Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Have a cup and sit for a while...

So... I thought I'd share some virtual tea with you today.  If you'd rather have coffee, you're going to have to go somewhere else, or maybe pick up some from Starbucks, because when I make coffee, you get two choices, sludge or colored water.  Either way... it's just not good.   My husband is the coffee drinker and maker in the family and when he is home I am more than happy to share that pot of coffee, but when he's away, I pack that coffee maker up and store it in one of the cabinets, because it's just collecting dust out on the counter.

It really would be nice to have you over for a cup of tea today.  It certainly would get me motivated to clean a little more.  My house would be grateful.  My kids might not be, since I would probably get them working too and while they are all very good helpers and will do the chores given to them, none of them actually WANT to clean.

So... How have you been?  Did you have a good weekend?  Did you keep warm?!

Let me tell you what I've been thinking about... My trip.  It seems to be the one thing that occupies my mind day and night.   We know that in August we're going to have to move from Washington DC to Washington state.  That's going to happen one way or another, but HOW exactly we are going to get there has been up for debate for quite a while.  It's been a fun debate.   I bet by the time August rolls around, you'll all be sick and tired of hearing about this trip.   But it's a pretty big deal for me.  It's the first time that I'll be doing a cross country trip without my husband which means that I'll be doing ALL the driving.  No sitting back and reading a book for me.  :(  I might occasionally let the two older kids drive, but I can't really think about that right now because it gives me butterflies.

We've joked about contacting TLC or the Discovery Channel and proposing a TV show.
 "One mom, three teens and an eleven year old spend a month traveling from Washington DC to Washington State in the family mini-van, checking out the sights from big city attractions to off-road oddities and everything in between." 

Sounds like a show, right?

One of the hardest parts in planning this trip was simply narrowing it down to a general route.  The whole country lay before us and any number of routes were possible, but where did we really want to go?

Suggestions ranged from Grant's:

Start in Maine, travel across Canada, ferry down Lake Michigan and then hit Rt 66 and go south all the way to Mexico then up through Baja California, and the West coast to Seattle.

Yeah... no...


Quincy thought that if we were going to go for it, we might as well catch a plane to England, trek across Europe and Asia and take a boat from Japan to Seattle.

Intriguing but not likely.

The Disney to Disney route got a lot of excitement.  I even considered it for about a second until I decided that it was too long and too hot a route.

We narrowed it down a little further and were making "smaller" decisions, like North Dakota or South Dakota?  Chicago or Michigan?  Yellowstone or Glacier National Park?  Canada? or not.
(Have I mentioned that we don't really DO straight lines when we travel?)

It was a little overwhelming and confusing, but on Sunday night, I finally came up with a plan!!  GREAT!!! Now all I needed to do was fine tune the details.

But then it all came to a screeching halt!!!  FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND Harley Davidsons (and other assorted makes of motorcycles) roared smack dab into my plans.  The very week that I thought we would rent a quiet cabin and tool around the Black Hills of South Dakota is the same week that the Sturgis motorcycle rally is taking place this year.   That's a traffic jam that I don't even want to contemplate.

And so....  back to the drawing board.

Do we skip South Dakota entirely or do we try to rearrange the dates of our trip?  We've seen Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse before and they're really cool, and we'd love to see them again, but are they important enough to change our whole schedule for them?  And if we don't go through SD, I guess we'll head up through North Dakota.  (It's always good to have a spare Dakota... you never know when one is going to be over-run with motorcycles.)

 aww... they're so little!

Does anyone (and by anyone I mean someone in particular... you know who you are) have any great ideas about things to do in North Dakota?  I'm thinking Teddy Roosevelt NP, but what else is there that I don't know about?  And I would love to hear if anyone else has any insights about any of these places.

Chicago, IL
Des Moines, Iowa
Omaha, NE
North Dakota
Glacier NP
Banff NP
Kelowna, BC

Have you been there?  Do you live there?
I'd love to hear it all from the obvious to the off the beaten path to the crazy roadside sights to the food that we must not miss. 

Well now... if we were having tea together (or coffee) I think I may have just monopolized the conversation... sorry.

But that's what comments are for!!

What about you?  Are you already making summer plans?  Is that what's getting you through the winter doldrums?  What kinds of adventures do you have planned both near and far? 

 I tell ya... that trip is constantly occupying my mind.  But it's fun to think about, so why not?


Wordish Wednesday


Anonymous said...

