Thursday, June 14, 2012


In just over a week, I will be embarking upon one of the biggest adventures ever.

While Brad and Ben are gone on a humanitarian trip, I am taking the four youngest kids and we are driving.

Driving from Mesa, AZ through Albuquerque and Amarillo and across Oklahoma and Arkansas to Memphis.

From Memphis to Tupelo and Birmingham, then Atlanta and north across both the Carolinas and Virginias, ending up in Spring Hill, PA.

2537 miles.  39 hours of driving.

We will be staying for three weeks before heading home.  On the list of things to do are Hershey, PA, Palmyra, NY--and Lily keeps petitioning me for a trip to Hoboken, NJ to see Carlo's Bakery.

Our route home will pass through Columbus, Louisville, St. Louis and Kansas City.  I'm debating about cutting across CO to see the Four Corners (lived in AZ for 17 years and we've never been there).

It is going to be a grand adventure. Before the end of summer, we plan on visiting 24 states and all four times zones (since AZ is on Pacific time during the summer).

I can't wait.  We've downloaded books (thanks, Karen!) and I've bought supplies for the car.

My question to you all--What are some great must-see attractions along the route?  I'm going to need entertaining breaks for the youngsters if I'm going to stay sane by the end of the trip.  Where should we eat and what should we see?  Can't wait to hear any suggestions you have.

Did I mention we're way excited?  It's going to be amazing.  And a little nuts, too.

Linking up to D at Jenny Matlock's.

Jenny Matlock


  1. Oh I can't wait to hear about your adventures!!

    I will be praying that you travel safe in that new car!

  2. If you go thru Oklahoma City, stop at the Memorial for the OKC bombing...the one with the chairs for all the victims. It is worth stopping for.
    In MO, go to Liberty Jail, just outside of Independence. There's also a Visitor's Ctr in Independence.
    In Atlanta--the Underground used to be way fun, as well as Stone Mountain--at evening there's a fantastic lasar show right on the side of the mountain. Very Americana. Great music.
    The Carolinas...well you have to get some yellow barbeque fixin's there! And the Blue Ride Parkway is beautiful as it flows over and around the Appalachians.
    And every child in the US should go thru Colorado at least once. It is a little bit of heaven, if I do say so myself!
    Have a great, SAFE, trip!

  3. First off goes my hat to you! Gee, I wouldn't even begin to attempt such a thing by myself with small children. I'm a big chicken period!

    I see that Momza mentioned the Blue Ridge Parkway, which you can get on easily at Asheville, NC. However, if you wanted to cross over the NC line into Tennessee you could visit the Smoky's. And, if not just get on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Asheville head north and be sure to visit Mt. Mithcell - the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Y'all will enjoy that.

    Also, while in Asheville as you may want to spend the night there, you can always visit Biltmore Masion - the largest family owned estate in the US. It's really amazing!

    Whatever you do, it'll be fun to read all about it!

    Deep Discount – College Textbooks!

  4. While you are visiting independence Mo., be sure to check out the Truman library! It is awesome! Also, although it is a bit out of the way Adam ondi ahman - lots of room to run around and it is beautiful!

    In Colorado - be sure to go to Ouray - the most beautiful place on the planet! They have a hot springs to go swimming in town (I will be there tomorrow!) As for 4 corners - they have changed it quite a bit since I was a kid and stood in all 4 states - now you have to pay big time for that privilege - I am not sure it is worth it.

    I second the OKC Memorial, I haven't been but I have heard it is worth it!

    Have fun! I will miss you!

  5. Wow! You are a brave woman!!

    (But then we already knew that...)

    Hope you have a safe and wonderful trip!


  6. Just outside of Amarillo, go see Cadillac Ranch -- cars standing nose down in the dirt -- bring your camera and spray paint and add to the fun! The kids will love it!!

    I was recently going through some old photos and found one with our eight feet circling the four corners! Interesting and kind of fun, and the kids liked all the Indian ware being sold.

    Anything in Colorado is well worth driving to!!

    Have a fun and safe trip!

  7. You'll be in our neck of the woods.

    Columbus, has a great zoo and a waterpark right next door. The temple is on the SE side, might want to drive in for a look at the little one. Not sure if you'll be close to Kirtland on the way down from Palmyra, but a good stop if you are.

    Grater's ice cream is a good stop.

    Cosi is a nice science museum hands-on for the kids in Columbus.

    German Village

    I hope you have a great time.

  8. Oh I would really like to chat with you right now. I have six kids ages 14 to 2 and I have been toying with the idea of doing this very thing. Without my husband. All the way to Toronto Canada to see in laws on mission to new jersey to see 94 yr. old grandma and everything in between. why are you going? You just re-inspired me. THANK YOU!!!

