So we headed out on Saturday to fetch home our new trailer and visit a few people along the way. Future tip to myself: Do not drive 2000 miles in 4 days with 2 kids. Amazingly… they were actually very good- we just felt very bad for them and made sure to have some nice surprises along the way.
We were able to visit my uncle and his family, rekindle an old friendship, see some beautiful parts of America and hide from a tornado in the coolest place: A NASA museum.
On the trip there we made plans to see my old friend from Germany and meet her husband. It has been 19 years since I have seen her and thanks to facebook she found me and we have been getting re-aquainted. Meeting at a German restaurant seemed the right thing to do and it was wonderful. First they joined us at a nice park we found for the kids to expend some energy in and chatted up the husbands and quizzed each other on current likes, dislikes, politics (Gasp!) and so on.
Not much has changed! We were both pretty surprised to find out we had even more in common than we did back then (some life experiences, not just personality wise) and it made for some interesting conversation. The food was great, the kids had fun and both my husband and I left knowing these were two people that we would make an effort to see and keep in touch with.
The second day ended with us visiting my family for an evening of bbq, games and fun. It has been 3 years since we got to see them and it was wonderful. None of them had met the baby yet and my oldest is so different at 8 than she was at 5.
My cousins are now taller than me and that is just not fair. They have turned out pretty fabulous if I do say so myself. I’m proud of both of them. Both boys, it will be interesting to see what happens the first time one of them gets serious with a girlfriend!
The next morning we headed the eight miles to pick up our new trailer and sooo exciting. It was better than advertised and we were surprised at how little work we will have to do to it. Sandpaper and paint away some rust spots (steel trailers are worth it imho), add two high ties, get the normal accessories (chock, wheel lock, trailer aid, first aid kits, etc…) and of course personalize it!
Our friends we had had lunch with the day before told us about the NASA museum in Huntsville and suggested meeting us there when they realized how much my daughter loved astronauts and space. It was a bit of a detour but she had earned it and honestly, we knew we would love it, too!
Arriving at 3:30, we headed for the Saturn complex where she could see an example of the huge rockets that had blasted our men and women into space. It was amazing, but twenty minutes in a guy starts running around telling everyone to go to the auditorium. There was a tornado with more possible rotations spotted!
The worst part was our friends were out driving in it on their way to NASA to see us. When they didn’t answer their phone at first it was pretty nerve-racking. They finally got there and a few minutes later the employees signalled the all clear and we started exploring again.
By the time we got out of the museum it was time for dinner and we once again headed to a German restaurant (thought a different one and parking was much harder with a trailer!). The extra time to visit made our day and saying good-bye sucked, but it was again worth renewing that friendship.
That night we put the trailer to the test and camped out in it at an RV park. While it wasn’t the perfect night we learned how to make sure the next time is. On our way home we found another fantastic park for the kids to play in in Arkansaw.
The oldest one is almost done with the second Harry Potter book and I’m about to finish The Land of Painted caves. Long road trips have their benefits!
Around 9pm we rolled in our driveway and crashed, glad to have made the trip safely.
As always, very grateful to our wonderful friends for taking care of our dogs and horses while we were away. They are the best.
Things I learned:
You can never have to many gold fish or Milanos.
Drinking to much water IS possible when it is night and all rest stops look scary.
Seeing family is worth the road trip.
Renewing old friendships can be a great experience.
Make sure the estimated schedule includes diaper changing pit stops.
NASA is a great place to be stuck during a tornado watch.
My kids are awesome. Wait, I already knew that…