Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On The Eve of Our American Adventure

I'm not sure who is more excited, me or my boys! I'm so excited that I'm writing this at 4:30am on the morning of our trip! I'm as planned (over planned) as I'll ever be! I have an itinerary, our bags our packed I was even able to squeeze a fall caramel apple party in before we left! It was wonderful - both our family and our friends were going on a road trip so we not only made caramel apples, we also made a very healthy trail mix for the road! 
So what planning goes into a trip like this? I made the decision to go to Kentucky 3 weeks ago. Crazy I know! Three weeks ago my husband took an envelope and started saving his tips from the deli that he was working part time. I put my guitar lesson money in there as well. We did receive a few gifts that were also placed in there...and this became my spending money...for 4 people..for 10 days! We are so going to do this! Gas was budgeted, hotel was paid for...this was to see how much fun we could have and how little we can spend. So stay tuned as I share all of our adventures...and how little we spend each day! By humanly rights we shouldn't be going on any vacation. We both had part time jobs...(I use the past tense because Praise God..Mr. Incredible is officially employed as an LPN for Indigo Manor..a nursing facility!..he starts tomorrow!) 
 I had to go into storage (friend's shed) to get our winter clothes. I hope the weather stays consistently cool...or we're gonna be HOT! The trunk of my car, my Toyota Camry is stuffed with 3 suitcases, a box of food and a laundry basket of snacks. Our plan is to only eat the food we brought, until we get to our friends house in Kentucky! (I'm sure we've over packed for a two day road trip to Kentucky!)
Prior to leaving so much had to happen. I needed a lesson on how to fix my car (which has 204,000 miles on it already)
So I can add oil, water and change a tire...and of course call GEICO for road side service!
This is probably the most exciting part of the friend/sister Michelle, put together a Mystery Trip for us! In that bag there are clues that are to be opened during various points in our travels. It's a mystery to me I'll have more details about this after we open each envelope. I can tell you this...the very thought of getting to our first point...has me so is already worth it..just because of the anticipation of it! So...stay tuned I talk all about this Mystery Trip. You can find Michelle's blog over HERE.

Ok..I have to get in the shower and get in my car. We roll out at 6:00am. OH but one more thing, as you can see by the top picture. Each boy has a bag full of essentials. That would be my youngest superhero's bag...Woody and Jessie must accompany us as we travel southeast America!! Along with that are puzzle books, journals, a DSi, a clipboard with all sorts of road trip games that I carefully printed and saved on a flash drive for the ride home! There are licence plate games, and scavenger hunts, hangman, tic-tac-toe, automobile brands hunt game, maps of the states we're going I've printed 50 facts for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama! We'll be learning lots of History! However, that is not all we'll be doing. There will be some laughing, some bonding and some character training too. Do we ever grow out of Adventures in Odyssey? I don't think so! So..for our listening pleasure...we will have plenty of music and plenty of stories to be read to us!

OK...I'm off! Stay tuned. I have no laptop coming on this I won't be able to post a blog until Thursday night or Friday morning. I know you're not as excited as I am, but half of my excitement is writing about my trip...I'll see you back here in a couple of days!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Our Grand Adventure - Living History

Ready or we go! My boys and I will be piling into the car in exactly 3 days. We'll be leaving Wednesday morning for our very first solo road trip. I say solo because Dad just got a new job as a LPN and he will most likely be starting his training this coming week. (by the way...we are so excited for him - new career in something that he loves!) We'll be talking to him every day and we will miss him for sure!

It was spur of the moment, but I think its going to be one of the best vacation we've ever had. We've not been on a real out of state...ever. We've escaped up North to our old home town NJ during hurricane season one year, but this is for pure and simple fun/education.

My boys are learning American History (well at least my younger ones)..they'll be studying it for two years. This will give them a visual image of at the southeastern states and what it was like to move west. My children have never seen a mountain. Sad right? They've never seen a fall leaf. We'll be hitting the Smokey Mountains in the midst of Fall.

My friend Michelle has created a Mystery Trip Kit...that we'll be opening up during our keep it exciting. I don't have all the details yet, but as we go along I will be blogging details about our trip.

I've printed each boy a clipboard full of activities that should help in the car both on the way up and back.

We'll be going old school. I have 5 maps all highlighted, directions handwritten out but for a backup..we'll have the Garmin GPS. I will have the cutest most fun young superheros to keep me company in the car for our 13 hour trip up. We'll be going through all the Welcome Centers, taking our time and enjoying all the Kodak moment we can. Our plans are as follows...Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina..where we'll be spending the night! Then the next day we're hoping to have lunch with some friends of ours that live right here in Florida and will be camping in Tennessee.Then we will explore Cumberland Gap, famous for helping pave the way for early settlers to head west. We will walk in the footsteps of early pioneers and Native Americans, visit the ruins of fortifications used in the Civil War, experience the life of an early mountain community. Can you tell I'm a little excited..and we haven't even gotten to our destination yet?
Our good friends have mapped out our entire trip (they've made this trip several times)...including all the wonderfully educational places to stop and explore! Once we get up to Kentucky we'll be spending a week with my precious friend Karen! Oh how I love this woman. We miss our face time! Her and her girls have been generous enough to share their hospitality with my boys and I..and we are looking forward to every second. The weather will be chilly..but we're ready. While in Kentucky some of our plans are to visit Mammoth Cave, Shaker Village, and possibly the Creation Museum.
Not to mention sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte on my friend's porch and running the hills of the quaint town of Wilmore, KY!

On the way home we'll be able to spend some time going through the center of Tennessee and have lunch in Nashville! We'll make our way south to Alabama where we'll see more friends and spend the night there. On our way home the next day we'll be seeing gorges, and military bases and of course...eventually our own beds again!

So..approximately a 10 day road trip. It will be a trip my boys and I will talk about for years and years! I've never driven more than 4 this should be interesting! Mostly, I'm looking forward to making memories and having some Mom and sons bonding time. I mean, I homeschool them and we have lots of time that way, but making memories like this is rare and special. We will miss Dad for sure. Especially when I'm exhausted from driving. But, we kind of feel like pioneers ourselves. Exploring land we've never seen before, doing things we've never done before, and just taking it all in! It will be a grand adventure for sure! So stop back and follow us as we begin our journey of living history!