This year for our annual President's Day get together with friends, we decided to go way, way off the deep end, taking our tradition to "do something presidential" to new heights by traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas, to visit the Clinton Library. I was a little wary of this idea, imagining that, sure, Little Rock would be cool, but...Arkansas for a February weekend? What about checking out flights to Bermuda? Or Miami?
Plus, we had plans to take the following week off and go to Vero Beach, Florida, where my sister-in-law and her husband currently live. The kids have time off for February break every year, and after last year's trip to Key West, I realized how crucial it is to get out of town for a bit in the winter, especially when the kids have days off from school. I mean, staying home with your children and trying to get work done in the middle of the winter in New England sounds fun...wait, it doesn't sound fun.
The Florida angle made this trip a tricky one. When I looked at flights from here to Little Rock, then to the Vero Beach area, then home, I realized we'd be spending thousands on airfare alone. All five of us need tickets now that Aidy is two, and air travel for five people, especially when you are going a very weird route that includes Arkansas, is not only brutally expensive, but incredibly inconvenient. And that's when J and I got a crazy, great, but mostly crazy idea - as we are inclined to do - and thought, "What if we went on an awesome road trip?!"
So that's what we did. And despite some sibling-on-sibling fights, some fitful sleep in a few Holiday Inn Expresses and the fact that the minivan looks like a warzone, and I may never recover enough energy to clean it up, I am so glad we did it. We drove through parts of the country we'd never have seen otherwise, logging miles across the farmland of Mississippi and getting stuck at the end of a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile, Alabama. We had dinner and stretched our legs in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky and stopped at the famed Ron Jon surf shop in Cocoa Beach as we were sadly departing from the pool life and sunshine of Florida.
I'm hoping to write much more about our trip soon, and why I think everybody should hit the open road once in awhile. And also, I must admit, about why I am ever so grateful that there are airplanes.