Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Road Trip review

We did it! Road Trip NY 2009: three-and-a-half days, three nights, nine states (ten if you count it from Arizona and twelve if you count it from California), two kids, more than two thousand miles, over 30 hours of driving, and one 2004 Toyota Corolla, packed to capacity and beyond.

Looking back now, a week later, I have to say, it was a lot of fun. Of course not every minute was fun, and it was a lot of work keeping the girls (and ourselves) happy, but on the whole the road trip was a great success. We originally decided to drive from Arizona to New York for boring, practical reasons. It was the simplest way to get us, our stuff from the summer in Provo, and our car out to New York. We tried working out different combinations of flying and shipping our car, or having some of us fly and some of us drive (never mind who), but in the end we just decided to go for it.

I'm not sorry we did. Besides accomplishing the obvious goal of getting us all here, I really enjoyed seeing so much of America. Sure, Wyoming was kind of a low-light, and one of the rest areas in Indiana was so dirty that Jeremy said it reminded him of Jordan (he was wrong - it was dirty enough to belong in Syria, but that's not the point). Another downside was that I lost the first CD of the Evita soundtrack right before we left. So frustrating.

But Miriam got to go swimming in a hotel pool, which I think we can all agree is one of the highlights of anyone's childhood. She also got to sing the United States song with a little more informed gusto than she could before. We visited Chimney Rock, Kirtland, and some old friends. We drove past lots of other famous places. Except for the parts where I had to make sure we weren't run off the road by a semi truck trying to pass us going 85 mph, on the right, in a blinding thunderstorm, there was lots of time to just watch the world go by and see what all those middle states look like.

Besides getting little dollar store treats for the girls to open up each day, I think the greatest preparation coup of the trip was buying 8-oz. boxes of chocolate milk from Costco and freezing them before we left. Then we packed them in the flexible cooler bag. Not only did they help keep everything in the cooler cold (for two full days, actually), but as they defrosted, they were such a treat to eat. Chocolate milk has not been a standard road trip food for us, so it was always like a refreshing surprise to break one out and sip it.

So Road Trip NY 2009 was a great success. The only ways we could improve it for the future would be to burn more - and more varied - mix CDs, and also have a bigger car, like maybe a van. Even in our overstuffed Corolla, though, it was still a lot of fun.


JackJen said...

We made that drive...but in a 99 corolla stuffed to the gills.

Well done, and congratulations! I'm glad you had so much fun!

JackJen said...

p.s. Welcome to the time zone. I like being able to read your blog first thing in the morning. =)

Susanne said...

Since your friend mentioned time zones....have you all had any problems getting adjusted to that? Of course, I'm talking to Mr. and Ms. Adventure who have lived not only 2 or 3 time zones difference, but 7 or 10 or 12 at some points in their lives.

But a post about adjustments to a new area would be good ... or maybe there are few (minus the oven mitts getting burned!) Anyway, great to read about your good experiences crossing the country. I recently finished a book about a family headed to Oregon and the struggled they faced. I thought of you since you talked of the Oregon Trail recently. :)

Liz Johnson said...

Nice. I'm so glad that you had an awesome trip. And I echo your thoughts on Wyoming, and I apologize for Indiana being a let-down (both in rest areas and nugs). Blarg.

Amanda said...

I'm amazed that you did this with no DVD player... it's the only way we've driven anywhere without everyone going crazy.

Mikael said...

Congrats bridget!!!! I LOVE reading about your trip. it is so fun. Reminds me of all the nerdy roadtrips my family took. Unbearable at moments, but only good memories.
Question: Are you changing your blog address? I was thinking of changing mine, but then people kinda lose it etc etc.... just wanted to know what you are going to do and how you are going about it :)
it seems you are so far away.. sad!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I hope when she grows up Meme will remember a few things about the trip--what an enriching experience for a child. I was 7 on my first cross-country trip and remember a lot of it--how could I forget anyway, w/ 4 under age 8 kids jumping around the car, 2 of them in diapers, one regularly carsick (me) & a Dad who wouldn't make a stop for anything less than his own funeral.

Britney said...

Don't you love your Corolla? Ours is a '96 and is still running very well after all these years. It doesn't look as good as it used to, of course, due to the harsh winters with uncovered parking (see my comment on "Settling for, and settling in"). All that salt is tough on cars.


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