Our road trip during the summer gives us focused time as a family that is hard recreate anywhere else. Our time on the road forces us to throw schedules and routines out the window in search of adventure and time with family and friends.
If you know me even a little bit, you know that I thrive on schedules and routines but for a few weeks every summer we beat to a different drum and I love it. (I love it even more now that my kids are getting older and it’s easier to throw some schedules out – harder when I had babies).
We jumped around for a couple stops before landing at my parents house. I think the only major adjustment was having the sun stay up so late into the evening. I explained to Briggs that the sun in Idaho is different than the sun in Arizona – they play by different rules. The first day we were there I was trying to put him to bed at 9 – an hour past his bedtime and through his tears he was pointing outside telling me that the sun was still up and not bed time. We adjusted quickly. The sun was out until 10 o’clock at night – which means many nights bed time was after that.
We played in parks multiple times a week – the weather was mid 80’s and by night time it cooled off nicely. This was my view for nights on end.
We picked fruit and ate more than we harvested.
We sought adventure by hiking the hills in search of treasures.
The boys went fishing (Hallie willingly opted out of this activity) and my dad patiently taught my boys how to cast.
We played make believe – over and over again.
We floated the river with cousins – a beautiful afternoon.
We played with cousins…again and again and again. And just when I thought my kids would be tired of them, the last night we were there my brother’s family came and kidnapped them for just a little more time. Everyone has a buddy.
I always leave Idaho with a hard drive full of pictures – I want to capture everything! More pictures to come…
Our summer roadtrip is always made better when we can meet up with friends along the way. Last summer, we made a side trip to Washington to see my college roommate and her family. This summer, they drove from Washington to see us in Idaho.
We planned a day together (which my kids claimed was not enough and I totally agree) and we enjoyed every last minute until it started to get dark and it was time to head home.
We sat at a picnic table while our kids ran around and we talked and talked. Before long we realized it was well past dinner time and no one was complaining because they were all happily entertained with eachother.
We never tire of our time with them. We never run out of things to discuss – and our conversations have depth and laughter. The best of both worlds. Every time we see them we lament the fact they live so far away – we would spend weeks with them if we could. Some years we have to settle for a single day – a day well spent.
Still playing catch up from our summer adventures – 4th of July in Idaho. Where the weather is nice enough for shorts during the day and gets just enough chill in the evening that sweatshirts are an option.
An afternoon in the park with games, snow cones, ice cream and fried chicken.
Followed up with an evening at my brother’s house for more ice cream and cake to celebrate a birthday, shaving cream twister, puppies, paddle boarding on the pond and fireworks.
I know logically fireworks are a ridiculous idea – we burn money. And unfortunately its not like a candle where you get 12 hours of enjoyment out of it. Nope. You can spend hundreds of dollars on fireworks and burn them all in less than an hour. And yet, I love them. I love the smell. I love the boom. I love the light.
I wish we had more firework holidays – Independence day and New Years Eve are not enough (at least in Arizona those are the only legal times to light fireworks)!
What summer road trip is complete without sleeping bags and tents…and boats and fish?
We traveled up the Snake River to Hells Canyon – which is the deepest river gorge in North America. The last time I was there, I was a sophomore in high school and I went on a river rafting trip with my biology class. And the windy roads to get there were just as bad/windy as I remembered and I had to pull over when Cannon threatened to lose his lunch!
There was fishing and tubing and wake boarding. Early mornings and late nights. Afternoon storms. Campfires. Lots of bugs. Cousins. Lawn games. (Aside from the whole campsite being a hill thanks to the canyon – it was absolutely beautiful and lush.)
I’m convinced once Briggs gets a little older and doesn’t require sleeping in a port-crib – camping might not be the most awful sleeping experience. Only time will tell!
We made it home. It was 3:30 in the morning, (16+ hour drive) but we made it home safely and we were all excited to get out of the car and sleep in our own beds. Here’s some stats from this summer’s roadtrip.
We drove 3900 miles. 2700 of those were driven without Steve. Sidenote: On average, I’ve put about 8,000 miles a year on my car. This summer roadtrip is half the miles I drive in a year!
We visited 5 states.
We saw 43 license plates. (We missed Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia).
We were gone consecutively for 31 days (Steve joined us when he could) – although we were at girls camp right before which made the trip seem even longer.
We went to four state parks.
We slept on a boat. We slept in beds and on the floor. We slept at friends. We slept in tents. We slept in the car.
The movie of choice this roadtrip was Greatest Showman.
Our roadtrip soundtrack was on repeat for hours and hours and hours. And just when I thought the kids were tired of it and I tried switching it out, they revolted and demanded the roadtrip CD, seems to happen every year.
We visited Costco just once.
One carsick kid.
Washed the car window twice and yet visited countless gas stations. (we had a lot of dead bugs by the end!)
In our hours upon hours in the car, Briggs slept for approximately 8 hours – thats it. Oh how I wish I had car sleepers!
We didn’t eat at McDonalds – not even once. We did manage to eat at Subway twice, a local hamburger joint, Chipotle, a local Mexican restaurant and Little Ceasers.
Bedtimes were thrown completely out the window. I can think of one day they actually went to bed at their normal bed time and only a handful of times that they went to bed within an hour of their normal bedtime. It doesn’t help that it was light until 10pm while we were in Idaho.
When we arrived home it was 97 degrees. It was in the middle of the night – I don’t think any of us are quite ready for the Arizona summer that we’ve successfully avoided until now. Excuse us while we slip into swimsuits for the next couple weeks until school starts!