Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Road Trip

Have you ever had a day when you are driving in your vehicle and you suddenly wonder how far you could go on a full tank of gas? Where would you end up? There have been times in my life when I have wanted to escape...just get away...go somewhere I have never been before. That's probably how my love of road trips began.

I went on road trips with my friends but have only been on one with my whole family. I talked my husband into a trip to Williamsburg and then on to the ocean. My husband does not understand the idea and love of the road trip. He could only concentrate on getting from Point A to Point B. You did not enjoy the scenery, you did not stop to admire something unique along the way...it was pedal to the metal and you just had to get there. Add to this the fact that he and another member of my family could be considered ADHD and the idea of a road trip becomes a nightmare. I learned from that experience but I did not lose my love of a road trip...I just learned to pick and choose who I road trip with.

Last year, my new travel buddies and I went to Utah. My travel buddies consist of my 12 year old daughter Danielle, my 15 year old niece Brooke and of course, Sammy. I'm not afraid to tell you that I heard more than once "are you insane?"...you are going to travel 21 hours one way in a van with 3 children and one of them has special needs. I said "YES, I can't wait and I am so excited".

Now if you really know me you know that I do some planning but I'm really good at winging it. On this trip we trusted our GPS (which we named Pamela) and headed out across the country.
I should really start at the very beginning...Danielle, Brooke and I began our adventures with a local weekend camping trip to Terre Andre State Park. Danielle had never camped, Brooke and I could refer to girl scout camp but we were not experts by any means. For some reason my sister in law and her husband had a bunch of camping gear although they never really went camping. Hmmmm...that's okay we gave it all a whirl. We had a tent, an air mattress, stuff to cook over the fire with (pudgie pie makers??), flashlights, a ton of handy wipes and about 3 cans of Febreze. We laughed our way through the whole weekend from putting up the tent which we handled, but I can't say the same thing about Brooke's attempt to cook jiffy pop and we won't even go into Danielle's issues with the squirrels and the need to Febreze the bathroom and tent multiple times. So that was our first adventure.

We headed to Utah for NACD's Rendevouz...but really we just wanted to go places we've never been before and create our own adventure. The girls were in charge of picture taking, sandwich making, drink retrieval and trying their best to keep Sammy from stimming the whole trip. We headed out of Wisconsin and quickly got through Illinois and then hit Iowa.

You knew we just had to stop, jump out of the van and take pictures at every state sign...it's just what you do on road trips.

Iowa wasn't bad and we stayed there that night but then we hit Nebraska. Wow, if any of you have cruised down I80...Nebraska goes on and on F..O..R..E..V..E..R!! I'm sorry if anyone reading this is from Nebraska but honestly it wasn't an exciting state to drive through. We thought it never ended. Of course it didn't help when Brooke read the map incorrectly and had us almost half way through Nebraska until she figured out she was going in the wrong direction? Must have been travel fatigue, I won't offend Danielle with any haircolor comments. Oh, but those did come later.

At the end of Nebraska it started to look kinda hilly and you got that feeling you were getting closer to the mountains. The ride/drive became more exciting. Then we entered into Wyoming and we knew we were in God's country. Wow, what beautiful scenery. I'm a nature loving kinda girl and to see the rock formations, water falls, and all those fantastic mountains was putting me in my happy zone.
Sam began to notice the scenery and would happily call my name every time he saw a mountain. Which as you can imagine was a lot of "Mom, mommy, momma, mom, mom, momma....". We lost track of how many times he said "Brook-E". But I will take and cherish that speech, we've waited a long time for it.
We headed into Utah and the beauty continued. My husband often told me that we didn't need to travel to the west coast because going through the Wisconsin Dells area is the same thing...WRONG!! I am going to try to post a slide show of all the pictures for you to enjoy since adding pictures to my post is too time consuming!
On our way back we took a completely different route which I will show in another post along with some additional posts about some of the best stories on our great adventure. Enjoy your day!


  1. What a great experience for those kids! Good for you =)

  2. I love your description of your husband as your traveling companion-he sounds just like mine! Jay was walking through the room as I was reading this and was laughing out loud. So, I read it to him and explained why I was laughing. He was terribly offended that I think that of him. It is, however, true.

    Glad those of you that went had a great time. It is so good to get away...and then so good to come home.