Thursday, March 10, 2011

From Sea to Shining Sea

Five years ago on this day our family pulled out of our driveway, our van bulging with eleven people, eleven duffle bags, and all kinds of stuff, and headed west.  As in California or Bust!

My husband's job is greatly affected by local politics, and at that time the recent elections had not been in his favor.  So, while he was in between jobs, he cautiously approached me about loading up our van with all of the children and hitching up our jointly-owned pop-up camper and taking a trip to the West Coast and back.  First, let me explain that I am not a traveler and I hate long car trips!  I am perfectly content as a homebody!  Second, I really don't like camping, unless it involves a motel and a real  shower!  (Not to mention a toilet that you don't have to hike to in the middle of the night!!)   :)    So, you won't be surprised to know that everything in my being screamed, "NO WAY!"  But, what I said was, "Sure!  Let's give it a go!"  :)  And we did!!

It wasn't easy -- there were many challenges along the way, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the fulfillment of one of my husband's long-standing dreams, and I'm so glad I said, YES!  :)   It is hard to appreciate how vast and varied our great country is until you travel its roads and eat in its diners and gaze at its wonders.

There was much we just did not get to do and see in such a short amount of time (5 weeks), but we did hit some of the highlights, and we made some wonderful memories!  Unfortunately, most all of our pictures of the trip were lost in a computer crash, but my daughter, Ashlyn, (18 at the time) blogged about our trip along the way, adding pictures and updates whenever we had internet access.  We recently rediscovered this old blog and thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about our "big trip!"  If you would like to read about our adventures and see what our sweet little children looked like five years ago (Yes, they were amazingly still little at that point!) . . . . check out this now abandoned blog.  Keep clicking on "Previous 5" until you have exhausted the blog posts about our trip.  Our trip ended mid-April.  Ashlyn continued to blog there for awhile about her life, before eventually abandoning the blog.

She also put together this fun video of our trip.  I'm not sure if you can see this or not -- or if you have to be her friend on Facebook, but here is the link:!/video/video.php?v=448868175776&comments

Have you ever driven cross country?  Have you shared about it on your blog?  If so, please leave a link to your blog post in the comments section, so we can read about it!  What was your favorite place or experience?   I'll share mine in a comment!


Noel said...

We have twice and its quite an experience!!

Hannah said...

I think one of my favorite parts was the JFK museum. :) I remember going to Alcatraz on my b'day and escaping, too. :D I think it'd be cool to go again now that I'm older and could enjoy it more. ;)

busymomof10 said...

It was awesome to get to see the Grand Canyon -- pictures don't do it justice!

I loved visiting the Ronald Reagan Library and museum, as he is my favorite president! I wish we could have spent more time there!

San Diego was my favorite city -- it was so Beautiful!

But my Favorite part of the trip was White Sands, New Mexico!!! It was so much FUN playing in the ginormous sand dunes!!! If you can watch the video, you will see lots of pics from there! i would love to go back!!!

tlmalcolm said...

Tim our oldest son drove across the country last year. Hitting all 50 states (he flew to Alaska and Hawaii)in 50 days and volunteering for atleast 8hrs a day in a non-profit organization. My husband's dream is to bicyle across the country someday. There is a wonderful book written 20 or more years ago called "A Walk Across America" written by a young man who traveled across this great country on foot. Fred read it from that day on he has wanted to bike across the states. I hope he gets the opportunity to do someday.

Seven Sisters said...

Reading this reminds me of our trip. :) Just today I was looking over some stuff from our trip, and I started missing it.

A few of my favorite stops were:
The ocean, so amazing and beautiful!

Albany GA. *Huge smile* :)

And eating at Chick-Fil-A for the first time. Yum, and their all so helpful and friendly!

I didn't know you all went on a trip, I'm about to go check out the links. :)



Liz said...

We've only had 1 (sort of) cross-country family trip. I met a single dad online in the mid 90s whose son was born w/ the same birth defect as our daughter & we spent years comparing notes about our kids. When that son turned 13 & had his Bar Mitzvah, our family was invited to attend. We live in TX & they're in CA. We figured out a few days before leaving on the trip that we'd messed up when we bought the plane tickets online. We didn't have the correct date on the return tickets, so we had to rent a car & drive home. We only had 3 days to make it from Los Angeles to East Texas. 1500 miles! It was a LOT of time in the car, but it ended up being great! Here's my "travel journal" from that trip:

Rebecca's Refining said...

We have talked many times about taking a trip west! However, time and money are two obstacles we have to overcome to get there. Because of our limited resources, we would rather spend the time now with family. Maybe one day we will get to fulfill that desire, but if not, no regrets! Spending time with family is MUCH more valuable and important than the grand canyon!

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