When we began planning for this trip, all I had in mind was survival. The destinations, no problem. The drive? Terrifying. I did everything I could to plan for a successful time in the car, and amazingly things worked out pretty well! Obviously there were several painfully long, loud, irritating stretches... but looking back, it was never really bad for more than a half hour at a time. Generally the difficulties were solved by the new Okee Dokee brothers CD and DVD (Every one of us knows every word by heart now), a newspaper-wrapped trinket or snack (nothing like unwrapping a present to distract a kid!), or the movie Frozen (I can now recite it in my sleep).
Before I left, I told my Grandma that I was looking forward to looking back at the trip, but I wasn't sure if I was looking forward to the trip itself. Was I certifiably insane for hauling three kids across the country? But it turns out that I had no need to be worried. On a whole, the kids were amazing. We had an incredible time at each stop along the way; we spent quality time with family, we learned a lot, and we saw parts of the country that I have always wanted to see.
Today my brother asked Max what his favorite part of the trip was. His answer was this: "Monica, Glenn, Nathaniel, Megan, Kelley, and Tim. And Loki and Shay." My thoughts exactly.
Much, much, much more to come!