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The Sardine Express

08 Aug Posted by | 3 comments
So. Wow. What a crazy, intense week. I checked my email last Thursday night to see that my Uncle Mark had sent me a message. In it, he offered to let my family hitch a ride to South Carolina with him. Crazy, right? Yeah. It just so turns out that for the past two years, Uncle Mark and his family have come out to Myrtle Beach with my Aunt Mo and her family. This year, they decided to make the trip by driving cross-country. It was the perfect plan because we’ve been trying to visit Dovy’s dad for years and my Uncle Mark had to stop for business a few hours north of where my father-in-law lives. I had never met Ray Paukstys and he hadn’t met our little girls, either. We’ve also wanted to visit Dovy’s grandma for a long time, but she lives in Boston. We made a very quick decision, talked to Uncle Mark extensively, and worked it out for us to leave with them from Pleasant View on Monday morning. I had to get ready for a three-week trip in just three days.

Here is the rundown:

-Sunday night: Had dinner with Curt and Nancy (my aunt and uncle) and then drove up to Pleasant View to stay the night with my grandparents. Uncle Mark drove down from Idaho that night so that we could leave in the morning.

-Monday: Drove to Denver and stayed at my Uncle Frank’s place (coincidentally, they were already at Myrtle Beach)

-Tuesday: Nine and a half hours to Kansas City. Slept at a Marriott Residence Inn.

-Wednesday: Rented a car in KC and drove three and a half hours down to Jane, Missouri, where we met Dovy’s father, Ray, and his wife, Pat. We spent the afternoon and the evening with them. Ray cooked hamburgers for us and the girls entertained their grandparents are every turn.

-Thursday: We dropped off at Pat’s work to show off the babies and had breakfast at the Waffle Hut nearby. I took a nap that afternoon so we could be ready to drive that night. We had dinner with Ray and Pat in town and met up with Uncle Mark so we could head out again. We drove to Memphis that night and spent the night at a Fairfield Inn.

-Friday: We stopped at Graceland to see Elvis. We just sat outside and took pictures, found Elvis and then headed out of town. It was a twelve and a half hour drive, but we did make it to Myrtle Beach sometime around 1AM. Anjali chose the final rest stop (before we arrived) to poo all the way down her pantleg, which is why we made it so late.

-Saturday: Anjali’s first trip to the beach! Her aunts and uncles took her under their wings and helped her get accustomed to the sand and the surf. She had the best time! Elli slept almost the entire afternoon away (I think because the extensive trip in the car had worn her out.) Frank and Becky and family bid farewell and headed to their Freeman reunion on Sunday morning.

-Sunday: Today it has been a very low-key day. We went to church in the morning (I didn’t even have to hold my kids – they were well taken care of.) We’ve eaten, relaxed, and enjoyed being here. We’re totally ready for a new week of fun and sun!

The plan is for us to be at Myrtle Beach until Friday afternoon, after which we will go to Fort Mill, where my Aunt lives. We’ll be with them for the weekend and then we’ll head to Baltimore on Monday to catch a flight that evening up to Boston. We’ll meet up with Dovy’s half-sister and his grandma while we’re there. We’ll fly back on Wednesday night and meet up with a friend of mine who is planning to put us up for the night (thanks, Hanna!) The plan is to leave on Thursday morning to drive back to Utah. Should be an interesting trip! Pray for us. :)


Commonly referred to as the Sardine Express.
Not that it’s a small vehicle. It isn’t. But every seatbelt is filled,
and we are comfy cozy inside.


Grandma and Elli


Just ate dinner at Papa and Nanna’s house!


Anjali with Papa Ray!

Eating at the diner in Rogers.
It was so cool! Everyone knew everyone else.
We were definitely the out-of-towners.


Beautiful scenery by Ray and Pat’s house


Dovy and his father, Ray (Romualdas Bronius Paukstys)


The drive up to Ray and Pat’s house.
That’s their mailbox on the left!


This is where I met Ray for the first time.
We ate at the cafe inside. Awesome barbecue!


I love fruit!


Nanna Pat feeding her granddaughter


Anjali conned Ray into giving her a ride while
we repacked the Sardine Express.


Pat, Ray, Me, Anjali, Dovy, and Elli
We miss you guys already!
We’ll see you soon!


Elli sleeping…


…just like her sister!


My cousins, Henry and Charlie, in front of Graceland.


I found Elvis! I was the only one brave
enough to ask for a picture, but once I did,
then Mark, Henry, and Dovy followed suit.


Dovy and Elvis


Elli getting ready to drive the car for us.


Anjali was super excited to go to the beach
for the first time!


Aunt Becky getting Anjali accustomed to the sand


Aunt Mo took Anjali right in and helped her jump
over the waves!
(Her daughter, Sami, is to the left.)


Uncle Frank getting a little more risky with the waves.
I totally trust him, though. Thank goodness.


Uncle Frank crashing into a wave with Anjali.
You wouldn’t believe the extent that everyone went to
in order to keep her above the water.
What love. :)

  1. denise08-08-10

    Wow, cross country adventures! I hate driving with all the kids, so I really admire your bravery, but come out here to AZ next time, lol.

  2. Jaci08-09-10

    You guys are seriously so brave! I would be terrified to travel across the country with just Emma, and you did it with two! I hope you ejoy your trip. Such a cute little family!

  3. Kawika08-10-10

    what an adventure! Looks like you guys are having fun!

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