If you’ve been following along on all our Mom With A Map social media, you might have noticed we took an epic road trip. We’re talking a 14-day, 4K+ mile- crazy family trip. It was fabulous. Except when it wasn’t. We made memories and we saw so many new places. There were a few tears, countless laughs and even a little throw up.
I know we’ll look back on this summer trip as one of the best things we ever did as a family. But, I’m not going to lie- in the moment, I had my doubts more than once. You know the expression “The days are long, but the years are short?” Reword this concept and It absolutely applies to this trip!
I’ve already posted a couple updates from our experience (here and here). Over the next month(s) there will be lots more. We collected tons of tips to share about the areas we visited. And we even have so many thoughts on things we wish we’d been able to do. I’ve said this before, but it’s amazing how travel inspires you to travel more. Rather than crossing all these places off our list, we started a whole new list with a million more things we want to do in those areas!
For those curious, here’s a little recap of the “how, what, where and why” I planned this crazy road trip:
- Why: Believe it or not, my husband has a day job. Friends have joked that it looks like he vacations full time, but that’s really not the case. (Even on actual vacation days, he spends hours fielding phone calls and responding to emails.) He found out a few months ago that he’d need to spend 4 days in Boston, Massachusetts for a work meeting.
- What: I pretty much told him that we were going to turn it into a family road trip. His response- “what?” After the initial reaction I somehow talked my way onto the trip.
- Where: This was a work in progress right up until the last minute- and even on the trip plans changed a bit. My first draft basically took us to Massachusetts and back with stops only in the states we actually passed through. This included: Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. My husband pointed out that we should probably hit Rhode Island and Delaware too- while we were in the area.
As the trip approached, I started looking further north towards New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. I considered taking the kids on a couple day trips while Brent worked in Boston. However, he didn’t want to miss out on those states with our kids. Plus, I had so much I wanted to do in Boston! So we ended up adding a couple days onto the road trip. We also cut down on time we planned to spend in Washington D.C. and re-alocated those days.
Literally the week we were leaving Brent said “hey, how do you feel about going to Canada?” Umm…okay. And so, just like that we re-arranged our days again and ended up spending a day in Montreal.
- How: So probably the biggest question that all of this brings up is “how.” I’m not going to lie- I spent A LOT of time planning. And then I re-planned. I had map spreadsheets, and word documents- and good old fashion notebook paper sketches. We started locking in destinations. I tried to stay on route as much as possible. For example, I really wanted to go to Acadia National Park in Maine. But it was REALLY out of the way, and would have added a lot of drive time. So I had to move that to the “next time” list.
Our initial road trip included several days in Washington D.C. But then I realized, it was the closest stop to home. There was no reason why we couldn’t push most of the trip to another time. So our 4 days there got cut down to 1. We also drove a lot in the late afternoon and evening to maximize our days in each location. This was rough at the beginning (when we were driving 6-8 hours at a time), but easier towards the end when our destinations were only 1-2 hours apart. At the time we swore we’d change things if we ever did it again, but now that it’s over- I probably wouldn’t change a thing. I can’t imagine leaving out any of the stops!
In two weeks we passed through 13 states- 11 of them were new to my children. We also crossed into Canada for a day/night- which was a new experience for all of us. We stayed in 10 different hotels. And we put over 4,000 miles on my car. Additionally, we cracked and replaced the windshield. We collected 13 new stamps in our National Parks Passport. Between our phones and camera we took over 3,000 pictures and videos. We learned a lot about the country. But most importantly, we made forever memories.
I can’t wait to share more- thanks for following along!
*If you missed our road trip updates on Social Media- be sure that you’ve “liked” Mom With A Map! Links can be found to the side (or top, on a mobile device).*