From when I was very young, I learned the importance of travel. My parents, thankfully, instilled a love of going new places, and trying new things, that I have definitely passed on to my girls. My husband, fortunately, has the travel bug as well, and we’re quick to pack a bag, jump in the car and head out. Being a teacher, I have been afforded the luxury of having summers off, so we opted to hit the road for a month. The girls and I started our journey with my mother-in-law, a 1500 mile drive up the east coast from South Florida to my hometown, Lowell, Massachusetts.
Packing for a road trip of this magnitude really wasn’t that difficult, as I found a totally awesome travel list notepad on one of our prep trips. It had pretty much everything we’d need listed – all I had to do was fill in the number of each item, and the girls (13 & 11 years old) were able to pack on their own. This is a must-have item for all of our future trips, as it kept them focused and organized. After I had packed all of our clothes into one huge suitcase, I completely changed it up and separated everything into storage bins. This gave us each one place to put our clothes, shoes and other items we wouldn’t need immediate access to. I knew that we were going to be spending four nights in hotels so we each packed a small carry-on sized bag with enough clothes, a bathing suit and toiletries to get us to Massachusetts.
Our journey included stops in St. Augustine were we visited the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon had been in search of in 1513 and the Castillo De San Marcos, which was constructed beginning in 1672.
We continued our trip with a stop at South of the Border, a must-see for anyone traveling along route 95, as there are literally hundreds of billboards beckoning you. It’s the perfect place to stretch your legs, grab a bite, hit the restrooms and try on the sombreros!
Through a little social media networking, I managed to get a hotel hook- up through a friend of a friend in Washington DC and had a truly memorable experience touring the city. I strongly suggest planning ahead if you hit DC, because there is so much to see and do that winging it wouldn’t be the most effective way to see the sights. My big spend of the trip north was to purchase four tickets on the Old Town Trolley tour, and although it was a bit pricey, it was absolutely worth every penny. We had a narrated tour that included twenty different stops where we could jump off the trolley, see whatever we wanted to see, then jump back on the trolley and hit the next stop – or just relax and listen!
Our New England adventure included heading to the White Mountains and jumping off boulders into the Saco River, a tour of Fenway Park with a family friend who is interning there this summer, and two amazing weeks at the beach, filled with cousins from across the country. Before I could really miss home, it was time to turn around, and head back to Florida. Thankfully, my husband had flown in, and my driving days were over!
We decided to take a different route home, and managed to make stops at Hershey Park’s Chocolate World and Gettysburg, a historic spot I’ve always wanted to see. We also made our pilgrimage back to see Pedro at South of the Border and even spent a few hours in Savannah, Georgia!
Thirty days of living out of storage bins is definitely a long time, and I wouldn’t trade the experiences we had for anything…but, it’s really nice to be home, and in my own bed again!
That’s IT Mommy Erin