Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the Road Again

What is more fun about a summer trip...the planning, the packing or the traveling?

I love the anticipation and planning for our trips. Going online to order brochures, reading through other peoples travel blogs looking for that place we may have missed otherwise, trying to decide on our specific destinations and this year we even had an evening of watching a DVD about the areas attractions for our general destination. I had everyone go through the brochures and pick places or activities and that was our starting point.

Packing is a bit of a chore, but when it is happening, I know that we will be leaving soon. I try to pack all that I anticipate we will need, but I also realize that there is a Wal-Mart that would have about anything we needed or simply forgot. I have a novel, a couple of magazines and Tetris for Game Boy to take the edge off of any possible boredom for me. The kids also have a bag of amusements for the road trip and a few snacks as well.

Traveling can be very exciting, but at times can be boring or sometimes even stressful. I enjoy road trips. Getting out and seeing different places, or familiar places that are not close to home, is interesting and enjoyable. We have often taken trips on back highways to be able to travel through towns that are not on the interstate or major highways just to get a scenic view. It is fun to try out new things, and enjoy each others company without any of the interruptions of home. Although I have a fear of heights I have ridden on ski lifts up mountainsides, spent time on the edge of canyons and even dangled over gorges in a cable car. Living in Kansas means that if we want to head west, we are destined to see a lot of plains, rolling hills, and some long stretches of highway with not a lot to catch our attention. I have been known to nod off during parts of that part of the ride. And then there are the natural disasters that seem to appear over many of our trips: forest fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes. We even had a fire on our RV on one trip. And we've been stuck a few times with tire trouble on the RV and brake problems in the mountains in the van last year (good thing Joe is handy with repairs). While one such repair was taking place we sat in the shade on a very hot desert day. Miles down the road Joe decided we needed something more substantial done, and my mom and I walked to a quilt store and bought fabric for Raymond's quilt he is now snuggling under at night. Several years ago Joe gave us a scare with a kidney stone (I am glad it was quick to pass - LOL). Even with moments of boredom and some stressful times too, overall our family trips have been great at rejuvenating our energy and putting a positive perspective on our lives.

On this particular trip we are not going to our first choice of destinations. Last summer we took a wonderful trip to the Grand Canyon with many other stops on the way. Then we planned a trip for all of the boys to go with us on our next excursion and no sooner had we rolled into the driveway after our family trip in October to Minneapolis, and we were talking about traveling to see family in Washington state and a trip through Yellowstone National Park on the way for this summer. We had to make a budget compromise so we are not going as far as we had originally planned, nor for as long. I am disappointed that we will not be seeing our family in the Northwest. But I am sure that we will enjoy the trip we do have planned. I am still going to see the mountains. The boys will still have a swimming pool and many family activities to enjoy. And we are going to one of my favorite places to visit, Colorado Springs. I don't care that it is a bit touristy. In fact, that just makes it that much more accommodating to me and my family.

So now the planning and packing are complete, and I am ready to hit the road. Mountain air...here we come.

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