Wednesday, February 8, 2012

These memories will last forever!

The map which my Mom tracked our Trip!
 "The tide nor time waits for no man!" That was a saying that an elderly gentleman,working for Burger King at the time, told my bother-in-law and me some 19 years ago and it has always stuck with me!  It rings true now more than ever before as we come back from our journey and enter back into the working world.  Its hard to believe that 9-1/2 months went by so fast!  When we got the news that Karen and Norman would need to be back in California in 3 weeks for filming of an upcoming reality show, we looked at each other and decided it was time to make a beeline for home. This was the official ending of our long awaited trip. Problem is, we don't have a home! Our houses were rented out at the start of this adventure, so we were going to have to make due with our trusty camper!  We drove straight through from Williams, Arizona to Chattanooga, Tennessee (1700 miles) in two days!  We slept in trucks stops and rest areas for shut eye. We didn't even bother opening the slides on the camper.  The entire family including Norman slept in the master bedroom!  I thought it was a fitting way to end the journey, almost like a symbol of  how close our family had become over the duration of this trip. The next couple of weeks was spent visiting friends and family and preparing for our next new adventure!  Karen and Norman will be flying to California to start taping their new show. I will be starting a new career at Toyota and Lexus of Greenville as the Service director over both stores and the kids will be spending some time with their grand parents while Karen is away.

                   So how I do i wrap up this entire adventure with words?  I don't think words could describe how beautiful the sunrise is coming up on Cadillac Mountain, Maine on the morning of my birthday!  I don't think words can describe whats its like to stand and wait for Old Faithful to spew its boiling water hundreds of feet in the air.  I don't think words can describe what its like to stand at the foot of Mount St Helens and smell the spruce and fir trees in the cool mountain air or see the devastation that was left behind. I don't think words can describe how the Grand Canyon is so big you feel like you cant really even see it! I don't think words can describe what its like to stand at the base of a giant Sequoya Redwood tree and feel so small!  I don't think words can describe how proud you feel when your wife and dog turns into a celebrity right before your eyes and even better than that, watching her live her dream. I don't think words can describe the joy you have as a parent to listen to your kids laugh like there are no boundaries.  Even if it means they need to change their under wear from peeing in them because the laughed so hard.  I don't think words can describe how close our family has become from a journey like this. It takes a close family to pull something like this off as the limits of our sanity were tested time and time again!  They always say "That which does not kill you will only make you stronger!"  I feel our family is stronger now than ever! As I walk through work and share this amazing story with all the new people in my life, I find myself welling up with emotions of a happiness so strong it makes me almost cry! Thank you Mom and Dad Cobb & Mom and Dad Terry for supporting our dream and never talking us out of it or even asking the question of "What if?" Our family has memories that will live in us forever and a photo album to help jog any that we may forget! Karen looked at me during this trip and said "This could be the best year of our life!" She may be right but I like to think that what we enjoyed together as a family is only the beginning of a life that ......................... "I don't think words can describe!"

Thank You for following along on our adventure!


The Cobb Family!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Get your kicks on route 66!

The nice part of our journey to and from California, for the Rose Parade,without the camper attached was our ability to jump on and off the "Mother Road" Route 66!  We enjoyed about 120 miles of the legendary Route 66 and some places allowed for speeds close to 70 mph!  The little towns we encountered were priceless with the rustic home town feel and others were literally abandoned!  We found a cool little cafe just inside of Seligman,Arizona called the Roadkill Cafe so we stopped for some grub!  The whole time I was driving this road I could here the music from Bryson's movie "Cars" going through my head and we actually saw a motel called the "Cozy Cove with Tee Pee shaped rooms!  The Route 66 experience did not disappoint but it is kind of sad to see the death of these little towns due to the rerouting of traffic via the I-40 interstate!  This drive is on my list of "Must See" and we will definitely drive this road again.  Maybe next time with the top down on a nice American made muscle car rumbling along with some good tunes on the radio!

The Rose Parade!

The Natural Balance float with Norman getting ready to surf!

Norman watching the magic show.

On your mark! Get set! Go! Back to California we must go for the Rose Parade. Heading back to California is quite a daunting task with the camper attached so we decided to ditch the camper at our campground in Williams,Arizona for an easier 500 mile trek back.  As we are running out of steam on this trip, I have to admit that i'm not excited about back tracking 500 miles to a state I felt we have spent a lot of time in already! Karen and Norman have a great opportunity to be in such a prestigious event that it really makes the drive back much easier!  We rolled into Pasadena in the evening and the kids were great, sitting in the back of the truck for 9 hours! We were greeted at the desk with a giant gift basket from Natural Balance full of dog treats and goodies for Norman! We have about week stay in Pasadena, most of which Karen and Norman will be on the float or preparing for the parade.  The kids and I were treated like royalty with back stage Tours of Universal Studios and a stretched limo ride to and from.  The kids were on cloud nine more so from the limo ride than the tour. Natural Balance spared no expense when it came to the New Years eve party also.  There was a magician, which Kaylee really enjoyed, and a Beatles tribute band which Karen really enjoyed!  Kaylee got called up on stage for the magic show and I was so proud of her as she ran up without even hesitating!   At one point in the magic show when Kaylee was on stage, Norman jumped up into her chair and proceeded to watch the show just like all the people were.  This caused quite a stir with the surrounding audience, with lots of whispers of "look at Norman"!  Bryson and I called it a night before the ball dropped because he was falling asleep on my shoulder. The next couple of days we spent watching the Rose Parade and visiting the float which is displayed the following few days so the public can get an up close look at them.  Karen and Norman had to be at the float each day so I took the kids to the beach a couple times. I'm so proud of Karen and Norman for not only being a part of the Rose Parade, but actually being on the float as a centerpiece is truly a once in a life time opportunity!

