johnson and would be leaving on Thanksgiving week with his little blue TSX, along with his work clothes, toaster and rice cooker! Before leaving, his coworker suggested that he drive instead of fly, creating a fun-filled, unforgettable family memory for all. I'd like to wring the sweet little necks of Mr. Ken and all of hubby's Alcon buddies for this 'wonderful' suggestion because that was the most scary trip of our lives! Of course, looking back, I'd have to say that this was an incredibly fun and exciting trip and I'll never forget it!

We embarked on our 3,000 mile trip on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The car was filled to the roof with abovementioned gears plus sleeping bags and luggage. We could not see out the back door! We went to San Diego, then over to Tucson, AZ. Strangely, a big storm followed us all the way from our house to AZ (plus fog, hail, etc.)

Snow Flurries!

Then we went over to Texas, and things started to get interesting......and icy! We were surprised that the storm had turned into icy rain, and before we knew it, snow had fluttered down and we were all driving on icy freeway! Pretty soon we scrambled to call all the hotels in Van Horn, Texas, as darkness began to blanket us. All 8 hotels were fully booked, and we felt like Mary and Joseph with no place for our fighting, whining, hungry and a bit annoying little offspring to stay. We went to a random hotel by a freeway and I begged for a way to find a place to stay. And if you've not experienced a miracle, this is one that I can personally attest to.

Tons of people filled the tiny lobby of that hotel, and as I patiently waited my turn, the lady at the counter (who also didn't have space in her hotel) kindly offered to search for a hotel room for me in Hotel El Capitan (the most famous hotel/landmark in West Texas)! I had called 5 min. ago and there was no room. She magically found one last room online, and mentioned it's a very small room.....but I said, "I'll TAKE it!" before she finished her sentence. We dashed to that hotel and prayed that the one available room wasn't a computer glitch or something....and blessed we were, it was available!


The room turned out to be quite small, and poor hubby had to sleep on the floor, but we were happy to have a roof over our heads.

Standing Room only at the El Capitan hotel  (^_^)

When we were checking in, a man barged in asking for a room, and the calm concierge told him that they were completely booked and that the sheriff's department had opened up emergency shelter at convention center and put several cots there for those stranded. Boy were we blessed!

The El Capitan Fountain Froze Overnight!

That night we had fine dining of grilled salmon, pistachio steak and something else (I can't remember now that it has been about a months, but it was a really yummy meal!)! After the meal, Abbie then proceeded to hold her throat and complain that it hurts....and we told her she was probably just tired from the trip. By 12 midnight she was still coughing and flopping around on our little bed, so hubby went to the hotel store to buy a claritin tablet. One tablet......he came back at 12:30am saying it was $2.75 for that tablet, and the expiration date was.... 9/2013! I told him to just pop it in because we had no choice and thankfully she relaxed and went to sleep. Unfortunately, 2 hours later hubby sat up and snorted. It turned out that his CPAP (Apnea machine) had died because the whole hotel (plus the whole town of Van Horn, in fact) had lost power.

The next day we were stranded due to the snowstorm and freeway closure, but thankfully we were in the best hotel in town. We scraped the car windows and tried to go to local grocery store. But all stores in the whole town were closed! So we chatted with travelers from all parts of the U.S. and left the following day towards Arkansas.

How did you get into the room, ladies? Why are you on the curtains?

We then headed to Tennesee, where we were met with an incredible experience of Nature vs. the Elements in the hotel! Abbie noticed a little ladybug on our hotel room wall, then another, then another....and eventually she found 9 of them! It was soooo cold outside that they had entered the room somehow (window/vents) to seek warmth! Hubby later read on wall street journal that ladybugs in hotel rooms were a sign of good luck, just like birds nesting on the trees in your yard (Asian saying).

We had a perilous cross country trip, literally at the heels of "Snowstorm Boreas"! This storm immobilized the mid-West all the way up to the Northeastern states! The roads were snowy, icy, windy, freezing and dear hubby drove 98% of the way!

WE loved Virginia! It's a nice place to live....hmm....maybe one day we will!

We had a "Happy Birthday Caleb" dinner at a wonderful restaurant in Virginia, where servers came and chatted with us and gave us ice cream for Caleb's birthday pie, free of charge!

Hollywood Café was a very yummy and highly recommended restaurant!

Birthday boy ... surprised by the birthday cake...ur....pie!
The people in Virginia were very friendly, like people you see in diners conversing with one another in the 80's sit-com. We then went up to Maryland, and finally....finally....to Pennsylvania!

We Made It! 7 days later!

We finally brought hubby to the Philly suburbs to start his new job/adventure after 7 days of being on this freezing adventure!

Hubby's English Village Apt! Icy on Thanksgiving day!

His apartment was on the 3rd floor and I felt like we were taking him to college! He would stay here to start his new job on 12/1 while the kids and I would fly back and start cleaning house.

Hubby cooks yummy chicken porridge! We had no tables, beds, or chairs!

So our adventure for Thanksgiving 2013 came to a safe and memorable end! We plan to list our CA house at the end of January 2014! We're thankful that we made it there and back home safely and that we had decided to drive to Philly.

Finally got 2 folding chairs & 1 big plastic table at Costco!

I'm not sure how we survived the trip (the inside of the car was equally, if not more....gut-wrenching and head-aching than the outside of the car, due to kid-sibling-fighting-factor), but I will always remember it! I learned that the United States is a REALLY big place, and no matter where we go, if God's with us, then we're in a Good place! (^_^) Thank you all for your prayers!

In front of daddy's apt! Double Rainbow came down and reminded of God's faithfulness!!