Last Thursday the Light kids finally finished up the 2016/17 school year and by Friday morning we were on the open road!
This year we decided to squeeze in a little road trip between Massachusetts and Ohio, and since everyday is an adventure with this family I thought it’d be fun to share our journey on the blog!
As I’m writing this we just wrapped up the first leg of our journey in the D.C./Maryland area, and headed to Chincoteague Island, VA. This post (part I) will cover everything from what it took to get ready for our trip, to the evening we pulled into our first stop, Cherry Hill Park, in College Park, MD a few days ago.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Wednesday, May 31
Matt retrieves the RV from a barn he built a few years ago at our lodge in Rhode Island (and yes, he and a couple friends literally built the thing on top of all the other dozens of projects he had going on).
He then delivers it to Majors RV on the Cape for it’s yearly maintenance/general repairs.
Friday, June 16
We pick up the RV and drive it to Foxboro. Unfortunately, at 43 feet, the thing won’t make the turn into our driveway so we have to park it in the cul-de-sac down the street (our neighbors are the best for putting up with this thing).
Saturday, June 17
Even though this is our last weekend during one of the most beautiful months in New England, we are spending it cleaning and preparing the bus for departure. By the way, it’s quite amazing just how disgusting this thing gets just by sitting in storage all winter… and we put the thing away clean! I don’t get it.
Sunday, June 18 – Friday morning, June 23
Packing. School. Making lists. Loosing lists. Cleaning. Organizing. Packing. School. Laundry. Making more lists. Organizing. Cleaning. Packing.
As far as packing goes, I put all the items we will need during the trip in their places up in the coach, and the ones that we won’t need until we get to Ohio in the storage compartments down below.
For traveling, I put as much as I can on the master bed.
It’s cramped, but once we park and open the sliders, there is plenty of room for everything.
The bathroom, all ready to go…
Once the cabinet doors are closed everything safely stays put.
Since there are six of us, there isn’t enough closet/drawer space for everyone’s clothes, so I like to use these open plastic crates for the kids’ clothing and shoes. Each one is a different color so they aren’t pulling things out of each other’s crates.
As far as the kitchen goes, we cram as much food/supplies into the storage drawers and refrigerator as we can for the journey, and night and morning at our first destination. We’re usually completely out of food by then and headed to the nearest store to restock.
Friday, June 23 Departure Day!
5:00 a.m. Scheduled departure time.
6:00 a.m. Time we actually woke up.
8:50 a.m. The house is clean, the rig is packed, kids are in position, and we are ready to go!
Just kidding… we’re the Lights; it’s never that easy.
Trailer troubles. We always pull a trailer to haul the boys’ dirt bikes, quads, and whatever else we need to transport back to the farm. However, this year our friends, David and Karen Howe, donated a Transit van to the Light Foundation and Camp Vohokase which we needed to take back to the farm.
So, we called the trailer company with the specs on the vehicle so they could provide us with a proper car hauler…
Not even close!!!! It’s go time (past go time, actually) and the damn thing doesn’t fit! (Excuse the vulgarity, but it doesn’t come close to the words my dear husband was yelling on Robyn Lane that morning.)
The ‘mini’ makes the cut! Despite wishing I had this sweet ride back in Ohio every summer, we actually still have every single car we’ve ever owned sitting somewhere on the farm, so it usually doesn’t make sense to bring it. But since we needed a vehicle to drive on vacation, mama gets her way!
And yes, I am that crazy person who chooses (and LOVES) to drive a minivan. Don’t knock it till you try it.
9:47 Actual departure time.
Not only was the 23rd departure day, it was one very special guy’s birthday! And even though he spent the entire day strapped to that seat, he was one happy camper! Happy Birthday babe!
Wait, something’s missing… TIA!!! For the love of all things holy! We forgot the dog! I’m not sure if you know, but it is not easy to turn 60 ft of family vacation awesomeness around in a town like Foxboro; you can’t exactly 3-point turn this sucker.
But we head back, because she’s pretty darn cute, and we’re finally on our way. (In our defense, she was in the RV when the whole trailer thing went down, the rest was a blur.)
The good with the bad. The great thing about driving down the East coast is constant, steady wi-fi and radio reception. The awful thing about driving down the East coast is constant, crippling traffic. From Boston to Baltimore, I’m not sure Matt ever fully took his foot off the break.
Friday afternoon New York traffic bonus:
I can make lunch right on the road! Who’s hungry?
8:45 p.m. Arrival at Cherry Hill Park
11 hours later, and we are pulling into Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland. An hour later we are hooked up, unpacked, and climbing into bed. The kids didn’t know it yet, but the following morning we would be headed to meet the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, for a special surprise!
Stayed tuned for details on Cherry Hill Campground and our visit to D.C. in my next post!