Days 42-47 New Mexico to DC
Just writing that seems crazy. 5 days from the Southwest to the Northeast. That just screams insanity. But let me explain. We went back and forth on the planning of this trip. What to include and sadly, what we were not going to be able to include.
We also went back and forth on whether to focus on the western US and save the Eastern half for another big adventure…. We then quickly realized that we probably won’t have the opportunity (at least any time soon) for ANOTHER big adventure so we felt we wanted to include as much of the US as we could…even if that included 8 states and nearly 2000 miles in just 5 days.
We thought that a coast to coast trip through the US just wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the big 3 East coast cities of DC, NYC and Boston. So from New Mexico, we stopped for a few days in Texas and then drove up to DC…we ONLY skipped through much of the southeast as we had visited many of these states in the past two years… with road trips to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina (through Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina –so beautiful) and to Disney World in Florida (through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia).
Of course, had we not visited them so recently, it would have been impossibly hard to skip the coastal cities of Myrtle Beach and Savannah, the natural beauty in the Smoky Mountains and the Appalachians, and of course, the Florida Beaches as well as the ultimate family destination of Disney. As we had recently visited these, and as we had an 8-week schedule, we fit in what we could and skipped what we had to.
The ride was long – and that was only through west Texas! There was not a lot of scenery but there were quite a few oil wells…I thought it would be fun to count as we first started driving through the state but it was quickly obvious that there were far too many to count! It was eerie too, the number of deserted towns that we drove through. A friend informed me that they were towns that were established with the oil boom in the 20s and ’30s…once the oil was gone, people just left.
We planned to stay with relatives for the next couple of days and were so excited to see them. My aunt and uncle and my cousins and their children live right outside of San Antonio. The kids were excited to meet their second cousins! They met and were instantly inseparable for the rest of the stay. I LOVE how little kids can be best friends one minute after they meet someone!
While the girls were playing princess and dress up – the big kids were shown the pool. The pool is tricked out with disco lights. And even though I told them it would probably be best to swim in the morning, they “accidentally” fell in …with all of their clothes on! All of them. That happens, you know.
Our visit was so nice and so relaxing– Scott even mentioned at some point that this was probably the most space with the most freedom that we had for the past 6 weeks and there was 16 of us there in one house! It was so nice to be calm that we didn’t even explore San Antonio. We just spent time catching up and relaxing.
Scott and I had fabulous conversations with my aunt and uncle – and learned so much about them. I got to look through old photo albums and see pictures of my beautiful grandmother and family. We also had so much time to catch up with my cousins – it was such a great time.
They treated us to a Texas cookout and it was hilarious the “Texas” they put into it! Does any other state do these things?
We stayed for a couple of nights and left for the long drive in the AM after a quick oil change (probably a bit overdue-lol). The kids were all very sad to leave their new playmates and Scott and I were sad to leave such fun company….especially as we had 3 long days of driving to get across the country to Washington DC.
We laughed as we had spent the past 6 weeks driving through 14 states…and now we had less than 2 weeks left and we planned to drive through 18 more! Crazy. The eastern states are so much smaller than the western states…case in point… We drove to San Antonio from the southeast of New Mexico – taking close to 7 hours. We left San Antonio and we drove nearly 7 hours to get out of the state going the opposite direction – so close to 14 hours driving through Texas alone!!!
We stopped right inside of Louisiana, in Shreveport for the night. We checked in and swam and caught up on laundry and then I asked Scott if I could just go sit at the front desk just to listen to them talk -because I am in love with the accent there :).
We made it through 4 more states – Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, before stopping again to sleep. We crossed the Mississippi River and just the tiniest part of me wished we were traveling across it and to our home. The kids were doing fantastic and honestly I think we could live out of our van pretty well…we were getting really good at it. But I was getting a little bit ready for regular food, and my own bed, and different clothes!
But, we had ANOTHER drive day!!
The kids handled this all very well. Our schedule continued to be off so we could barely make it out of bed to eat breakfasts at the hotels. On that AM we wanted to get out early as we still had a 10-hour push to DC and we wanted to roll in before midnight. Though our “up early” was still only up at 9:15 and out by 11 LOL
The combination of an early morning wake up and a day in the car took its toll on the girls who slept a good portion of the day. We stopped for lunch at a grocery store as we just couldn’t eat one more meal at anywhere we could find – so we restocked our grocery bin and ate a yummy fresh and lite lunch that we made ourselves.
We pulled into our hotel in DC with some difficulty… The difficulty was in the tall van with a tall topper on top – which does not combine well in the not-so-tall parking garages in the big city hotel. We had to park valet at the hotel across the street! It worked out fine enough though as they let us do it – our other option was to find our own spot somewhere else and get back to the hotel some other way…which didn’t sound so fun in a strange city…at night…
We ended the cross-country trek with a lovely soak in the hot tub and a comfy night’s sleep.