Summer Family Vacation: On the Road Again

In a matter of a few days, we will be embarking on the longest road trip we have taken together as a family.  A 15 hour road trip, to be exact, with our 5-year-old daughter.  Yes, I am pretty nuts, but I am actually looking forward to it.  The three of us in our minivan traveling for that long may not sound like your cup of tea, but it is exactly what I have been waiting to do since our daughter was born.

When I was growing up, my family vacationed to places all over the United States.  I have been to all 48 continental states and never once did my family fly.  We did not take an airplane to our vacation destinations, no matter how far away it was. Even when we ventured up into Canada and down into Mexico, we drove our ever-so-stylish 1980’s station wagon. family vacation

The fact that my family of five drove hours and hours as part of our vacation every summer sounds so ridiculous to me now as an adult. It seems that currently it is the social norm to fly everywhere.  We are a society that does not like to waste any time or wait for things, so flying in an airplane to get to a vacation destination is what most people choose to do.  Most people do not want to waste their vacation days savoring the sights along the way from the window of a car.

Not my family though! We will be driving for two days to get to our destination, and the road trip will be a big part of the fun.  Yes, I have been gathering up everything I can think of to occupy ourselves in the minivan during that time, (road trip advice, inspirationmust-haves, and more!), but what I have not had to worry about is the amount of good memories we will be making.  We may have our moments of frustration and annoyance with each other on the way, but for the most part, we will be bonding together while experiencing parts of the country that you can not see simply by looking out of the window of an vacation

Almost every single great memory I have from my childhood involves something to do with one of our family vacations. At family gatherings, we still find ourselves laughing about funny things that happened on our road trips and remembering the landmarks we stopped to see along the way.  When you drive for two weeks every summer all over the country, you end up seeing some pretty cool things that leave an imprint on you.  Seeing what life was like outside of my own little midwest world as a child really opened my mind up to bigger things as an adult.

So, yes, I am a little odd in the fact that I am looking forward to being on the road for two days as part of our vacation, but I know that the time we will spend together getting to our final destination will be something all three of us will remember forever.  In a world of video games and instant entertainment, I am excited to share a little bit of what summer during my childhood was like with my daughter. I am pumped to watch her see and experience some of our beautiful country hands-on like I did, and I can not wait to retell stories over and over from our own family vacation for years to come!


Melissa was born and raised right here in Iowa. Although she grew up in southwest Iowa (about as close to Missouri and Nebraska as you can get!), she has called eastern Iowa home for 15 years. She and her husband Eric live in North Liberty, along with their 4 year-old daughter Kennedy. Melissa attended the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her BA in Early Childhood Special Education and her MAE in K-6 Learning Disabilities. She currently teaches kindergarten for the Clear Creek Amana School District, where she has taught for 14 years. In her spare time, Melissa loves to be outside playing or working on projects in their yard, spending time with family and friends, and baking up goodies for her family. She also enjoys taking walks with their two dogs, plump beagle Lenny and shy dachshund-beagle mix Cooper. Life as a full-time working mommy keeps her very busy, but Melissa wouldn't have it any other way!


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