Every year around Easter, we pile the family into our Ford Escape and travel south to visit family.
I know what you’re thinking. You must think we are completely insane for driving 20+ hours instead of flying — especially with two kids. At least, that’s what everyone tells us.
“How do you handle the kids for that many hours in a car?!”
“Don’t they argue the entire time?”
“You must need a drink after that!”
To be honest. It’s really not that bad. I won’t lie, the first time we took the trip, I was scared as hell. I thought how am I going to entertain a three and five year old for an entire car ride!? I packed all the coloring books, games, headphones, and iPads — crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
But before we left, my husband and I started talking about trips we took as kids with our families. We remembered making pit stops and exploring different parts of the country during vacations. It is something that we both cherish and wanted to start a similar tradition with our kids.
That’s where our historical adventures came to life. Every year on our way back north, we stop at different historical landmarks with the kids. We have explored caves, mountains, underground lakes, waterfalls, National Parks, and stood at the peak where you can view seven states at the same time.
These landmarks won’t be around forever. At the rate our world is going, (with destroying our planet with chemicals and toxins), our National Parks and landmarks will eventually vanish. We won’t be able to visit and explore the gorgeous Cumberland Gap or the Daniel Boone National Forest, because everything will be gone.
The car rides with the kids aren’t meant for putting headphones on them to shut them up, but to open their eyes to the world around them. We want them to take it all in and have cherished memories like we do. I don’t want them growing up without knowing the beautiful nature and history that surrounds them every day. Sometimes we have to quite literally, stop and smell the roses. Because one day, the roses might not be around anymore.
It’s not always the easy to stop on the way home and there are times that I just want to keep driving and put miles behind us, but I always remember the smiles on their little faces when they learn about the adventure that lies ahead for the trip home.
Don’t get me wrong, our kids aren’t perfect and sometimes I shove the headphones on and tell them to shut their traps but all in all — it’s all worth it in the end.
Anyone else have family vacation traditions?!