We began at 4:00 am. We picked our mascot the night before, a giant blue Puffle…a stuffed, well, puff-ball of sorts. We had snacks sorted and we had the cooler with water. We had little surprises wrapped and we had stops planned.
I had spent the required hours on Pinterest planning the Road Trip.
We planned for pictures like this.
Did you notice someone is missing. Yep.
That is because Maddie was running down the sidewalk at the rest stop and Steve was chasing her. The blue puffle, however is in the picture. After I stopped being stubborn and I let the boys pose how they wanted.
Then we started having fun.
Honestly, I don’t need Pinterest. My kids are used to this. We do it every year. Nearly 3,000 miles of driving to get to our destination and get home, plus driving around while we are there. They know the drill, and they actually are really good at the adventure. On the way home Maddie, 2, and Sammy, 7, sat in the far back of the truck for the duration and Maddie only really fussed about 7 minutes of the whole trip. Not bad. We stopped a few times and found some cool stuff…like an old caboose we hadn’t seen before, and we even got Maddie to stop running long enough to get in the picture.
Folks always think we are crazy to drive when we could fly, but with six of us it is still cheaper to drive, and honestly…you don’t get to just pull over and pee on bushes when you are flying. Or, when you are really desperate and pull into abandoned gas stations you might find things like this:
Seriously, though, you can’t see things like this from the airplane:
I know there are great adventures in flying, and we loved our trip to California last Fall, but we love driving as well. Of course, the final destination is part of the adventure, and that is what makes the journey worthwhile. The objects we can find in the clouds and the snakes we can outrun and the cabooses we can climb on…they are fun, but we still have to climb back into a small confined space with sweaty siblings who annoy us after awhile.
We still have to listen to the Wiggles more than we want to keep the 2 year old happy, but we do it so we can end up in a place where we only get to be for a week out of the year.
A place that has a special hold on my kids, a hold it had on me when I was a kid.
We have had this place in Colorado since I was four years old. When my Dad built the house and garage that now stand there, we tore down an old barn that was built with wooden nails. I remember swinging from a rope in the hayloft and spraining my ankle.
Now my kids run around the place with their cousins and make their own memories. They never complain about making the road trip to go out there, and they always want to stay longer. When I ended up in the hospital with some complications after Madeleine was born there was a day Sammy had been shuffled around a few places and was feeling frustrated (he was 5). Someone asked him where he wanted to go, and without hesitation, this was the place he named.
No wifi. No stereo.
Limited electronic games.
Lots of stories.