Plan Your Own Memorable Road Trip – Part Two
Continuing on from where I left off from my last post, I am sharing tips and ideas on how to create your own memorable road trip; one that will give you stories to share and memories to keep the rest of your life! If you missed Part One, you can check it out here: http://everymomstory.com/plan-your-own-memorable-road-trip-part-one/
See Old Friends
We all have friends in our lives that we haven’t seen in a while. Whether they are childhood friends who have moved away, or from college or post college, surely there is someone whom you’d like to catch up with. Once I planned our trip route, I took note of the cities we would be driving through and contacted a few old buddies. From Santa Fe to San Diego, Los Angeles to Las Cruces, I had an opportunity to give hugs to some dear old friends and introduce them to my girls. In Tucson, one of my best friends I’ve know since 7th grade, Macy, took the girls and I to the fun Trail Dust Western Town. We took in a delicious dinner, road the fastest carousel I’ve ever seen, and even enjoyed a Wild West Shoot Em’ Up Performance! We had a blast! While there, we took a moment to grab a postcard for Dad and a little road trip gift. One of his favorite movies is Tombstone, so I was beside myself when I discovered they had T-shirts that say, “I’m Your Huckleberry.” Perfect!
On each leg of our trip we either stayed with friends or family. There was a lot of hopping around from house to house, but having quality time with everyone was the grand pay off. On the way back, after three weeks on the road, our route on Interstate 10 took us through Las Cruces, New Mexico. A wonderfully wise woman, Cynthia, who was like a mom to me growing up, now lives there! I haven’t seen her since my freshman year of college on a visit home. I am so thankful I chose to stop in Las Cruces verses allowing it to just be another exit to pass. We reconnected, she met my children, we laughed, teared up a bit, uplifted one another and shared our hearts. When I was in my tween years and going through a difficult time, she taught me to “be thankful for the tough days when life gets hard, because they help us appreciate and recognize the good times we have.” I share this with my daughters today, so it was wonderful to be able to introduce them to the one who passed down the wisdom to me! Thank you for the reminder Cynthia!
Don’t Be Afraid to Steer From The “Plan”
As I drove the crazy stretch from Tucson to Escondido, I hit a sand storm that almost caused us to pull over because visibility was so bad. At the checkpoint, I struck up a conversation with Border Patrol. Apparently, the sand storm we experienced was called a haboob. The word “haboob” comes from the Arabic word habb, meaning “wind.” It’s a wall of dust when the air forced downward is pushed forward by the front of a thunderstorm cell. It drags dust and debris with it, as it travels across the terrain and winds can reach up to 30 mph. It is very common in the Sahara Desert, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and hits areas in North America such as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
We finally got through it and proceeded to climb a pretty steep grade that put us on a winding ride closer to San Diego. A Thunderstorm with some serious lightning was on our heels. About 45 minutes from our destination, I see a sign for Lakeside. Eureka! I call my sister immediately to get the address for my grandparents house we used to visit as kids. She has a steal trap mind, so she had it texted to my phone within the minute. Slight detour, as I exited the freeway almost immediately to be sure I didn’t miss seeing the Lakeside home I have such fond childhood memories from.
As I drove into my grandparents old neighborhood, I see the sign, Eucalyptus Hills. I LOVE the smell of Eucalyptus and I correlate that scent with Southern California. I will never forget getting out of the car outside my dorm room as I got dropped off for college at Pepperdine. I looked to my brother and said to him, “smells like California!” I was recalling smells from my visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s. He looked at me confused, “didn’t know California had a smell.” Oh, to me it does! My California smells like Eucalyptus and sure enough, there was a large Eucalyptus tree outside my dorm room. I didn’t realize my Grandparents lived in Eucalyptus Hills, so it was a big affirmation for me! I’m amazed by how much our sense of smell can conjure up such emotion, memories, and feelings. Good and Bad. Fortunately, Eucalyptus is NOTHING but good for me.
If You’re Able, Plan Something BIG For Your Kiddos: (as if the West Coast road trip isn’t already big enough)
In Anaheim, we were able to hit up Disney and California Adventure with one of my best friends from Pepperdine. Disney was an absolute zoo, but still worth it, as we were able to ride It’s a Small World and see Tinker Bell, Fawn, Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella and Belle! I was completely surprised; however, when we park hopped it over to California Adventure, because it was AMAZING! Small, less crowded, still Disney, beer on a really hot day = AWESOME. My favorite ride (more of an attraction) was Arielle’s Grotto. I was blown away by how life like Ursula was. Disney really did a fantastic job. In addition we had a meet and greet with Elsa and Anna from Frozen and enjoyed a very impressive PIXAR parade. I had as much fun as the kids did and highly recommend this park.
Find a Local Event!
Take a moment, prior to leaving for your trip, to search for local Events in the areas your are visiting and hit them up! My oldest is a huge fan of the book series, Land of Stories, by Chris Colfer. I set up a big surprise for her and got tickets to his book signing in Phoenix, which we hit up on our return to Texas! In addition to the book signing, he also read an excerpt from his latest book and held a Q&A session which my daughter was able to participate in! He is brilliant and hilarious and the joy we experienced from this Event was huge! I even got a, “mom, don’t even worry about Christmas or my birthday… this was a big enough gift to cover both!” I’ll remind her of that in December!
It’s not too late to schedule your own road trip! And remember, it doesn’t have to be a three week extravaganza like mine.. Start off small. A little 2 day trip to a local town you’ve never visited. Adventures can be found anywhere!
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off