We returned from our epic vacation last week. This is our first family vacation in 2.5 years, so we made it a big one. I’m still recovering.
This post covers the first leg of our journey.
We drove from Pennsylvania to Texas over the course of five days and then spent a week on the Gulf Coast near Galveston.
We started our trip by heading South down I-95. Our first stop was to visit my Father & Stepmother in Maryland where we had a lovely lunch. Then it was back on the road. Sitting in the DC traffic (it took two hours to clear the Capitol region), we spent time reminiscing about the three years we were stationed at Fort Belvoir. It was fun, as we passed Bethesda Naval Hospital, showing our girls where they were born
Next stop was our boys’ godparents; Rodger & Cheryl in North Carolina. They live near Fort Bragg which is where our sons were born. We had a wonderful visit linking up with old friends (Terry & Keith) and visited the Special Operations Museum.
A note about adult museums while herding small children,; you don’t really get to look at exhibits. It’s more like reading three lines of a plaque and then pulling a child off a display.
It was the thought that counts. My kids were fascinated by the penny press machine and Keith gave them all coins to use in the image of airborne wings or iron mike. Rodger and Cheryl were extraordinarily gracious by letting us practice setting up our big tent in the Carolina humidity in their yard. We had forgotten how hot and humid the Carolinas are! We also learned that we did not have the stamina to put up a tent at every stop along the way (our tent is a 12 person Adirondack). It was a valuable lesson and saved us much agony.
Our next stop was Fort Benning in Columbus Georgia. My husband has friends stationed there, and we planned this stop so we could visit with them. Before my husband was a nurse, he spent twelve years in the Infantry and did all his training at the infantry school. We drove around the base and in the course of our travels, saw the Airborne candidates working on ground week activities jumping from the tower and the lateral drift apparatus. My kids loved this! We also visited the National Infantry Museum. I have visited a lot of military museums in my day. This museum is one of the best military museums (and free although there is a suggested donation) that I’ve ever been to. It is very interactive and fascinating.
The kids actually paid attention at this museum! I highly recommend it!
While listening to the news during the week, we realized our route was directly in the path of Tropical Storm Cindy moving through the Southern United States. We called our campground and switched our reservation from tent camping to a more permanent structure, a yurt. Everyone who knows me knows that I love yurts. I’ve been trying to convince my husband for years to live in one. We actually spent two days in one…I was thrilled to bits.
We stayed as Pine Mountain RV Resort. It was extremely lovely with a large pool, laundry, nice shower houses, etc… Most importantly, there was a lighted pavilion right by our yurt so we were able to have a cookout with our friends, Taylor and Jeremy and continue to visit once the kids were in bed. The yurt slept 8 and included a double bed, a bunk bed and a futon. It was amazingly comfortable with air conditioning and linens.
Originally we had planned to visit Biloxi Mississippi and New Orleans. With the storm approaching, we had to make the hard decision to cut it from the itinerary. We decided to drive straight across Northern MS and Northern LA as opposed to heading directly into the eye of the storm on I10.
From GA to Eastern TX it is about 12-14 hours. When we travel in the car with our little children, we use of one these:
We put cat litter in the bag for weight and scent control. We also have a van with a center aisle so I can walk back and put children on the potty or pass out snacks or toys.
I am proud to say that we don’t allow our kids electronics (primarily because their behavior is so terrible when using electronics) and they made the trip across the country with toys and books. We drove the entire way from GA to TX in 12 hours stopping only for meals and to stretch our legs at those meals.
Next post: Our beach time and day trips…