Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our First Month in Utah

Well, we’ve been living in Utah for a little more than a month and we are loving it! It is still a little unreal even to us. We often catch ourselves staring off at the beautiful mountains and then saying to each other, “Hey. We live here.”

The first couple of weeks were spent unpacking and settling into our new house and starting our new jobs. Our new house is so nice, and we are settling in well. All of our unpacking is basically done, but there is some organizing left to do. The house actually had more rooms than we had furniture for, so there is a big, main room downstairs that is kind of collecting our empty boxes for the time being. Eventually, this will probably be a kind of TV/Game room. We did buy a new sleeper sofa for this room at a whopping $30; it is in good condition, just a little 80s looking, haha. Here are a few pictures of the house:

I (Jenn) started my new job on November 7, and it’s going really well. My boss is so nice and easy-going, and everyone I’ve met is also nice and welcoming. I have slowly been learning about the hospital, and what my personal projects and responsibilities will be. I am starting to feel more comfortable as time goes by and I’m already “owning” projects. So, I’m feeling good and looking forward to being there longer! Here is the view from my office:

Jon started working as a pipe insulator at a nearby refinery just a week after I started my job. It is paying him pretty good money (especially for being a newbie!) and he also gets to drive a company truck, so he doesn’t have to pay for gas. We are still looking for open jobs in his field and we actually found one for the state of Utah that sounded pretty perfect, so we’re hoping he hears back from that one – send him good vibes!

Shortly after getting here, Jon did buy a “new” truck. Here is his 1991 Jeep Comanche:

It is 4-wheel drive and came with tire chains, which will definitely come in handy on any trips up the canyon in snowy weather! The truck also came with piece of plywood fitted for the truck bed with padding on it, so we can sleep in the back for camping trips and put gear below it! Pretty sweet.

After spending the first couple weekends mainly doing things around the house, we were excited for our Thanksgiving visitors, Danielle & Jason! They drove in from Denver the night before bearing gifts – more New Belgium beer! After catching up for a few hours, we were all pretty tired, so hit the hay. I was SUPER excited about cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. I was, of course, super-prepared with lists and recipes ahead of time, so everything came out delicious! During the day, Jon, Danielle & Jason went on a hike behind Ben & Sara’s house with their dogs while I started food prep and took Diva Romy on a much shorter walk at home. After the turkey was in the oven, we all munched on appetizers and then headed to the park across the street to throw the football. When dinner was ready, we set the table next to our crackling fire and poured some fine Pennsylvania wine. It was a great Thanksgiving.



The next day, I had to go to work, but Jon, Danielle, and Jason went out to Big Cottonwood Canyon for a hike to Dog Lake. They didn’t quite make it to the lake; the trail was not so well-traveled – as they neared the top, the snow was about waist-deep on Jon and without snowshoes, that wasn’t working out so well, so they turned back. Danielle and Jason hit the road to visit Jason’s family that Friday afternoon. On Saturday, Jon and I headed back to Big Cottonwood, armed with snowshoes, to try the hike to Dog Lake from a different trail. The trail we chose was much more traveled, and we made it to the (frozen) lake without needing snowshoes at all. But, since we’d both never used them, we put them on anyway and walked through the ungroomed snow around the lake. Pretty awesome! We are looking forward to doing more hikes like that one. We spent the rest of that weekend relaxing and pulling out the Christmas decorations!

That brings us to this past weekend. We finished our Christmas decorating (Jon did help) inside and out, including our Christmas tree. The house looks great and the tree smells wonnndeerrffulllll! If you didn’t already know, I am a lover of all things Christmas. I have been listening to the music pretty much since we got out here, so I am really happy to have all the decorations up now.


So, I think that’s it for now! We will be coming back east for Christmas, but it will be a very short trip because I can’t use any vacation time yet. We will be in Berks County from Fri., Dec. 23 night through Sun., Dec. 25 afternoon and in LaPlata from Sun., Dec. 25 evening to Tuesday, Dec. 27 afternoon. If you’re in either area, maybe we can see you. Otherwise, plan your trips to Salt Lake City because we are ready for lots of visitors!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Settling in...

Things are startin' to come together pepper. Tonight we had our first dinner at home. Before tonight we have been spending time with each other's families. We went out with the Edwards clan to the best mexican food in SLC - Red Iguana. We waited an hour, but it was totally worth it. Until today our fridge was loaded with nothing but Berks county's finest sweet bologna, Clover Farms Icy Tea, wild game meat from South Carolina, and three varieties of New Belgium beer.
So Sara and Ben came over, Jenn made delicious country fried steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Then we drank a few Olympias and New Belgium Snow Day winter ale, while we ate by our fireplace. Followed by a game of loaded questions, it might not be the craziest adventure we will have, but it was much welcomed comfort after a hectic week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Denver to Utah fueled by snow, beer, and cold medicine

So we landed into Utah tonight! Not without leaving Denver in 6 inches of snow, Jon with a wicked cold, and Jenn with a high elevation hangover. As we headed north on Interstate 25, we saw signs it was closed after a town called Wellington.So even though neither of us were in the mood for beer tasting, we stopped at New Belgium Brewing Co in Fort Collins, CO anyway. And we found out, Romy was welcome inside - they even got us a bowl of water for her. Three sifters and a bunch of merch later we left once we got the report 25 was open again.

Then it was a long stretch of Wyoming with gallons of windshield washer fluid and a bunch of dayquil pills to pass the time. Well we are beat and passing out at Casa de Hess to ready ourselves for unpacking. Stay tuned for the un-abridged version of the drive on a later post. I want to thank Juju and Amanda for carting us around Denver!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gateway to the West

We are currently on the road, somewhere in the middle of Kansas. The drive is going well and we've been making good time. Today we're headed all the way to Denver, CO.

Yesterday, we got an early start on our drive from Indianapolis, IN to Joplin, MO. We entered the central time zone somewhere in Illinois, and made a pit stop in St. Louis, MO to check out the arch, aka the "gateway to the west."

The arch was really cool, and Romy loved walking around the grounds and along the St. Louis Riverfront area along the Mississippi River. Afterward, we grabbed some lunch at Steak-n-Shake (delicious!) and hit the road again.

We made it to Joplin around 6:15 pm (CT). We helped Nate & Abby hand out candy to kids in their neighborhood, and rescued Romy from escaping through the front door to chase little princesses and pirates multiple times! We got a good night of sleep so we could hit the road early again today. Before leaving, we got an awesome breakfast from the Mutics and drove through some of the tornado devastation -- it was crazy, it was basically just like entire neighborhoods were gone.

We've got a long day of driving ahead to Denver, and then tomorrow we're headed to Salt Lake City! I'm so excited to see our house and to start getting settled in. Stay tuned!! :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rough start, Motown-ween, McK-Indy B&B

As of Saturday, October 29, our journey was officially underway, but of course not without a few road blocks. I want to thank Penske for initially providing us with a broken car dolly, which gave way to a complimentary full trailer upgrade. We spent Saturday morning packing Jenn's things into the moving truck in the pouring rain. After taking warm showers, drying off, and saying good bye to the family, we set out for Morgantown, WV. Though, things didn't stay dry for long -- at least for Jenn:

As we hit highway speed driving through rain and snow, we discovered we had a leaky truck on our hands -- leaking right over the passenger, aka Jenn's, seat. She had to hold a towel above her head to block the leak, but eventually got tired and just left the towel on her shoulder to catch the water. Not fun! But, we made it to Morgantown, WV in otherwise good spirits.

We rolled into town too late for the Throwdown outside Pathfinder, but we made it to the after-party at Lazy Lizard. Jon slipped on the dance floor during Thriller, then we turned into pumpkins and hit the sack. After a late start thanks to some chauffer confusion (by the way, thanks to Steve Roberts & Steve Sierra for your chauffering), we actually had a nice day of driving and made great time. Sadly, we had multiple failed attempts to buy Yuengling products before entering Indiana.

We landed at McKinney's bed and breakfast in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis, IN around 5:30 pm. Chet Mun Liew showed up and we headed to dinner at Boogie Burger - which totally hit the spot. Instead of heading to one of the million microbreweries, we just headed back, shot the shit and enjoyed microbrews at McKinney's. Next up: Indy to Joplin. Stay tuned!

Oh yeah, and Romy did great once she got her morning coffee ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Follow us on our route and meet up!

The schedule:
Friday October 28th - Bernville, PA to La Plata, MD -Packing

Saturday October 29th - La Plata, MD to Morgantown, WV - Motown throwdown Halloween!

Sunday October 30th - Morgantown, WV to Speedway, IN - We do McKinney and Liew

Monday October 31st - Indianapolis, In to Joplin, MO - Mutic family tornado relief delivery

Tuesday November 1st - Joplin, MO to Denver, CO - Tour de Colorado

Wednesday November 2nd - Denver, CO to Salt Lake City, UT - Stop at New Belgium Brewery

Thursday November 3rd - Salt Lake City, UT to ??? Stay tuned...

Follow our daily posts as we travel to see all our cross country friends! And if you are one of THOSE friends make sure you're there when we roll in jacked up on Red Bull* with a truckload of Yuengling Lager* and Tastycakes*.

*Jon and Jenn Do Utah is in no way affiliated or sponsored by the Red Bull corporation, Yuengling Brewing Co., or Tastycake Baking Co., unfortunately.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We are officially moving to Utah...

And we are so excited!!

As you might know, we have been applying to jobs in Utah since the start of summer and something finally came through for me (Jenn). I will be working as a Communications Specialist for St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City! I could not be more excited -- the position seems like a great move, the people are very nice, and I get an office with a window view of mountains! What else is there, really? :) I am starting the new position on Monday, November 7.

Jon and I are planning to start our journey westward on Saturday, October 29. We'll be taking our time to get across the country, stopping in to see friends we have that live in different parts of the country along the way. We should get to Salt Lake City in 5-6 days and then have a few days to unpack and settle in before I start work. Jon recently finished the coursework for his Masters in Geology and is still applying to jobs, so send your good vibes this way so that he gets something soon, too!

For now, we are in the thick of making arrangements for our big move -- finding a place to live, planning some good-bye get-togethers so we can see everyone before we depart, packing, organizing, etc. I wanted to create this blog, so that all our East Coast friends & family have a way to check in and see what we're doing. We hope to post updates from the road as we drive out and then just keep you updated on our life in Utah! We're so excited for this adventure! And we can't wait to have some visitors, so start planning people! :)