As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting lately.
I’d like to first thank you for your caring emails, asking how I am, and also for noticing that I am not here 😉
We recently had to travel over 4,000 miles to see family.
And, of course, we decided that flying was “too expensive” and that we needed to drive to save money. Sure, it would be a long trip, but it would be a “fun family adventure”. Yes, we are the modern day Griswold family, on that famous trek from Chicago to Wally World. Our trip was just as long, and had almost as many terrifyingly funny moments. Well, at least NOW they are funny….Let me share my words of “wisdom” and how we DID save some money and make the trip at least memorable for our family.
We began our trip on a bright, sunny day early in the morning to get the best start.
Actually, that is what you SHOULD do, but we instead chose to start off the 30 hours of driving on a Friday evening, after a long day of working, packing and cleaning. Pack 5 tired bodies into a mini-van like sardines and hit the road. Sounds like fun, right? We were only able to make it 8 hours on the road that day (small wonder) and had to stop for the night at a hotel. BUT, we felt like we had accomplished something.
If at all possible in your road trip budget, plan for a hotel. Or campground. Anywhere to get a decent night’s sleep.
We made the on the spot decision to not cram our family into one room like we usually do, and instead opted for 2 double rooms. That meant that everyone got their own bed. Well, except me and hubby, but we are used to sharing. Also, our kids didn’t have to deal with the snoring their parents do. Yes, I admit it, I snore…especially when I am exhausted.A decent night’s sleep, hot shower and FREE breakfast the next morning made it worth the money for us.
The next day, we went as far as we could, but still trying to catch up from being exhausted at the start, we were only able to get another 10 hours on the road.
See what I mean about leaving early in the morning, when you are at your freshest? So, another double room hotel stay. This time, there wasn’t any breakfast bar, as we stayed in a much cheaper hotel. We got everything Texas had to offer in a cheap hotel; hot shower, clean sheets and lots of bugs all over. Being originally from the Southwest myself, I understood that could happen. My kids-not so much. We got hot showers once again, and hit the road. Well, after getting dressed.
This time, we opted to stop at a rest area and fix breakfast.
We spent about 1/2 hour on the road first, found a decent rest area and pulled over. That’s when the cooler and groceries I had purchased came in handy. Our camping stove, some camping cookware, and dishes came out. We were able to make decent coffee, using a french press, and had a decent breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, oatmeal and fruit. That really made for a much nicer start to our long day. Since we don’t eat pork, our breakfast options at a restaurant are rather limited to sugary pancakes and waffles and eggs. Making breakfast at a rest area was really the best way to get a good start. Oh, remember to have a lighter in your camping stove, okay? I am just grateful that it was a friendly area, and that the rest area attendant was willing to share his lighter with us. We made up some sandwiches for lunch on the road as well to lessen the number of stops.
After packing up our gear, we hit the road again.
We were determined to reach our destination that night, even though it was about 15 hours away. Yup, didn’t make it. Another night in a hotel, with a double room. Another breakfast at a rest area. Another making of lunch. Another day of travel lay before us, and our spirits were rather weak at this time. Rest area after rest area called to us. The constant stopping and having to “go” made it rather a long day. What could you do, though? Everyone was sick of being in the van at this point. I am just grateful that we didn’t wind up injuring each other. I am also grateful for “99 bottles of beer on the wall”. Did you know that you can sing the entire song, all 100 verses, in under 15 minutes? You’re welcome.
Seeing my father made this all worth while, though.
I lost my mother nearly 5 years ago, and her passing was sudden and unexpected. I didn’t want to miss any time with my father that I could. I am glad that I did, and so were the kids. We were also able to spend some time with my life long best friend, the one who threatened to beat me up in the 8th grade (yeah, long story-but that’s how we became friends) and we got to see an awesome air museum. All in all, it WAS a great trip!