what it is that we are planning that will be life changing. Am I right?
We are planning a big trip. We have always wanted to travel across the country with our kids. We have decided that we are going to do this. We want to make this trip while the kids are still young but old enough to remember it.
Now we are not just talking a couple week thing. We are talking a BIG trip. Perhaps a year long. In order to make this happen we have set in motion several things. At this point we are in the research mode. AND boy have we researched so much already.
The first thing that we did was Google some blogs or websites of others that are doing this very thing. We have found several blogs and websites that are geared toward families making this trip too.
These have been very helpful and we just purchased a book, Live Your Road Trip Dream: Travel for a Year for the Cost of Staying Home By Phil White, Carol White. We just received this book from Amazon yesterday and so far we have scoured a good section of this book.
One of the first things we need to decide is for how long will we be out on the road. We have thrown around the idea of an entire year. But my husband owns his own lawn company and he is concerned (rightfully so) about how his business will survive with us gone for that length of time. Then we thought about going for just a month. I am off for the entire month of July every summer and this would be an ideal time for us to go for the entire month because I won't have to quit my job or take a leave of absence. We would hold on to all our benefits with my job and a month IS a long time.
Recently we have begun to play around with me taking a leave of absence from teaching for the entire year and we could take several extended trips. We could take our month of July then return until late fall. I could home school the kids here (in our house) and we could continue to take week long trips in the fall then late fall take another extended one. We could return home for the holidays and then leave again in January for another extended month or two. Return to get my husband's business running again and then leave for shorter trips again.
The second decision we have to make is what vehicle are we going to take. We currently own a 1993 Coachman 30ft travel trailer. While this is nice and we use it almost every weekend, it lacks in the space issue. We have no slides on this trailer and the kitchen space is in the hallway to the kids' bunkbeds. One of our children has to sleep on the J-sofa. This doesn't pose a practical rig for us to take on this type of trip. We are looking for a rig that will have beds for everyone. We have found several that have two sets of bunkbeds which is great. We don't think we will go with a standard travel trailer either. We are thinking either a 5th wheel or a motor home. With a 5th wheel we would also need to get a truck to pull it, and with a motor home we would have to get a car to pull behind for local travel.
This past weekend our family went to Baltimore for my cousin's wedding. We went to the wedding and the reception and on the way out this happened to us. The limosine driver was standing there in the parking lot next to the bride and groom's limo. It was a super stretch sedan. It was white with a black top and black wheels. It was pretty neat looking. He noticed that my kids were checking out the car as they walked by and he asked if they would like to take a peak inside. Well, yeah!!! So they walk over and he opens the back door for them to see and suggests they get in and sit down. So the peeps do and they are in awe with the size and the fact that it had a tv in it AND a bar AND a big long seat AND neon lights AND a stereo in it. The driver goes around to the other side of the car and opens the other door and pokes his head in and says, "you know, I have driven around a lot of famous people in this car." The kids say, "really??? like who???" He says, "well, I can't tell you any names of them because we aren't allowed to but I will tell you the initials of one rock star you might know. Do you know who HM is?" Well, the Ladybug about flips out of the seat and yells, "HANNAH MONTANA!!!!" And that made her birthday, which was the very day that she got to sit in the same limosine that Hannah Montana sat in!!!
The Pickle, the Bean and the Ladybug in "Hannah Montana's Limo"
After a 5 1/2 year courtship and an almost 12 year marriage you would think that I am used to the wild hairs we get from time to time. My husband and I seem to have something sitting on the backburner at all times simmering. It simmers and just waits for one of us to stir the pot a bit. It will begin to bubble and if someone doesn't turn down the heat then we are off on another grand adventure.
This time we both have stirred the pot, added a few spices, and no one is turning off the heat this time. The pot is bubbling over and we are getting excited about this adventure.
We will begin here at our home in Virginia where we have created a nice family and a nice happy life. With three kids in tow and a dog ever so excited for an adventure we are about to embark on the grandest and most life altering yet. Stay tuned for lots of planning, some frustrations I am sure, and some great happy times.