Monday, July 13, 2009

Life is a Highway

Here are some highlights of our cross-country trip!

Do you see that mountain of stuff behind Joshua? That is how full our van was when we left Virginia. It was pretty packed but I left the aisles clear so things were just piled to the ceiling everywhere else. We drove from Virginia to Nashville on the first day. It was just over 700 miles and we made it in about 13 or 14 hours. We got to Nashville in enough time to spend the evening swimming with a friend and 3 of her sweet kids.

The next morning we got up and ate breakfast in Nashville and took a little sight-seeing detour in my search for a mailbox. We have this little tradition of mailing ourselves a postcard each time we visit a new state. I have a pack of the 50 states postcards from the USPS (my mom works there) so each card already has the name of the state printed on it. I just write the date and a little about our trip and then mail the card to our home. We have been to 38 states so far!
For those who were wondering, yes, my kids do like to travel. Matthew was only 15 months old when we moved from the DC area to Monterey, CA. Joshua was 6 months old when we moved from CA to TX. The girls were only 2 weeks old the first time we made the trek from GA to VA. Sometimes they melt down but it's usually at the end of a very long day.

I try to do a few things to make our trips easier on all of us. First, I like to leave very early. If we can be out the door by 5am, that is perfect. The kids usually go back to sleep for awhile and we have a few hours before we need to stop for breakfast. Often I pack our breakfast and lunch in a big cooler so we don't have to east fast food. I can even toss back snacks for the kids without pulling over. I also do as much as possible at each stop- we eat, walk the dog, change diapers, nurse babies, get gas, go potty, etc. Just don't ask me how I go potty when traveling alone! (Please, don't ask!)

No offense to any of my readers in Arkansas, but I have to say it. Arkansas has now been added to my "Top 5 Most Boring States" list. Thus far the list also includes favorites such as Kansas and Nebraska. Yes, I know there are neat things to do in these states (we've done some of them) but overall, the highway driving is excruciatingly boring. If you like to look at farms, then perhaps it's not so boring.
But Jason was put to sleep out of boredom. Just kidding. He was driving so I can assure you he was not sleeping.
Highlights of Day 2 included Memphis and the aforementioned sleepy drive across Arkansas. We didn't hit Missouri this time (Sorry Anna!) but rest assured I'll be driving that way when I head back to Virginia. Jason and I took turns driving and we covered about 710 miles. We ended up in Dallas where Jason had parked his car the week before when he flew to DC. As you can probably imagine, Leila was just delighted to have her daddy back. She didn't want to leave his side!

Whenever I wasn't driving I was busy taking pictures out of my window. Too busy to stop.
Must. Keep. Driving.

Of course we made it to Dallas safely and by then we were halfway through our 4-day trip. More to come...

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