I guess you could say I’ve trained them well. I wasn’t sure, but this past weekend made it crystal clear. My kids choose adventure, always.
A few weeks ago we realized we had the unicorn of all calendar moments…a 3-day weekend with absolutely zero plans.
I cannot even convey how rare this was to find on our calendar. (Most Saturdays we are triple booked and I actually have to write out an itinerary for each person.)
In fact, when we first noticed the blank days on the kitchen calendar everyone assumed it was a mistake. But after consulting our various schedules, I realized we did have the days open.
Early last week Brent approached me with the idea to go somewhere. He didn’t have anything specific in mind, but thought it would be nice to get away. In all honestly, I am certain he wanted to travel in order to avoid the growing “honey do” list. But the yard will still need mulch next week and opportunities to travel with our kids won’t always be there. (Apologies to our neighbors who have to look at our flower beds desperately in need of mulch!)
He asked where we should go and I came up with 3 places that have been on our Travel Bucket List:
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to watch a Pirates baseball game
- The Outer Banks of North Carolina
- Kings Mountain State Park
After showing this list to Brent, he told me I was out of my mind for including Pittsburgh. 15 hours of driving for a baseball game sounded crazy. And, he reasoned, there was NO way the kids would go for that. But, naturally, it was his top pick of places from my list.
I assured him that the baseball game would just be one element of the trip. We could also explore (eat) our way through Pittsburgh, and maybe even visit Gettysburg.
We decided to hold a family meeting to discuss the possible weekend plans.
Brent presented the kids with the opportunity to stay at home for the 3-day weekend. This would include play dates, time at the pool, and a family movie night- among other FUN activities. (Of course, he failed to mention the yard work and house projects I had in mind.)
OR we could go on an adventure that would involve a road trip with over 15 hours in the car.
Without hesitating, guess what they picked? Of course, ADVENTURE!
My kids choose adventure, always!
Naturally, after we established our plans, I bothered to check the weather. Pittsburgh did not look good. Even though our family can have fun rain or shine, I really didn’t want to risk a rained out baseball game.
We went back to the drawing board to find out what other baseball teams played games over Memorial Day weekend. And, this time, we checked the weather for the various stadium locations!
After quite a bit of back and forth we decided on Washington D.C. This destination allowed us to visit- not one, but two- baseball stadiums. And, we’d get to spend another day exploring D.C.
Once again, we presented this option to the kids. By that time we’d gotten invited to a couple weekend barbecues and a pool play date. We honestly thought they might not want to miss out on the opportunity to hang out with their best friends.
But, my kids chose the adventure.
I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised. My kids choose adventure, always!
So here’s the quick recap of our 3-day weekend highlights…don’t miss the fact that this weekend was done on a budget. And with very little planning.
Our family left Charlotte on Saturday morning and arrived in D.C. at 3PM, an hour before the Nationals game started. We bought tickets at the gate and immediately went to work finding food. We had opted to snack in the car with food from home and eat one big meal (lunch/dinner) at the ballpark.
Nationals Park is known for its food. We ended up extremely happy that we’d bothered to do a little research to find the best options! Can you honestly think of something better than local crab on Tater Tots?!?
After the game, we made the decision to find a hotel outside of the city to save money (or, in our case, Marriott points.) This also helped us avoid pricy parking fees!
On Sunday morning we attended a church service at First Baptist Church of Glenarden. I have to say, this might have been the highlight of the trip for our whole family. We felt so welcome and the worship service exceeded our expectations!
After a quick lunch, we headed back into D.C. The original plan (and by “original” I mean the one we’d come up with in our hotel room the night before…) included stops at several of the Smithsonian Museums. They are free so we assumed we could pop in and hit the highlights at several. Unfortunately, I think about 20 billion people had the same idea.
Suddenly our Plan B weekend had to develop a Plan B of its own!
Adventures have a way of working themselves out though because our back up plan for the day turned out pretty awesome. We got to spend a lot of time watching the Rolling Thunder ride through the streets of D.C. We also got to walk the National Mall which was particularly special on Memorial Day weekend. And we even got a few new stamps in our National Park Passport Book.
Eventually we navigated out of the city and headed towards Baltimore, our final weekend stop.
We spent Sunday evening wandering along the Inner Harbor, and eating ridiculously amazing Mexican food. Our plan to watch the sunset over the water got foiled by a summer storm. However, the lightning show was better than any fireworks display I’ve ever seen! We made it back to our hotel just before the raindrops started to fall.
On Memorial Day we attended the Orioles game at Camden Yards. Our whole family loves visiting new baseball stadiums! This particular game marked stadium #11 for Brent, #10 for Mary Grace and me, and #9 for Miller. After a home team win, we prepared for a long, late drive home.
6 hours into the drive, and well past bedtime we asked the kids if they were happy with our decision to travel for the weekend. The question was met with a resounding “Yes!”
It may not be the most conventional life, but I’m so thankful that my kids choose adventure whenever they’re given the opportunity!
Did you travel for the holiday weekend?
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