In a little over a week, we will be heading out on our first real vacation since we went to Kansas City to visit Denny and Dionne over fall break in 2007! Before that, the last vacation we had gone on was to Florida when Brianna was 7 months old, so that was...drum roll, please....2005!
We are traveling to Washington, DC over the Fourth of July to visit my brother Chris who is currently living there. We will also be spending a few days in Baltimore, MD and then hitting a beach destination on Lake Erie for a few days on our way home. (Micah will turn 1 there, and Steven will turn 32!) Now I know some of you are thinking "Wow! You are crazy!" We are, but not so much! We LOVE Washington DC. It is one of our favorite vacation destinations for many reasons. One, I am a history nut so I am totally in my element when I am in DC. Two, there is A LOT to do there so you can easily find something that is going to appeal to everyone. Third, it's the Fourth of July people! Our Nation's birthday. What better place to celebrate than in our Nation's Capitol!?!? And fourth, almost everything in DC is FREE!!! Yes, I said it! And maybe that should be reason #1 because it does make for a cheap vacation when all the museums, the zoo and anything else you might do (with a few exceptions) requires no money! Plus, when you are as cool as my mom and can find amazing deals on hotel suites where they have complimentary hot breakfasts in the morning, a full kitchen and an outdoor patio with a complimentary grill...you can go cheap on the food too!
I am super excited to go on this trip. We are going to drive up in our car and we will be very full going up because all five of us, my mom and my brother Michael and his boyfriend Blair will be going too! So all 8 seats will be taken up. Blair, however will be flying home from Baltimore half way in to our trip so we'll be a little lighter on the way home.
So now, with our trip being a week from Thursday, I am trying to brainstorm how we are going to be able to keep everyone happy and comfortable on our 8-10 hour drive to our Nation's capitol. We are planning on leaving after midnight so that the kids will sleep for the majority of the trip. We are planning to put them in the back seat so that they will not be in the way as we stop at rest stops and gas stations if the adults need to get out to stretch their legs or go potty. I am brainstorming car kits that I can make for them with toys and games, a rest stop kit (that will include jump ropes, Frisbees, bubbles, and side walk chalk) to help them burn off energy when we stop and they are awake. I'm finding printables and car games for us to play. I hope to hit the library for some DVDs and books on tape that they haven't seen or heard, to help hold their interest a little better. I was just on MomsMinivan.com and WeJustGotBack.com for their road trip ideas and tips. Two great sites that I think I will visit for years to come. Check them out if you'll be going on a road trip this summer. They are great! I need to find a car top carrier. Unfortunately as much as I love my Outlook, it has NO trunk space! At least not enough to hold everything we need to take with us. So we need to find a car top carrier, or one of those things that you hook onto a truck hitch.
Then I need to start thinking about clothes, what toys we are taking, packing food and drinks for the car so we won't spend as much at gas stations and rest stops. I need to get together a first aid kit and finish up our itinerary. There is so much to do, but I know the time will go quickly and before I know it we will be loading the car and hitting the road! Pray for us! Pray for a safe drive, that everyone will be patient and considerate of each other for so many hours in a tight space, that the car will function properly and that we'll have a fun time together as a family.
And I pray that you all are having a great summer with you and yours, and that Our Father will protect you wherever the roads take you this summer!