11:28pm our mini van was packed with food, toys, enough cloths to last us 2 weeks and 5 very excited people, ready for our big family adventure. Driving across county, south to north, with three under three- oh wait, I guess we are three under four now. Crazy? Maybe. Brave? Definitely. But now that we are headed to our second destination I can officially say I am loving this vacation.
In two weeks, we are hitting 8 states, 4 cities, seeing numerous friends and family, visiting both sides of Lake Michigan, celebrating a lot of birthdays (including my own!), sporting our red-white-and- blue for many fireworks and cook outs, and enjoying ogles of family time as well as many kid-free nights.
6:30am, I took over driving for my husband as we neared Atlanta. As the kids slept soundly in the back and my husband attempted to get comfortable after driving nearly 7 hours through the night, I watched the sun rise over the hills of northern Georgia. The air was lighter, cooler then the humid sea level air of home. And I took in everything that I love about this more intimate way of traveling. The mountains that look like mere bumps from the heights of an airplane, were towering over me as my car navigated its way through their curvy roads. The lakes were deep blue, full from the rain that has been generous here. Rain that has kept the central part of our country lushly green.
We made our stop at my go-to road trip stop- Cracker Barrel. A tradition that got started somewhere in my own childhood travels, sitting in the handmade rocking chairs, picking out a piece of rock candy and looking through all the nick-nacs in the general store is always a nice break from the long stretch of being cooped up in the car. A road trip just isn't a road trip without this stop.
I drove the rest of the way to Nashville, enjoying the quiet of sleeping passengers, and listening to my choice of music. My grass-is-greener syndrome always kicks on whenever I travel, picturing what it is like to live somewhere else. Somewhere simpler, somewhere colder, somewhere with a rich history and culture. Everything I don't like about Florida fills my mind, and what I miss about the north suddenly seems really important. But eventually, my thoughts level out and Florida isn't that bad. Isn't that bad is an understatement.
So what am I thankful for this week?
I am thankful that, so far we have traveled safely.
Thankful that the majority of our time on the road, the kids have slept. Gavin's key to sleeping through the morning sunlight? Cover his head with his blankie.
Thankful for seeing a childhood best friend and that he will be marrying the love of his life this October. Thankful that I finally got the chance to meet her.
Thankful for seeing our bestest friends, Breiden's godparents, the two that after 6 months apart we haven't skipped a beat. Thankful for them letting us take over their house, for two great nights of Brinkman/Blaeske dinners like the old days, and that they found us a baby sitter so we got a night out down town.
Thankful that I got my notification that my business has been approved and my license is on its way. I am so excited to share this new adventure of mine.
Thankful for the friend that is watching our house while we are away and that we have a sheriff that lives across the street. Just incase anyone was getting any ideas that we are away for awhile.
Thankful that I met my youngest niece! And that all the cousins are together for the first time. 7 under 5
|my niece, Oliviah|
|Fiona's "little" cousins, the three youngest|
Thankful for my mother-in-law and my aunt-in-law watching all 7 of the kids so we could have a fun night of Tim McGraw at Summerfest grounds with my brother and sister-in-laws.
We are now 4 days into our 16 vacation. Two nights sleeping in a car and two nights of kid-free fun. Needless to say, I am still catching up on energy and very thankful that all three of my kids slept in till 10 this morning.