End of the Road: Reaching Michigan

Summer is time for the family road trip! Follow Kids Activities Blog and Julie Blair and her family as they travel 8 states in 30 days for the ultimate road trip story ¦
Road Trip Across The Country With Kids

 

There it was: The Motherland.

lake michigan

I hit the gas,  nudging  our Ford  to the upside of 80 miles per hour.

“Look, kids, we’ve made it,” I said, blindly reaching around  several empty Big Gulps  to swig from a full one.

The big, blue “Pure Michigan” welcome sign was proudly  hoisted alongside  one of the most magnificent roadside stops we’d seen in eight states.  There were the usual picnic tables but also a thoughtfully constructed  playground and  a dog run.    Dozens of tourists spilled out of overloaded cars hauling kids, kayaks and keepsakes.

These were happy signs of a civilization I knew and loved.

Beyond it, were my fresh water lakes. My  deep green forests. My  soft sand dunes.

We’d soon be with family who could make  us belly laugh. There were Northern friends, too,  who understood  fireflies and grass so  kind you  could roll naked in it.

Yet I was filled with melancholy.

The past 30 days were hardly easy–I crashed my car, cleaned up multiple rounds of  vomit, administered enemas  and endured interrupted sleep every single night–yet I still wanted more.

My mind flipped  through a catalog of  images: Jim reading “Huckleberry Finn”  aloud  under twinkly stars as a fire crackled  somewhere in Iowa, my hungry  twins  giving their snacks to  a stray dog on an Indian reservation in New Mexico, our manny Joel gleefully  running up a glacier with squealing Charlotte on his shoulders in Colorado.

I had cried with Shannon and Kim,  celebrated with Michelle and Kathy, evolved a  professional relationship into a friendship with Kay.

But that’s not all.

My  brain was stuffed with new ideas and fresh perspectives. I furthermore felt  a deeper appreciation for  both the  diversity of our great nation and its many hard-working people.

It’s downright hard to be a farmer. A Native American.  A small-town gas station owner. An American  river.

In fact, this road trip has been such an eye-opening  experience, I’m starting  to wonder: Could we spend a year traveling together? Overseas? In say, a boat?

Now that would create some lore.

I hope this series has inspired you to consider traveling with your kids–or at the very least travel to new places within your own  community.

Thanks to Kids Activities Blog and Holly Homer for having me.

Happy trails to you all.
Road Trip With Kids

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