Wrapping up the 2nd tour of California I have to say I'm glad to be out of California!  Yes it has some amazing scenery and some beautiful weather, but the amount of people crammed into one state is amazing and overwhelming!  Karen was offered and extended position with Natural Balance which includes a 10 show series on "Animal Planet".  This means she must be back in California the end of January for filming with Norman! With that being said we both agreed it is time to start making tracks to the east coast of the United States!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Grand Canyon!

What can I say about the the Grand Canyon that hasn't already bean said?  Its beautiful, its overwhelming and it makes you feel so small when you stand on the rim of it!  I tell people that haven't seen it yet " Its so big you feel like you cant see it".  Its hard to get up close and personal with the Grand Canyon because of its size.  I recommend getting down inside of it to really enjoy its wonder.  The Cobb family unfortunately did not do that!  Our family has actually hit the wall!  We are tired of traveling!  Its hard to comprehend being tired of traveling, but it happens!  When we reached the Grand Canyon it was like an act of congress to get the kids excited enough to get out of the truck.  I cant say that I blame them as Karen and I are both running out of steam! We spent a few days taking in the sights of this natural wonder and I tried to capture its beauty with my camera, which sometimes doesn't do justice to what we are seeing.

We are leaving hear to go back to California for Norman and Karen's big week at the rose parade!  I'm not looking forward to the 500 mile plus road trip back but we have decided to leave the camper in its spot because Natural Balance is putting us up in a hotel. I have set the date for my return to work and its crazy to think that a better part of the year has gone by!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas"!

I told Karen that I wanted to have snow for Christmas so we headed north from Phoenix to Flagstaff and we found it!  We actually stopped along the side of the highway for a 30 minute romp through the snow! It didnt take long for the kids to get chilled to the bone but we had a great time doing it. This year we did Christmas a little different with a day full of appatizers on Christmas eve and then again for Christmas day! We stayed in the camper for most of the day to let the kids play with the toys Santa had brought them! We landed in a campground in Williams, Arizona, which is about 50 miles due south of the grand Canyon!  Christmas afternoon we made a trip up to the south rim to check out the view! The evening temps for Williams were low teens to single digits so the quilts Karens mom made us really came in handy on the beds.  We went through propane like it was going out of style and the water had to be disconnected every night but it was a great Christmas!  Next stop The Grand Canyon!

Phoenix, Arizona

One of the many trains we saw crossing the west!

The elusive tumble weed!  The kids wanted to keep it!

Hard at work decorating the ginger bread train for Christmas!

One of the many Saguaro cactus.

Rain clouds building in the desert!

A beautiful evening sky in the desert!

Rolling into Phoenix the wind is definitely out of the sails!  We have driven close to 30,000 miles,been through 30 states and 6 Canadian provinces! Its getting harder to get the kids excited about seeing anything except for the couch and a T.V. and frankly I don't blame them. Once we started getting close to phoenix the family started noticing all the Saguaro cactus in the desert!  We stopped along the roadside to take pictures along with some "tumble weeds" that caught our eye! We even had the rare opportunity to see it rain in the desert.  The sky was beautiful with the clouds building and the sun setting in the west.  this made for some great colors in the evening sky!  One of the items we all were very excited about was a trip in a hot air balloon and Phoenix just so happens to have several places where we can check this off the bucket list!  Up and at it at before the sun rises and we are off to go on our balloon ride.  The weather was clear but rather cold with a morning temperature in the low 30s!  The ride went off without a hitch and the kids had fun for awhile and even in mid flight I got the question of "Dad, how much longer do we have to ride in the balloon"?  Back safely on the ground we enjoyed mimosas and joined in the Ballooner's prayer! News to me, but hey we are open all new things that come along on this trip!  After the balloon trip we had an opportunity to meet up with some of Karen's family.  Karen found out from her mother that a distant aunt and her family lived close by and would like to meet Norman and go out to dinner!  We were happy to meet up with some family along the way!  You get used to being alone on this type of trip, but there is no substitute for family, no matter how distant!  We had a great dinner with lots of good food and conversation, some of which was about Karen's grandmother, which she really enjoyed. The kids got some time with a little boy named Dominick who came along so they were self sufficient for the entire meal!  In the mean time I finalized all the details and accepted a position of Service Director at the Lexus/Toyota dealership in Greenville, South Carolina! We broke the news to the kids and they have taken it well with a commitment from us to visit their friends often!  Greenville is only 2.5 hours from Atlanta so it should be a big problem.  This means the trip now has a deadline, something we haven't had since the beginning of this trip!