Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Great Zollinger Cross-Country Adventure: Chapter One

So, we made it.  We survived the 2 1/2 week drive across the country!  Not only did we survive, we had the time of our lives! Now we are hanging out in Idaho Falls waiting for our apartment in Provo to become available.  I love being here with Greg's family, but it will also be nice to get back and remember what kind of furniture I own and stuff.

I've decided to divide up our trip in a few posts of pictures.  We have a lot of pictures.  Today I think I'll post about our time in Washington DC and our stay with Morgan, Stephanie, and Alexander.  We have both been to DC before, but it was SO much fun to be able to go together, and choose exactly what we wanted to do.  Had such a blast!

Last Day in Florida... We spent the Fourth of July at the ocean. 

The rest of these pictures are not really in order because I am not patient enough for that.  

WWII Memorial

The church both George Washington and Robert E. Lee attended in Alexandria.

At the Washington DC temple.  You can learn more about LDS temples here. 

Where George and Martha Washington are buried at their property, Mt. Vernon.  We both loved Mt. Vernon.  The estate was so gorgeous and peaceful and I learned a lot.

Kitchen, Mt. Vernon. 

View of the Potomac from the back balcony.

A guy who takes pictures for a newspaper snapped a few of us and gave us a little photography lesson at the same time.  Do not center the subject, or something like that. 

The Library of Congress. 

Korean War Memorial 

The Lincoln Memorial, probably my favorite place in DC. 

 Nationals Game (of course) 

One of the only remaining original sunstones from the Nauvoo Temple, built in the 1840s on the Mississippi.  It is currently in the Smithsonian.  I was happy to see that the US is remembering American Latter-day Saint history.  This was also cool because we got to go to Nauvoo later in our trip, and the temple has been rebuilt with new sunstones that look identical to the originals. 

This was as close as they would let us get to the White House.... ???

Stay tuned...next up is Kirtland and Michigan! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Road Trip Home

3052 miles.

47 hours.

15 states.

5 stops.

2 people.

1 adventure.

Yes, today is Greg's last day at JnJ, and on Friday, we are headed home (to our temporary home, Idaho Falls.  Eventually we'll make it back to Provo).

To be honest, I don't want to leave.  No offense to all our family/friends in the West, but I would very much like to stay here.  I will miss our ward.  I will miss the ocean. I WILL MISS THE ALLIGATORS, DANGIT. After 6 months and the prospect of knowing we could very well return to Jacksonville in a year or so for a job, I feel like we fit in here.


Okay, Greg has gently been reminding me to have a good attitude.  So, rant over.

As you can see, we are making quite the meandering journey across the United States in order to get home.  Greg's brother Morgan and his wife Stephanie live in Vienna, VA, so we are going to go see them and their baby Alexander for a few days and see the sights in DC.  We've both been before, but it will be fun to go again!  And then, of course, we have to go to the church sites in Kirtland.  I've never been there before!  Should be fun! Then we will go see Greg's brother Kellen and his wife Calise in Benton Harbor right on Lake Michigan.  A shout-out to Patrick, Reed, Mady, Ellie, and Claire, who we are STOKED to visit!

Then we are meeting up with my parents in Nauvoo, which should be really fun.  It will be so nice to see my family again, and get to experience everything in Nauvoo with them. Greg and I took a church history class with Susan Easton Black during my last semester at BYU, so I feel like we have a lot of inside information about the significance of the sites there.  Also, I'd like to be able to see the Nauvoo Temple. 

After that, we will be camped in Idaho Falls for a few weeks just hanging out with Greg's parents and waiting for the contract on our new apartment in Provo to open up.  I plan to eat at Reed's Dairy at least 17 times while I'm there.  Brown cow, anyone?

Hopefully I'll be able to post a few pictures while we are traveling across the country, but I make no promises.  Which might be just as well, because I suspect that the visual overload of our semi-interesting adventures is becoming rather tedious to some.  Still, wish Greg and I luck as we embark on the road trip of a lifetime!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Alligator Farm

So one of the things we've wanted to do while we're in Florida is go to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine.  But we weren't exactly sure how cool it was, if it was worth the money, etc.  But we heard from some good friends of ours that it is awesome, so on Saturday--our last one in Florida, sniff!--we took the highway down the oceanfront and went to the Alligator Farm!  It was a blast.  They show every crocodilian species on the planet...there is something like 25 different kinds, including alligators, crocodiles, and caimans.

An albino gator (with some turtle friends)

Pit of gators.  No big deal. We got to watch them feed the gators here, but I am not smart enough to get the video up.  Just trust me, it was cool. 

One of the weird species.  I think this one was from India? 

Another weird and creepy species.  These ones can grow up to 20 feet long! 

Me with some lemurs

Greg loved the Galapagos Tortoise.  He has never seen one before!  I guess not every zoo is as cool as the Phoenix Zoo.

This was the Rookery and Alligator Lagoon.  You can't tell in this picture, but there were so many birds!  I started counting gators, but I stopped when I reached 60 and I realized I had only covered probably less than 25% of the area.  Later we heard there were over 300 alligators in this lagoon.  

 The biggest gator, about 15 feet long. 

Just some Baby Gators. 

Things have gone really well at Greg's internship, and we're really thinking that Florida is where we could end up, at least for a little while.  SO, if anyone comes and visits us after we come back in a year or so, be warned that we will probably drag you to the Alligator Farm.  Because who doesn't like baby alligators?