We Drove A Crazy Long Way | July 2021

It might take a pandemic to make me crazy enough to drive my kids across the country and back. My husband would probably tell you it doesn't take much to make me that crazy. 

I only wish we could have somehow stuffed more states and more sights into our plans. Looking back on things, it's silly that we didn't jump into Iowa, or Nebraska, or North Dakota, or Delaware. What were we thinking?? Now these outliers will haunt me as we work toward visiting all 50 states... 

Also, I wish I had more control over the weather!! We got rained out of Boston almost entirely. Because of the rain, we slept in the car three nights, which actually wasn't too terrible and made me wonder why I spend money on accommodations at all. :p

I posted 200 stories on Instagram and 78 photos, but even that leaves out so much of the things we did and the way things felt. It would probably be pretty obnoxious to share without leaving anything out. So hopefully our memories will serve us well when it comes to remembering the undocumented. 

And to keep this post light-weight and manageable, I've decided to highlight just some of the bests and maybe a couple of worsts, to give you a glimpse and maybe some ideas of things to do if you ever find yourself in any of these spots. 

So here we go... 

Best meal: Everyone agrees, Little Ceasar's Pizza!!!!! It's always so reliably delicious and we can use the app to order so it's ready when we drive in. Runner up: Underground Pizza in New York City with delicious pizza and calzones! 

Most disappointing: Rain really dampened our plans a few times, but the worst was when we were waiting in great seats to watch the Louisville Bats play ball, but then the storm clouds worsened and the game was canceled. 

Best overnight: We have had only good experiences with AirBNB, but this stay in Cincinnati was beautiful. Better than we expected. We LOVED it.  

Best city: Alexandria, Virginia wins because of the splash-park and the free concert in the park starring the US ARMY BLUES JAZZ ENSEMBLE!! They were so good. What a great listening experience this was! Alexandria also has a really pretty old town, with super bumpy cobblestone streets. I would have spent more time here without kids. : )

Best state: Colorado because of the cooler, crisp air with lower humidity and the pretty mountains [at least in the Breckenridge area]! Second best = Michigan because of the gorgeous lake [just ignore the mosquitoes]! 

Biggest adrenaline rush: Speaking of Colorado, we added an adventure to the end of our trip (thanks Miles). I'm SO THANKFUL we all survived. Jeeping to the tops of mountains was very cool though. 

Biggest pet peeve: When people leave their vehicles unattended at gas pumps and there's nowhere for me to fill my tank!!! This happened a couple times and we had to wait quite a while!! 

Most modern museum: Planet Word in Washington D.C. is a new museum and VERY COOL. We were surprised to see so many interactive exhibits and very interesting things about language and the words we use today. 

Craziest event: One morning in Massachusetts found us locked-down in our hotel! We found a piece of paper under our door basically saying that we needed to stay in our room, and to not leave the hotel until the crisis had passed. Here's the news article about what happened on the highway very near that hotel.      Other near misses include a tornado in Washington D.C. a few days before we were there, flooding in New York City subways just after we left, and heading west just before Hurricane Elsa sailed through the area. 

Best dessert: Definitely the frozen custard from Ted Drewes. The lemon crumb concrete was just like lemon cream pie, but COLD. Yummy. 

Best museum docent: Okay. This telephone museum is tiny, but what it lacks in size is definitely made up with the TWO HOUR, very informative tour we got from the docent. She must love her job! 

Best value: One thing that we added to our itinerary spontaneously was laser tag in Cincinnati. We got a special Family Friday deal for 60 minutes of laser tag and pizza/drinks. It was really, really fun AND delicious. We did eat lots of pizza on this trip...

Ezra's favorites: Noah's Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin, City Museum in St. Louis, MO, and the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA. 

Peter's favorites: buying keyboards on Craigslist in Boston, eating a giant burrito from Chipotle, and buying things at Microcenter [a tech store we don't have in our area]. 

Mommy's favorites: riding Maid of the Mist to get close to Niagara Falls, the jazz concert by the US Army Blues, and floating the river in Boise.

Sadly, we weren't able to take a picture with every state sign as I had hoped. But we did the best we could! 

We returned home after 23 days/nights away, so thankful to be reunited with daddy again!! I'm grateful that our car traveled the 7,911 miles without fail. I'm not interested in ever driving that far again, if I can help it!! I do have 12 states left on my list to visit [Alaska, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, Delaware, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma], but hopefully that won't involve another lengthy road trip. 

Cheers to being HOME.