My Ultimate Travel Planning Adventure

To get you up to speed on my travel love, I love to travel.  There…you are up to speed.  I love dreaming of travel, planning travel, reading about travel and, most importantly, undertaking major travels with my trooper of a husband (who was not born with the same love of travel as I was) and three travel-loving kids.  We love road trips and plane rides and living out of suitcases (most of the time).  So as we are in the middle of a summer with most of our travel planned out or executed already, my sights are settling on next summer.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately scouring the internet and bookstores for information.  (This, by the way, is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world.  I wish it was a job.  Sometimes I think I should have been a travel agent…then I remember that I do all my planning on the internet and so does everyone else which is why travel agents don’t really exist anymore so I can’t be one.  But I still wish travel research and planning was my job.)  I devour articles and books and lists on places to go in the US.  Because, you see, we want to go everywhere. But let me back up and start at the purpose of our trip.

My kids are fascinated with the American Museum of Natural History.  It is, however, in New York City.  On the opposite end of the country.  Far, far away.  Most people would buy plane tickets, book hotel rooms and add other major Manhattan sights to their itinerary if they were to visit.  We are not most people.  We want to buy an RV and drive there.  Across the country.  Hitting 20 states on the round trip journey.

Five people, 20 states, 4 weeks.  Sounds fun, right?  It does to us.  Because, after all, we are not like most people. We want to sit at the table as we’re driving down the road and play cribbage with our kids.  We want to stop to camp for the night and not have to set up ANYTHING.  We want to meet people who know all there is to know about growing corn or the history of bluegrass or local Civil War battlefields.  We want to drive and see and experience.  And, for this mismatched couple, it is both of our loves.  I get to travel and my husband gets to stay home (in our rolling home as we mosey down the highway).

We want to discover all the unusual sights along the way.  Dinosaur bones in Utah.  Oregon Trail wagon ruts in Nebraska.  Giant jackalopes and ice water in South Dakota.  Wooden roller coasters in Ohio.  Chocolate worlds in Pennsylvania. Baseball fields in Iowa.

And, of course, Halls of apes and fossils and ocean life in New York City.

We want to make memories that our children will treasure and help them expand their view of the world.  We want to get away from schedules and expectations and just be.  No set plans, no reservations (mostly), no expectations.  Just the five of us, driving, stopping to see what piques our interest, exploring new places together, talking, laughing, being a family.

I’ll be spending a lot of this year figuring out how to make this trip happen.  (Side note: It may seem like researching details and traveling without expectations are opposites, but it’s just how I work.  If I learn about all the places we could go, then I’m not disappointed when we miss a sight because I already learned about it in my reading.  Make sense?  No?  Oh well.  It works for me.)  From finances to dump stations to little known treasure stops along the way, I’ll be researching it all.  How do you park an rv for the night?  How do you make that awning thing roll out?  Is Branson really worth driving through?  Would it be better to spend the 4th of July at Mt. Rushmore or Independence, Missouri?  Where do you camp near New York City?  What are the best scenic backroads and what roads are not quite so RV friendly?  How do I maximize my gas mileage? How early do I need to make Yellowstone campsite reservations?  Who can we visit along the way?

So many questions.  So much to learn.  Good thing I love this stuff.

I think each week I’ll delve into a specific state, learning about places to visit, options for camping, what local festivals they have, etc…  Then I’ll share my findings with you lovely people.  And you, hopefully, can share your insights and knowledge with me as well.  I’d love for my wonderful readers to help us prepare for and loosely plan our cross country adventure.

First up:  New York.  The Empire State.  Coming next week…


I can't wait to see this guy!!


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