May was an incredible month!
It began at the Atlantic District Conference, in Moncton, NB. The day after its conclusion, however, we set off for a 3.5 week trek through the United States which would take us some 9,800 kilometres (over 5,000 miles).
As we prepared to cross the border, the sign said it all: “If you want to stay in Canada… turn left”, otherwise… “straight ahead for adventure.” We chose adventure!
We had been planning this family trip to Florida for some time. In the past, we’d done a couple of parks… Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Legoland (in Winter Haven on the old Cypress Gardens location), but this time there would be no parks: relaxation and economical were to be the names of the game – no fighting the crowds and no bankrupting the wallet. The spot where we stayed had a number of activities for the kids / family and that would suffice. In fact, the only time we left the property was (a) to go to church on Sunday and (b) to visit the Canaveral National Seashore one day.
In total, the trip would take us to New Haven Connecticut, Montgomery Alabama, Orlando Florida, Dallas Texas and St. Louis Missouri… with a couple of wonderful (if unplanned) stops along the way.
In the days when my wife worked in the airline industry, we would’ve flown but since that was no long the case, 4 wheels replaced 2 wings and the idea of a grand road-trip was born. Since we’d not be limited by rental car pick-up or drop-off locations, we decided to combine pleasure with more pleasure and connect with friends along the way. The posts over the next couple of weeks will detail some of the highlights of that trip.
What I can do for now is give you an overview of the trip using the map below (created using Map Draw, from iTunes’ App Store).
Liz & I and our kids got to know each other in a whole new way over the past few weeks! Sure we’re family… but this was the first time ever that we’d spent three and a half weeks living from car to hotel room to suitcase. It was DEF-initely a new experience.
I’ve got to say, though, that everyone survived very well. Liz had prepared school material for the kids and they spent a great deal of our driving time doing school work: the older two with their ABeka DVD curriculum and Timo with diligent help from mom. Not only did it keep them from getting bored (and getting on each other’s nerves) but it also kept them on track to finish their school year within the same time frame as their friends.
Drive Down Memory Lane
I can’t say that I was conscious of this at the time, but perhaps part of the impetus of this grand adventure had something to do with such an adventure in my own childhood.
I was just a little younger than my daughter when my mom, my dad, my brother and I made a similar road trip, except that we drove across Canada and returned through the norther USA, tenting when there were no family members or friends to stay with. It was on that trip that I rode horseback for the first time, climbed Banff’s Sulfur Mountain, saw Victoria and Mt. Rushmore… reading 99-cent comic books in the back seat and trying to ensure my brother stayed on “his side of the line” (that separated us in the back seat).
I daresay that we have just completed building a significant memory lane for our own kids… You’ll hear more about it in coming posts.