We decided at the last minute to make Oklahoma the final state on our trip. We made plans to meet up with G's dad and step mom for breakfast. When we got there, they surprised us with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles! It was so nice to visit with them all. A great way to end the trip!
As you can see, we were very happy to be back in Texas!
There were lot of ups and downs on our journey. We ran fast and hard to see so much in a short time. Over all, the kids handled it very well. I never heard a single person say they wanted to go home. There were lots of sibling fights and even a few between mom and dad. We were very fortunate that G remained in good health for the duration of the trip. I know he pushed himself to the max. I would always tell him we don't have to do it all, and he would say, yes, yes we do. So we did. There were only a couple of things we had to omit because of time constraints, and only one thing we could not do for fear of it physically affecting G. It was amazing and we are incredibly fortunate to have been able to take this trip.
Just because I know many of you are wondering, we paid for this ourselves. Back in the fall, there were fundraisers to help us with G's medical bills and keep us going before his disability kicked in. That was completely incredible, and saved us in many ways. That money went to medical bills and kept us afloat. It also ran out quickly. I don't want anyone to assume that money was spent for this trip because it wasn't. There was one couple, who heard about our trip from G's Aunt Jo. They generously donated $500 towards our trip. I won't give their names, because we don't know them, and I'm not sure if they would like that. But, I do want to acknowledge, and thank them for their generosity. We were not looking or asking for any financial help, it was something he said they wanted to do and we were very touched by it.
I thought it would be fun to share some facts about the trip.
We visited a total of 38 states on our journey. Some, like California, we stayed for a few days. Some, we just drove through. Then there were a couple, like Utah, that we only stood in for a couple of minutes.
We spent the night in 25 hotels/motels. Some great, some good, and a couple that were terrible. Reading reviews helps, but they are not always reliable. Our hotel in NYC looked absolutely nothing like the photos online and smelled like a boys high school locker room. You could see it as part of the grand adventure, I guess. A big gamble for sure!
Two nights were spent with a relative.
We visited 4 national parks.
There were countless state parks.
We saw four national monuments.
Nine national memorials were visited.
We passed through 11 mountain ranges.
We stopped for gas about 48 times. Small car, small gas tank.
One oil change.
About 11,000 miles driven in our brand new car.
One of my favorites, zero car troubles!
We ate about 85 meals on our adventure.
One home cooked meal was enjoyed in New Jersey.
We saw four volcanoes! One, obviously was Yellowstone, another was Mount St. Helens in Washington. I think I forgot to blog about that one. Mount Rainier in Seattle and Mount Hood in Oregon.
We visited four amusement parks.
One shopping mall.
Countless museums and gift shops.
Many bus rides. Two subway rides. Four ferry rides. Four Uber rides. Countless hours in the car.
We visited family and friends ten times, sharing a meal every time.
Here is out magnet collection.
Our bumper sticker collection.
It is our hope that the kids will remember this trip for the rest of their lives. I know we will all have different moments in our minds and hearts forever. People ask us each what we enjoyed best. That is a difficult question for all of us to answer. We saw and did more in one month than some people do in their entire lives. I think we are all still trying to process it. We realize now that every day is special. Every day is a gift and every day that you wake up is a good one. Every day could be your last. That is why we jumped at the chance to take this trip. I am so endlessly happy that G had this time with the kids and I got to be there for it. That we all had this time together. Good times. Wonderful times.
I will say, it's good to be home.