  9. When my husband and I first married we lived in Kansas City. When we was an Arkansas State Senator we went to a conference in KC. While he was involved in the conference, my daughter and I took a guided tour of KC. I learned so much from it - especially enjoyed the "water fountains of KC" tour. Be safe and enjoy! I love road trips. I know you'll have fun.

  10. When you are in PA, one of the best amusement parks to go to is Knobel's Grove - not too far from Hershey and lots of fun - a good old fashion amusement park with a family atmosphere.

  11. what a fabulous trip you have planned! Travel safe, eat healthy and enjoy the adventure!

  12. While in KC, MO...make sure to go to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. It is in a gas station but totally worth it. I'd call ahead for take out. we also have a new aquarium in Crown Center and Legoland there as well. If you need any other ideas in the KC area, let me know. I'd love to plan something for your family to do!

  13. What an adventure you have planned! And here I am nervous about a little ole 8 hr drive to Boston:) I guess you found your house to stay at in PA? I do have to second Knoebel's Grove - Hershey is great but Knoebel's is special. I grew up nearby & spent a lot of time there. Old-fashioned fun tucked down a country road - lots of shade & unless it's changed recently - free parking & free admission - just buy tickets for the rides. Have a wonderful, safe trip!

  14. When I was a kid I remember loving the cowboy hall if fame in OK city. My great great grandpa was in it

  15. That sounds awesome jen!! wish i could help with the adventure planning:) you ugys are going to have an amazing time!!
    have a happy day jen

    sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you about the kids being pen pals...they would LOVE that!!! email me your address:)

  16. If you're going all that way, you have to stop at the Atlantic Ocean! Have the kids seen the Ocean? Anywhere will be a good spot. Atlantic City, NJ or Virginia Beach/Chesapeake Bay in VA. When I was a kid, we always played games with states and licence plates (tags, in Oklahoma)! Give everyone a little throwaway camera! And remember to bring art supplies; it would be fun for all the kids to make their own travel journals - something to remember always! {:-D

  17. So Much to see... I loved the Magnolia Plantation in South Carolina. Also...the Great Smokey mountains are sooo awesome. If you get to the Ozark Area of HAVE to eat at Lambert's...Don't miss that. St. Louis in itself is definitely a day of fun. Be sure to see the IMax in the Arch...people miss it and I think it is really good.
    Valley Forge, PA is really worth seeing as is the Liberty Bell. will have a great trip. Don't be surprised when you come back to wonder why you live in "hell" It is so green back there. Just remember our winters.

  18. There is a Martin Luther King, Jr memorial museum in Memphis, TN. It is worth visiting. And if you're there at meal time--try some Memphis BBQ!!!

  19. I am trying to do something similar with my brood but I am having trouble finding affordable hotels to stay in that will accommodate us- it will be me and 6 kids between 2 and 13. Any suggestions? I really don't want to have to book 2 rooms. Also, on average, how many hours are you planning on driving a day? Any guidance is appreciated but I totally understand if you are to busy to respond. Good Luck! I look forward to hearing about your travels.

  20. sounds awesome!
    Columbus, Ohio? stop by the North Market--lots of stalls of food and goods. Be sure to sample Jenny's ice cream. North Market

    My family went to the Four Corners some years back and it was not that thrilling. a plaque in the middle of "the corners" and some booths selling things.

    Asheville is a fun artsy city with lots of good restaurants. (My daughter lives there.) Blue Ridge Parkway is lovely as are the Smokys.

  21. Le SIGH! I'm sooo excited for you too. So happy and sad taht you get to stay on my beloved farm without me. It truly will be a grand adventure! Are you driving through Tennesee? You must see The Hermatige, Andrew Jacksons home, super cool. Enjoy the beauty of PA and Spring Hill. Can't wait to see pics and hear about it.

  22. You are a brave brave woman! I'm sure many memories will be made on this amazing trip. I'm assuming you will go to Chocolate World when you are in Hershey. You MUST get a chocolate milkshake there...and ride the free ride that shows you where chocolate comes from and how it is made into candy bars. Brady and I would love to meet you there(even to just get a milkshake!)...but it's YOUR trip w/ your family so I would completely understand...I'm often very protective of my time with my family. I wish I could think of more places to tell you about but my mind is I will think about it!

  23. Oh wow!

    What a delightful trip you have planned!

    It sounds like this is going to be quite an adventure!

    I think that AAA still has on-line maps that shows attractions in each area.

    There are so many things to do along that route. No matter what you choose, it's gonna be a fun adventure!

    Travel safe!


  24. it's trips like those that are some of my fondest memories!!!

  25. It's nice to hear that your kids get to travel the world with you.