We are HOME!
16 days, 11 states*, 9 different hotels.
WHEW! What an amazing ride. So grateful that everything went so well. Really, I feel almost surprised by the fact that everything went so well!
I mean, it really was a long trip (longer than a typical trip we take- due to the distance of Maine from Wisconsin, we always knew that this particular destination was going to be a lengthy trip, whenever we took it. Unless we had flown, I guess, but that would have sort of defeated the point of the whole meandering out through Vermont and New Hampshire thing.)
To have no major hiccups over so many days feels like a major victory.
In true form, I must finish out this trip diary to the end. (I am still irked by the fact that I never finished recapping our final day in Memphis this past spring, which included the most amazing National Civils Rights Museum….don’t be surprised if a recap of Day 4 of that trip suddenly appears on some random day in like, mid-October.)
Day 16 Highlights!
* Got up and finally staked our claim on the hotel pool and hot tub!!! Haha. I guess that other family was so tired from hogging it the whole night before that they slept in to recuperate. 😉 Just kidding.
* Eventually we realized that we should probably hit the road…realization was sinking in that we had committed the ultimate “travel sin” and were planning to arrive home on a Sunday night and we both had to work on Monday. (I know this is always highly discouraged, but we’ve done it enough to realize that yes, it sucks, but sometimes it’s worth it.)
* It was only about 6 1/2 hours or so from Dayton to home in WI. Relatively speaking, not terrible. Although, it was a busy stretch, covering Indianapolis and up through Chicago (YUCK! Chicago traffic is the traffic spot every Wisconsinite loves to hate.)
I have no big, final, end of trip photo to mark its conclusion. In hindsight, I should have taken one of those photos that people take of the kids jumping up in mid-air triumphantly, in front of the house or something. LOL.
The second we pulled in the driveway, I got this rush of adrenaline and went crazy on the van. I/ we pulled EVERYTHING, every last thing, out. The kids helped carry stuff in. Then, Ivan couldn’t resist diving in to the pile of mail, and I literally cleaned the van top to bottom.
Wiped it all down, hosed down the floor mats, even vacuumed. Figured it was best to just get it done. You can’t even tell now that it traveled probably 3,000+ miles in the last 2 weeks! She looks good as new. (Or as good as my 2012 van ever looks at this point.)
Fortunately it was still pretty early in the evening, so we went hog wild and unpacked as much as we could. I will say, unpacking is much easier than packing. Just dump everything out, and start putting it away or to the laundry pile.
Ivan did a load of laundry right away, I had the boys immediately separate out the library books (return pile vs the few they still want to keep) and I put away ALL the misc stuff (food box, first aid kit, flashlights, beach towels, etc…)
We did pretty well overall! There are some areas of the house that got left in a bigger state of disarray than I would have preferred, before we left…so that was annoying to come home to. But we got the bulk of things unpacked right away and only had a little bit to finish yesterday.
Luckily, I was able to mostly take a “catch up” day at work Monday, too….I didn’t have any pressing tasks, so I was able to tackle my inbox and other things at a pretty leisurely pace. THANK GOD. I used to hate coming home from a trip and then having a 12 hour busy nursing shift in the hospital the next day.
All in all, this was a wonderful, wonderful trip. Travel is such a special thing to me (and our family)! It’s a really high priority for us. I am most grateful to share so many travel memories with my parents, too. ❤
(Thank you for reading my trip posts! It was really fun to write these and share our adventures. If you don’t enjoy travel blog posts, I’m sorry! (But if you don’t, you probably stopped reading my blog ~13-14 days ago or so, so you aren’t seeing this anyway. 😜)
I am grateful for technology that allows me to take a zillion photos on our trips!! Clearly, this is something I enjoy greatly. 🙂
*11 states traveled to or through= Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut.