So many have called our trip, the trip of a life time, and it certainly was. We drove in/through 22 states in 19 days. To recap here's the timeline and itinerary:
June 3rd: Drove to Little Rock, AR
June 4th: Visited Clinton Library and Little Rock Zoo
June 5th: Drove to Springfield, IL
June 6th: Visited Abraham Lincoln Museum and then drove to Milwaukee, WI
June 7th - 10th: Had a wonderful visit with my childhood girlfriend and her family. During this time we went to The Field Museum in Chicago, my childhood hometown, and The Milwaukee County Zoo.
June 11th: Left Milwaukee for an overnight stopping point in Lancaster, OH
June 12th: Left Lancaster, OH for Philadelphia, PA - stopped in Brogue, PA to visit my Daddy's resting place. He's in a cemetery in the middle of nowhere.
June 13th: Went to the Constitution Center, The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall and to Benjamin Franklins's grave site.
June 14th: Went to The Academy of Natural Sciences by Drexel University.
June 15th: Left Philly and drove to Norwood, MA which is almost halfway between Boston and Plymouth.
June 16th: Went to Boston, MA - walked on the Freedom Trail. Saw the Old North Church, Paul Revere's house, Bunker Hill Memorial, and The Old Statehouse.
June 17th: Went to Plymouth, MA - visited Plimoth Plantion, Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock and Plymouth Beach
June 18th: Drove to Glen Burnie, MD for an overnight stay. Made a stop in Burtonsville, MD to visit my Uncle Rick's resting place. Ate at a Golden Corral for the first time- hehehe.
June 19th: Drove from Glen Burnie, MD to Charlottesville, VA - along the way stopped at Mt. Vernon for the morning and in the afternoon went to Monticello. By far the highlights of the trip for me. Arrived at our hotel close to dinnertime, but then had to find a laundromat because we had no clean clothes.
June 20th: Left Charlottesville, VA for Atlanta, GA for an overnight stay.
June 21st: Left Atlanta, GA for Bryant, AR - stopped in Tupelo, MS along the way to see Elvis Birthplace! Haha!
June 22nd: Left Bryant, AR for HOME! God Bless Texas - Home Sweet Home and all that!
Whew. It was a whirlwind. Here's what I know:
- I have no desire to ever drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike again, especially at night, in the rain.
- I don't enjoy driving through New York.
- I despise Toll Roads.
- Texas has the most courteous drivers.
- Our rental car got awesome gas mileage (Can you believe we only spent $536 in gas the whole trip??? - Bascially we paid around .10 per mile - we drove a little more than 5600 miles round trip.)
- I don't enjoy Chicago traffic.
- I still love my childhood hometown, despite the growth and the missing corn field.
- America is beautiful.
- I will never do such a long road trip again, unless my husband is along for the ride.
- I have the most awesome Uncle on the planet who gave us Hilton Honors Points to save us from camping at KOA campgrounds!
We got to try some new "restaurants" ie; fast food. One place we saw a lot of but only ate once was Bojangles Chicken and Biscuits. It was okay. We also ate at a Golden Corral that had a to die for dessert bar. In Illinois we had dinner at Hackney's which was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on the Food Network. It was delicious. Also in Illinois we ate at a Bob Evans. I wasn't impressed. While in Wisconsin I was ecstatic when I saw Entemann's Donuts! We don't have Entemann's in Texas so I had to buy some, to let the kids try them, of course.
The Toll Roads were ridiculous! I was complaining about a $3.50 toll over some skyway in Chicago, but apparently I hadn't seen anything yet. Good grief, we had one toll that was $12 and others that were $9, 7, 6 and lots of piddly tolls. It's a racket. We spent around $125 in tolls the whole trip. With outrageous tolls like that the roads should have been pristine. I have to say that I was most surprised by Massachusetts. The parts we saw were beautiful, the roads were nice and I don't recall any of the outrageous tolls being there.
Because we cut our trip short by six days, we ended up not seeing Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. We were planning to camp that portion of the trip and my mom and I just weren't up for it. I realized it after we left Milwaukee that it just wasn't going to be a good idea. So, the good news is that it's a trip my husband will hopefully take with us next spring! Yay! If not for my uncle and the hotels, we would have been completely miserable camping. Other than my original camping idea, the trip plans worked out pretty good! I wasn't sure how all the "on paper" plans would pan out in real time. We only drove in darkness once, and that was because we go lost. Otherwise, we made great time on all our driving and arrived at hotels before or right around dinner times. Sometimes, much before dinner. All the planned destinations worked out and with the exception of one, were all as good as or better than I expected. I feel confident I can plan another trip. Just in shorter length, of course.
The main purpose of this trip was educational. I wanted my kids to "see" history. We squeezed in science and a visit with friends too, so that made the trip even better. My goal was to get the kids more excited about history. Noodle already really liked history and one of the highlights for him was seeing actual items brought back to Thomas Jefferson, from Lewis and Clark. So fun!
Before we left, Bear was looking forward to the trip, but the only thing he was really excited about was The Field Museum in Chicago. He ended up liking the Academy of Natural Sciences better than the Field Museum. He always complains about history and says he, "hates history." If you ask him now, "Do you still hate history?" he emphatically says, "No." He LOVED seeing the historic sites. His favorites were Mt. Vernon and Monticello. He now wants to read books about both Washington and Jefferson. That alone, right there, was worth the cost of this trip and the judgement upon me for taking the trip. Victory!!!
Linking up wtih Mary at Homegrown Learners.