I do have to say...the catching a plane to England idea sounds the most intriguing :) Ive never been to any of the places you mentioned, so I dont have anything to add there, but it is fun listening (reading - haha) about your plans, and such. Sounds like an adventure for sure!!

Susan said...

Oh what fun! Depending on what time in August you hit Iowa, the State Fair in Des Moines is fun. (Make sure you have their pork chop on a stick.)

Since you don't like straight lines, I suggest taking a scenic route through the state of Iowa vs I-80 which is quite dull. I think they even have maps if you Google Iowa Scenic Byways.

I have no idea on North Dakota, but if you find yourself near Mitchell, South Dakota the corn palace is supposed to be the place to see.

Thanks for the tea. :-)

J said...

First of all, Quincy's solution to this problem is very impressive. Definitely thinking outside the box!

Secondly, ummm... NORTH DAKOTA!!!!! YAY!!! Your route, for real, runs only 13 miles away from our little farm. I can give you a bunch of ideas of things to do/see as you pass through our awesome state. :D

Email me lady!!!

Grammie/Mom said...

Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park is awesome!! I still remember the trip 40+ years later. I think we'll head back to Petite Retreat in August.

Winn (aka Koreen) said...

Yay! Can't wait to see you in Calgary or Banff or Kelowna! (We're going there too sometime this summer!)

Mrs. Bird said...

I'm just trying to make to summer :) No plans yet! Does that line come through New Mexico? I swear it does? Right?!?! I will be your tour guide if you come here ;)

Brooke said...

What an exciting adventure!!! Exciting and frightening.... man, are you BRAVE. So, if you come anywhere near Chicago.... let me know!!! YEAH, that would be fun. Someday I want to drive cross country to Idaho to see my parents, when the kiddys get bigger. Speaking of which, Coeur d' Alene, ID is really a cool town. Worth a stop!!!

{Amy} said...

i can see how the trip would be on your mind a lot...it would be pretty overwhelming but also an exciting adventure for you & the kids. i can't wait to hear what you come up with! thanks for coffee!

Julie said...

i definitely like Quincy's idea. :)but it all sounds like a fun adventure. We moved from AZ to PA for one year when I was a freshman in h.s. It was kinda miserable, but also memorable. we stopped in various national parks (the fun part), and broke down in New Mexico...(the miserable part). Have fun planning!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I love to say, "Why Not?" What an adventure ahead of you. From Washington to Washington with many stops in between. Nope, no summer plans here yet. My secret dream is to move to New Zealand immediately. So if your road trip takes you through there, I'll either tag along or put you up for a couple of nights!

Jen said...

Oh nice planning. wish I had been to any of those places. I would love to see Calgary!

Buckeroomama said...

Out of all the places on your list, I've only been to the last 3. Calgary --nothing much to do; it was a stop for us to get to Banff --which is SO lovely. Kelowna is beautiful. Do check out http://www.tourismkelowna.com/visitors/thingstodo/

Have fun!

Leslie said...

tea with me? that sounds like fun

you know i have never been to any of the fun places...grumble, grumble, grumble!

Rebecca said...

I haven't been to any of those places....but I am going to go make myself some tea. :)

terri browne said...

So...I didn't see any mention of the very best state there is...Minnesota! C'mon..we've got the Mall of America, 10,000 lakes, Mississippi River headwaters, and lots of hotdish! How can you resist? :)

Anonymous said...

Teddy Roosevelt park is beautiful. You're going to love it!

Chelsea said...

Wow sounds daunting to plan that trip, but it will be so gratifying when you get it all planned and I bet you guys will have such a fun time!! I haven't been to those places but I will have to stay tuned and see where you end up going!! I think I am going to Ashland, OR this summer.

Cat said...

Ok, it's me again. Omaha foods: Razzy's Deli (90th Street and Maple)is great for a little lunch! They make some seriously yummy sandwiches. My favorite is the roast beef with cream cheese and green peppers on a croissant. Sounds weird, but trust me it's soooo good! Also Upstream in Old Market is good but kinda pricier. Have fun planning your trip!

Elizabeth said...

I still think you need to find a route that detours through Arizona... :D

On the plus... as soon as i get my student loans I'm buying 2 plane tickets to visit ny in March on my spring break...

Elizabeth said...

Hey so I just found this ( http://www.gizmag.com/roadsideamerica-gps-guide-directs-drivers-to-oddities/17767/ ) and thought it might be cool for you to check out for once you know what route you are taking across country... RoadsideAmerica's guide to all the oddities in all 50 states :D