1 minivan. 2 adults. 5 children. 30 hours of driving (including stops). 1 snowstorm. 2 hotel nights.
Almost 1600 miles.
And we made it.
Now we're here for the weekend, a big family weekend. Matt and both his siblings and their families all together at Grandma and Grandpa's house. 8 adults and 10 children and lots and lots of fun.
The trip had its share of highs and lows. There were moments that went well and moments that went not so well. Day one, 460 miles. Day two, 470 miles. Day three, 640 miles.
The biggest disappointment was Day two, supposed to be our long hard cover-some-serious ground day. A snowstorm in Chicago slowed us way down and made for many stressful hours and we ended up stopping several hundred miles before our goal.
loaded and ready to head out
It'll be a while before we see temps this high again
western NC, my 'people' are from around here .... Pilot Mountain. BEAUTIFUL.
the inside of the van - yes, we still have the giant panda. He actually proved to be a decent traveling companion, part pillow - part fun.
end of day one, the miles are adding up and the temperature is dropping
Kentucky horse country. After too many years in highly polluted Asian cities
America's bright blue skies never get old.
Lots of time in the car - stickers, crayons, books, movies, iPad, audio books, snacks....
our fearless captain, every single mile. It's no easy job, but neither is the passenger seat, huh?
a late afternoon snooze, see Julianna sprawled across Ping Ping? and it's starting to snow
a birthday dinner at Cracker Barrel, it's not ideal but neither is a birthday in the car!
loading up after dinner, our first indication that the conditions were
going to be worse than we anticipated
when the interstate looks like this you know the miles ahead
will add up slowly, oh it was slippery and not at all fun
day three lunch at a truck stop - after our early stop the night before we knew we had
many many miles to go before we slept (thankfully we woke to favorable conditions
and the roads were dry within the first hour)
Entropy ruled in the van. I refer to this one as 'pick your vice day'.
Whatever it takes to keep the campers happy. Luke ate an entire box of tic tacs.
sunset in western Minnesota. we could taste the victory - only a few more hours!
our final stop, the van starting to show a little road weariness. (so are the occupants!)
We celebrated with glow sticks in the dark - new fun for the final hundred-plus miles
North Dakota highways are straight and empty, which makes for nice high speed limits
and check out the temperature (that's not a dash, that's a negative 13 degrees)
In the worst moments Matt and I consoled ourselves that this will probably be our hardest road trip ever. The children will only get older and (hopefully) easier ~ In the best moments we laughed and loved and, you know, there were many many things to be grateful for, even when it was hard.
The girls visited their new school Friday morning, the kids are working on recovering the many many hours of lost sleep, we are snug and warm in a house filled with love and family. So glad to be here. So so very glad.