Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Forgot to Tell You Why...

This obligatory post image is from a wildly outdated map in my boys' bedroom.

Now that I've outed myself and my plans for THE TRIP (still feeling very all caps about it), I guess I can't back out... Actually, when I first started mentioning my idea to people, I would even say, "I'm telling everyone, so I have to do it." Because, it's a big time commitment from planning through execution, and there are SO many reasons not to do it (the aforementioned time commitment...being away from our dog for so long...the fact that Oliver has anxiety about "trips"...). But now I'm locked in!


Anyway - It occurred to me that I forgot to mention why I decided to do a (mostly) solo parenting cross country trip with my children. In case you were wondering (or not - since I'm going to tell you anyway) - here is where the whole idea started. I want to visit my parents, and they live really fucking far away (more swearing! I'm now a potty mouth blogger!)

While I currently live almost exactly where I grew up, my parents skipped town for Key West the year after Chris and I got married. They didn't retire, but opened a home furnishings shop as a means of financing their life "in paradise." About 10 years later, when - for a number of reasons - they had to retire, they had to move. Paradise is expensive, yo. And Mom said they hardly ever used the pool anymore... SO they moved across the country to Klamath Falls, Oregon. Obviously.

I won't drone on about why they moved to a tiny town so far away (even though I really want to, because droning on is MY JAM). Let's just say that it was a combination of low cost of living + proximity to a Coveny family vacation home they love ("Coveny family", as in my dad's side of the family - my parents did not randomly decide to purchase a vacation home in Oregon while living in Key West).

So back to this whole WHY thing. Last summer my Dad was generous enough to fly the kids and me out for a visit. I'd like to make this an annual trip, but the expense of four (or five is Chris comes too) plane tickets to Oregon is not exactly feasible for us at the moment. Now, I know that driving cross country can be just as expensive with all of the hotel stays, etc. but I still have a lot of hotel points left from years of conference planning. So I can at least knock "lodging" off the list of expenditures. And between the two of us, Chris and I have enough airline miles to fly him in for a couple of stops that he wouldn't want to miss. AND since we won't have to deal with airfare months in advance, we'll have a little time to save up for all of the other expenses.

Okay - reality check. We will probably end up spending just as much on this trip as we would have on airfare. BUT we'll get four times as much trip with 4+ weeks of travel involved. So it's like a BARGAIN! Stay tuned for my blog...

Of course, once I came up with this idea, I had to talk to Chris about it. I worried that he would shut it down since we'd be away from him for weeks. He's an extrovert and goes a little stir crazy when he's left alone for too long... But he surprised me by being supportive of the idea - and even enthusiastic about the experience that our kids would have. Yay! And it helped that he would be able to join us for parts of the trip without committing to a month in the car with his family.

As for the reactions I got from others... They ranged from "OMG - you HAVE to do it!" to "better you than me." So now with everyone on board and rough itineraries being sketched out, all that was left to do for this idea was start blogging the shit out of it!

And actually planning it... Which I am doing and will be writing about shortly. And the first thing I'll be posting is the route we plan to take. It's definitely limited a bit by the stops we'll make to see family. But in between those stops are states I have never been to before, and your comments and e-mails are going to play a large role in how I map out our time there. I far prefer to word of mouth information gathering to online research, so don't hold back! Like I said in my last post, everything goes into an idea file. If I can't use your suggestions this time around - I will definitely keep them in mind for the future. If we survive the summer that is...


*See the end of my last post. Still looking for the right sign off.


  1. -Kate is SO YOU. Has been forever!!!!

    I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS!!!! I sooooooo wish Philly could make your stop. Free place to stay here!!!

    1. Philly is so close - it's ridiculous that we don't just come up to visit! I promise I will make that happen.

  2. I have never done it alone but my husband and I have driven three times from Kansas City to Washington state. AND... it was before cell phones and movies on ipads. Those trips are some of my favorite memories. Every national park is worth stopping at and there are a lot of sketch gas stations along the way. I still can't make sense of the Corn Palace or The World's Largest Prairie Dog but I'm glad we stopped.

    1. I can only hope that we will happen upon the world's largest ball of twine... Seriously - I should look that stuff up. My kids would love it!

  3. I drove cross country from Vancouver Island to DC going down the west coast and across the south then back up - you are going to have a blast! Find the biggest ball of twine! Definitely go by Portland, OR and see the Paul Bunyan statue. And the giant dinosaurs in Cabazon, CA. If you want to date yourself go to the water park at Arlington, TX - it is where the end of Logan's Run was filmed. So many cool things to see. Take your time and have the best road trip ever!!