This past week our family was preparing for a road trip. We have been planning to go to California for the past couple of months and this last week all road trip packing chaos, procrastination and skill took overtook our house. School lessons had to be wrapped up, warm weather clothes found as our 50 degree weather was a long way from the 110 degree weather we anticipated finding in California. Shorts were tried on and found to be too small, more lessons had to be done, kids tried on flip flops and backpacks were loaded with activities to do in the car.
As the last day, and the hours of packing commenced, the skill level or chaos (whatever you want to cal it) increased. While collecting my toothbrush and such I heard my bother who was taking a break from loading bags saying “Mush Theodore! Mush!” Mush is the term used to get sled dogs going. Theodore is Katie’s 4 pound Yorkie and Matthew (the one telling Theodore to “Mush”) was on his roller blades trying to convince Theodore to pull him around the house.
We had our share of delays and hectic last minute list checking to make sure we got everything. Sure, we started thinking of the things we had left behind as soon as we pulled out of our driveway, but we were finally on our road trip, anticipating being gone 2-3 weeks in the sunny state of California! The fun had begun and we were off on the first 8 hour stretch of our drive!
Finally packed we loaded up in our car and set out for the first eight hour stretch of our drive. Now our car is usually pretty full when we go on road trip with a family of six in tow, but this time let me tell you, there was not any room to spare. You see, we are hoping to do some camping on our journey which means we not only have the usual road trip gear but also our tent, basic coking supplies and five extra sleeping bags.
In the belly of “The White Whale,” as our car got dubbed last time it was “beached” and needed an engine repair, Katie had the back back with pillows just to her personal preference for road trips! Matthew and Kyle have the middle seat which had the ice chest full of snacks in between them (perfect place for 2, always hungry boys) while mom and I had the front seats, as we switched off on the driving!
Along the way we did pretty good on stops… Okay, in our family we are pretty big on minimal stops on road trips. At times it’s almost like a competition. For instance, we once made an eight hour drive with just one stop! Although on this drive we weren’t quite so concerned on number of stops, but rather time on stops. Maybe you have noticed on long drives how a quick stop at a restroom can become like a time warp and “poof” you’ve lost an hour!
I must say though, in between time warps, we did make one worthwhile stop at a fresh fruit stand where we got delicious sun warmed peaches, berries and these scrumptious maple sugar coated almonds. Let me tell you, it was a good thing we got the almonds on the last leg of the drive, otherwise they would surely have been gone by our arrival! At this point, we had to ration them so as to be hungry for the homemade tacos our aunt was preparing for us.
When we arrived in the evening, we had our aunt’s yummy tacos and then we headed for a refreshing swim in the pool. But perhaps most exciting about our day was the official start of this year’s Bible Bee and getting to memorize some of the verses on our drive, but more on that later…
Today we had the wonderful experience of visiting our aunt and cousin’s church! It was such a treat getting to worship with our family and believers from a different state! Once service was over we had a picnic in a park. Aww… Green grass, perfect for rolling in, sun bathing our bodies and flowers to be smelled! What a change from a climate that can’t decide if it wants to be winter, spring or just maybe summer….
When we got home, we had a relaxing day while the boys got to hang out and play “Mine Craft” with Jake and Ryan (our cousins). Katie and I got to take a refreshing afternoon nap and the moms got to spend time together while running a couple of errands.
On our last day with our cousins, we decided to spend the day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Now I personally didn’t know exactly what it was, but I was quite surprised to see huge roller coasters when we got there. Amusement parks have never really been my thing, so while the boys enjoyed some of the roller coasters, us girls felt perfectly content to just watch(with the exception of mom who felt compelled to accompany the fellas on the biggest coaster they went on).
Although I didn’t really find enjoyment from the roller coasters and quite frankly found the crowds of sticky sunscreen laden people overwhelming, I did find one thing that was pretty neat. You see, since I was small, elephants have been one of my favorite animals. So getting to see the elephant show and then getting to touch the elephants was the highlight of my day.
So even though huge crowds and huge roller coasters were not exactly what we had in mind, our family had a fun day and got to experience things outside of our usual choice of things to do on a warm summer day.
As our journey continues I’ll keep you updated!
Until then I’m going to enjoy this relaxing morning,