a.k.a. 60 Hours Together Enjoying North America's Highways!
Tons of photos ahead, but actual text does follow the images.
In June we took our first ever road trip (with children) to visit my husband's family. The kids did great with most of those 60 hours in the van. We put in 4 long days, partly due to limited vacation time and partly to save lodging and on-the-road dining expenses. But every mile was worth it to be able to visit a few different parts of the family, in the places they call home, and to see old friends from university, too. We were away 2 weeks and logged over 3500 miles. And now the kids seem to really understand just how far it is to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Flying again is looking better and better.
The number of photos in this post could be likened to an infamous vacation slide show, but really, this is just a small sampling. We enjoyed beaches, splash parks, beautiful family gardens, finding ladybugs, reading books, celebrating Smiley's birthday on multiple occasions, going to a great indoor aquatic center, seeing extended family, attending a BBQ at the home of friends, getting out for a date with friends to The Keg, visiting a historic site in the vicinity, croquet, letting the kids run free in the big backyard and visiting friends at their homes, among many other things. Oh, and hauling home 200 lbs. of wheat berries from Wheat Montana in Three Forks, MT.
Some things that helped make this possible:
- Our van's DVD player. We were always the type that resisted them, but when it was included with the van, well, we put it to use. The kids watched 3 movies on the way out and 3 movies on the way home, so the movies weren't on all the time, but something they had to look forward to as the days were dragging on.
- Packing meals for the road on the way to our destination. We crossed the border into British Columbia after 2 days of driving with only $20 of dining out expenses...and that was only because ham sandwiches were getting a bit old. We did not do as well on the way home, but find it is just easier to have food with us and stop at a park or rest area during the time we are not moving forward to let the kids play and refresh all of us. And we had lots of snacks in the car along the way, too.
- Welcoming family who warmly host us in their homes.
- The summer season with lots of daylight to drive by. A trip of this length during the winter would take several more days.
After a shorter trip over a much shorter distance over the 4th of July, we are happily home for the rest of the summer.