Day 16: Dayton, OH to HOME

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.

We had the whole place to ourselves at 7:30/8 am on a Sunday morning.

* 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.)

Goodbye, Hotel #9.

* 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.)

See ya, Ohio
Oh joy. Taillights for miles.
So close…but yet so far….during the final Chicago to WI stretch it always feels like time slows down…

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.)

I had a growing pile of pamphlets, maps and travel info that I kept picking up at my feet all week…haha. I now have this big pile all sitting in my house. I guess I should just toss it all, but I feel like maybe someone would want it?? There are some great resources here! Anyone planning to go to Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire??? It’s all yours!

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. 😜)

Daily Gratitude:

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.

6 thoughts on “Day 16: Dayton, OH to HOME”

  1. You will be so glad that you wrote all of these posts! I always try to do trip recaps as I love to go back and read them. I also have sent them to people. Just yesterday I sent my many Asheville posts and my Savannah posts to a friend who was considering those 2 cities for a girls 40th trip. It was fun to read through them after I sent them to her. I’ve appreciated other’s detailed trip posts, too, and have used them for planning!

    I am glad coming back on Sunday didn’t hamper you guys too much. I think it is such a personality-based thing. My husband and I do NOT do well with that, but we learned that about ourselves after coming back on Sundays a number of times. Now it’s non-negotiable, even for a trip to my parents lake home. I think it has to do with my extreme type-A tendency! But he feels similarly! You guys really got a lot done on Sunday, though! Glad you had a somewhat easy day yesterday. Going into a 12 hour hospital shift is sooo diffferent – plus it seems like they are never exactly 12 hours… at least according to my sister when she was in patient care. it seemed like she always had an extra 30-45 minutes at the end of every shift.


  2. impressive unpacking right away! I don’t like unpacking as much as packing, usually ask the kids, husband and helper to do it.
    amazing trip and no hiccup, that’s really a big accomplishment!


  3. Welcome home!
    I have loved every single one of your posts! These have been fabulous and I look forward to you continuing to share. I can’t wait till you take your trip to Europe and share your recaps for that trip too! 😉
    Hope you were able to take a morning “meeting” to hit the grocery store while everyone else was at work with week! 💜


    1. Thank you for the travel questions in your previous comments… when I get a chance soon I look forward to writing a post about those!! 🙂 It seems Feedly is back to not updating with my new blog posts..ugh… so frustrating because it was working fine for a long time!! There seems to be be no explanation as to why it randomly stops pulling my new posts! So, I’ll try to let you know when I eventually write that post, as I think you are a Feedly reader if I’m not mistaken??


      1. Yes, I am a feedly reader. I have been trying to check into your page every day or two if I happen to not see you popping up on my feedly! 😛
        I love your posts and that we are both midwest girls! lol
        Hope you had a great return to work and an even better weekend! 💕


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s