From Boston to LA: Moore Fam Road Trip
This Wednesday, it will have been 1 month since we completed our journey to Los Angeles from Boston. It’s been a whirlwind. But I wanted to be sure to document our fateful journey here before it was too far out of sight. And I also wanted to share just a few of the many memories we created on this trip.
To catch you up if you’re just tuning in, back in November of 2014, New City Church of Los Angeles flew Osheta and me out to California to interview for their Associate Pastor position. The following week I was in San Diego for the annual conference of the America Academy of Religion when Pastor Kevin Haah called and extended the offer to me and I accepted.
Osheta and I put our heads together to plan the biggest geographical move either of us had ever made. Nearly ten years ago we moved from New Orleans to Boston, but this would be even farther. We decided a “staggered” move would be best for us. I would go out to LA ahead of the rest of the family, find a place to live, and begin working at New City Church in January. Then, in February, I would fly back, finish packing up our apartment in Cambridge and begin our road trip to LA. We also decided to make the most of our road trip by building in stops along the way to see close friends and family. We gave ourselves 11 days to do it.
Leg #1: Boston to Rochester
With most of our earthly possessions packed tightly onto a semi trailer scheduled to leave for California, and the rest packed precariously into our minivan, we departed from Massachusetts on Friday the 13th with our three children and our black (Bombay) cat named Broadway. We might have been thumbing our noses at luck just a bit! Osheta and I had our last breakfast together at S&S, I said goodbye to Harvard and Central Squares, and we were off.
Our first destination was Rochester NY, where we wanted to meet with the Austin family and deliver our first “Love Bomb.” Osheta was excited to give gifts to nonprofits and individuals along the way. Scott Austin, Lead Pastor of Artisan Church received us at a very cool coffee spot in Rochester, accepted the Love Bomb on behalf of Rise Up Rochester, and we talked for a while about family life and the Evangelical Covenant Church. It was great to see him and his family again. Osheta and I love Scott’s heart for racial reconciliation and the ethos of Artisan Church.
Leg #2: Rochester to Urbana (Cleveland)
To start our second leg, we drove directly into a snow storm that was setting its sights on Boston and due to drop even more snow on a city already inundated. Between Buffalo, NY and Cleveland, OH it was near white out conditions on the interstate. We originally planned to make it to IL, but this storm set us back a day since we only reached Cleveland. But the kids and I played Farkle in the hotel room until bedtime and it was all good.
Leg #3: From Cleveland to Urbana
The next stop on our journey was my hometown of Urbana, IL. It was here that I began a different journey, my journey of faith with Jesus. Each time I return home, I make a point to visit with my first pastor, Terry Austria, and friends from Stone Creek Church where I committed my life to following Jesus. I also make it a point to have Monical’s pizza, because my nostalgia tells me it’s the best pizza in the world. Reality is: it’s good but not as good as Giordano‘s in Chicago (That’s real pizza!). Nate Rinehart is a life-long friend who helped me get started on my journey of faith. I also got to see my friend Jason Jackson, an entrepreneur and minister.
On our way south, we stopped off to visit with my extended family and visit my mother who has been having health problems and was in the hospital. We brought her flowers and a card and prayed with her. The kids also gave her some artwork they made. My aunt and uncle had us over to their house and we talked about family and looked at photos. Then it was back on the road. Our goal was to make it to New Orleans next. But the weather had other plans again.
Leg #4: From Urbana to New Orleans (Nashville)
As soon as we turned South, I expected to never have to deal with snow storms again. But, instead, we drove directly into “Octavia.” (Apparently, they’re naming snow storms like hurricanes, now). Octavia was mostly an ice storm, but it virtually shut down Nashville and parts of Kentucky. The drive south was harrowing but we made it unscathed to a hotel in Nashville.
Leg #5: From Nashville to New Orleans
New Orleans is where Osheta and I met, got marriage, and started a family. It’s also where I went to Bible college and where Osheta and first served in urban ministry. So we have a lot of ties there. Also, our close friends Corey and Jewel Hicks still live there and we always make a point to visit them when we’re in town.
We arrived in New Orleans on Mardi Gras day, but too late to do any parade-watching we got into our hotel room late and made plans to visit with the Hicks in the morning. Osheta and Jewel went out for breakfast and then Corey and I spent time together getting beignets from Cafe Du Monde.
Afterward, we had Wing Snack wings at Audubon park, where Osheta and were married 11 years before, almost to the day. We met up and talked with two of my favorite campus ministers: Matt DeGier and Morgan Guyton. Both serve students at Tulane University for Pentecostal and Methodist ministries respectively.
Osheta also had a second Love Bomb scheduled for New Orleans. So we headed over to Women with a Vision, Inc.
Leg #6: From New Orleans to Texas City
Our next destination was Osheta’s home town: Texas City, TX. There we spent time with Osheta’s sister, brother, and brother-in-law. KK and Josh were amazing hosts and it was so much fun to see our kids playing and spending time with their cousins.
We also visited Osheta’s godparents Mickey and Missy Lane. They’re true Texans but we love spending time with them anyway 🙂
Leg #7: From Texas City to Roswell
Roswell was not originally in our plan. But we needed a place to land halfway between Texas City and Phoenix. So we picked a place famous for its UFO sightings and Area 51, but the only alien-themed photo I got was one in front of the UFO-shaped McDonald’s.
Leg #8: From Roswell to Phoenix
In AZ, we stayed with my grandparents in Mesa. It was so good to see my grandpa and they were so hospitable. I wish we could have stayed longer. But I’m glad the kids got to spend some time with their great-grandparents.
Final Leg: From Phoenix to LA
Road Trip Map
Our total road trip was over 4,000 miles and 60 hours of driving. We visited 13 cities, 11 states, in 11 days. But the best part were the people we got to see and spend time with. We’re so thankful to be in LA now. But we will definitely miss Boston. Osheta and I spent 9 and a half of the most formative years of our lives there, and we built many friendships that have shaped who we are.
Special thanks to everyone who helped make this journey possible!