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Friday, July 19, 2013

Family Road Trip

So we just took the longest road trip we’ve ever attempted, and let me tell ya, I feel like I just ran a marathon – in a good way.  It was a challenge; it was exhausting; but it was just so cool. 

We have friends that moved from Texas to Maryland, so we went to go visit them in their beautiful corner of the country, and they were awesome enough to let us stay with them.

The drive was 21 hours of straight driving which we broke up into two days there and back.  So of course, I gotta do a retrospective, and here it is.... 

ANNIE’S ROAD TRIP RULES OF THUMB 

1)  Attitude is EVERYTHING. 

Dude, when we were in Texas, it was HOT and not raining.  When we left Texas, a cool front blew through with beautiful rain, and everyone on Facebook was glorying in the majesty of the 80 degree temps and rain soaking the parched land.  When we arrived in Maryland, they were having a heat wave with 95 degree weather and about 130% humidity.  In a word, it was HOT.

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So naturally, we decided to spend our first day on an outing to Washington, D.C. Was it miserable, you ask?  Well, every single one of us was totally not into it. It was definitely enough to get us in a funk (not to mention we spent a boatload of money).  However, Michael and I decided that it wasn’t worth it to let it ruin our trip. 

Since we were staying with our very dear friends, the objective wasn’t to cram in as much as we possibly could.  The point of the trip was to reconnect with our friends and experience Maryland.  So once we let go of any other expectations, we had the best time. The kids played; we enjoyed great company and beautiful Maryland; and we totally enjoyed the rest of the week. Which brings me to my next point….
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2)  Don't put too much pressure on your vacay.

Any vacation with children is just not going to be as relaxing as without.  Period.  But we love our children and want to experience life with them and want to show them the world, so we take them with us when it’s appropriate.  And since our friends have kids their ages, it was most definitely appropriate.  

We still got to go to cool restaurants and see cool things, but we definitely didn’t get to where we were going very quickly and had to stop at a few more parks than I would have cared to.  But whatever.  It’s not the end of the world if we spent a few extra hours on the road, especially if it means everyone will tire out more readily.

And it was actually really cool discovering all these really awesome parks along the way.  (I don't think I could have managed that before iPhones!)  Also, when we were there in Maryland, if staying in and letting the kids play in the water in the back yard is what works, then go with it!  Having a peaceful and fun evening is much better than stressing out at a nice restaurant while my kids ruin everyone else's night.
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3)  Car Money

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I saw this tip on one of the many websites I consulted, and it was genius.  I made car money with me and Michael’s faces on them, and they could earn it and use it as currency in the car.  Genius.  Pure genius.  Thank you, random road trip guru from the internets.  (If enough of you wants a post about this, let me know, and I’ll tell you how we did it.)

All in all, we loved our trip.  We're so grateful for our friends for letting us stay with them all week.  It was such a great time, and we're thankful for great friends.  :)
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Have you taken a road trip with kids?  What's the longest you've travelled? 

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