Road Trippin’ to Cali! (help. please.)
We are starting out our summer by doing something crazy.
We are taking on a feat yet to be tackled by our family in our nearly ten years of existence.
We are taking a road trip.
It’s no day trip. It’s no short jaunt over the river and through the woods. No, we got it in our pea-sized brains to pack four fairly large, fairly long-legged, fairly small-bladdered and fairly lower-back impaired human beings into an automobile and drive 1,044 miles to San Diego, California.
I told you it was crazy.
But we are stoked.
To spend as little money as possible while laughing as much as possible.
To see atypical (and hopefully free) things (as well as many friends and family) on our route.
To grow, to bond, to learn together.
To not kill each other.
We’ve got some plans already sketched out, which I’m happy to share with any of you like-minded crazy road-trippers. But I’m hoping you all will help a mutha out and give me your best tips and advice too! Here’s what I’ve got:
Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon: We’re planning on packing our lunch on Day 1 and stopping here for a picnic.
Jelly Belly Factory Tour, Fairfield, CA: Oh yes. Buttered popcorn and juicy pear for me, please.
San Francisco, CA: Plans include visiting Golden Gate, getting pictures in front of the Painted Ladies (Full House theme song, anyone?), winding down Lombard Street, strolling through China Town. Any other must sees?
San Diego, CA: Highlights include Cabrillo National Monument, Balboa Park, La Jolla beaches, maybe a visit to Julian and worship at The Rock. We’re skipping Lego Land, Sea World and the Zoo but would love any other suggestions!
We are packing a lot of our own food to save money and stops.
I’d love to hear your car-friendly snack and meal ideas, as well as economical, family-friendly suggestions for where to eat in:
San Diego—I got nothin’. Hit me.
I am actually most excited for the time we are going to spend in the car together, because I have all sorts of “fun” planned!
Reading: I’ve picked up some awesome books to read to the girls on the way down, including The Phantom Tollbooth, The Westing Game, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles and The Egypt Game. I’m practicing all my character voices now. Chris can’t wait.
Language Lessons: the girls and I are learning Mandarin Chinese this summer and will be packing our materials for the car. Our goal—to be able to find the bathroom, the library or the discotheque in China Town.
Workbooks: my kids think workbooks are actually activity books, full of fun! I’m not going to tell them any differently and slip these Kumon math “activity” books into the seat pockets.
Talking: we love this Gabbit Faith Family Edition game, that is full of silly and intentional questions for all of us to answer together. And there will be the usual gab as well, I’m sure.
We are hoping to crash with family and friends when we can, and worst case, there’s Top Secret Hotels. Have you heard of this or tried it? I hope the “secret” isn’t cockroaches.
If you have any road trip lodging tips to share, please do! Unless your suggestion is camping. We may be crazy, but we aren’t THAT crazy.
Happy summer, friends! Happy road-tripping! And thanks in advance for all your help!