Summer Road Trip 2011!

 

The Lincoln Memorial. Photo: Jenny Williams

I’ve loved taking trips ever since I was a kid. My mom always made it fun for us, and we were fortunate to not get car sick. I loved seeing new places, and getting a change of scenery, literally and figuratively. I’ve always wanted my kids to see as many parts of the country as possible, and frankly, we’ve done a pretty good job of that so far. But there were still areas of the country and important sites they hadn’t seen.

This summer we took a 40 day road trip around the country. It morphed from a trip to my 20th high school reunion into a reunion/wedding trip into just a wedding trip (the reunion got scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend). But the wedding was in Wisconsin, and I figured that if I was going to drive 2/3 of the way across the country, I might as well drive the rest of the way. So 21 states (and a district) and almost 6000 miles later, we completed our long trip. My husband joined us for the first and last weeks, but it was just the kids and me for the middle portion.

I kept a fairly detailed blog throughout this process, Around the Country in 40 Days, and also I took over 1200 photos, many of which I put up on Flickr. Along the way we saw family, friends, museums, cemeteries, battlefields, and government buildings. We played games, walked for miles in the heat, had great conversations, and learned so, so much.

There are many areas of the country that the kids still haven’t explored (the northeast, the northwest, and, well, Kentucky), but I hope to remedy that sooner rather than later. Of course they also still haven’t seen Alaska or Hawaii, but then again neither have I. Those are the only two states that I am missing, and I hope to explore them together.

If traveling around the country in a car with kids is something you’ve considered, or even attempted, let us know in the comments! My mom thought I was crazy for taking this trip, but most other people thought it was a fantastic idea, and often were envious. Because it was so long, it was both wonderful and challenging, something to both savor and endure. What have your family road trip experiences been like?

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Jenny Bristol is an Editor at GeekDad and a founding Director at GeekMom. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.