Michael and I are taking the kids on a three-week road trip to visit friends in Texas. Yup, that’s right. Three weeks in a minivan with my husband and children.
Actually, it’s no big deal for us. A couple of years ago we took the kids on a cross-country trip for ten weeks. And then we did it again the following summer. We’ve logged 25,000 miles touring America’s amazing landscape.
Lobster fishing in Maine, a Broadway show in New York City, hiking through the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite; these are just a few of our spectacular adventures.
Over the course of those two summers, my children tracked how many states they’ve slept in—they’re at forty-three. Not surprisingly, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are among the missing seven. There’s a reason for that. When you think about visiting America’s premier attractions, no one goes, “Hey, let’s go to Selma, Alabama,” or “I hear Jackson, Mississippi is fantastic.”
Well, that’s about to change. Since we have to drive through those states anyway, we figured, why not find something interesting to do and sleep over, so the kids can check them off their list.
We’re headed to Orange Beach, Alabama for a first-person account of the BP oil spill. Then on to Natchez, Mississippi to tour historic antebellum homes, followed by a quick stop in New Orleans to see how many Mardi Gras beads I can collect with my trimmer body.
From there we’re on to Jellystone Park in Oklahoma, visiting our friends in Keller, Texas, and exploring Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. We’ll finish up visiting my family in Lake Lure, North Carolina and a final fling at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
The challenge for me, of course, will be how to maintain my healthy lifestyle while traveling.
And a challenge it’s going to be. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Carolina are among the top ten most obese states in the nation.
Great. How am I supposed to eat out three times a day in those places? And what about working out five times a week? How’s that going to happen?
I have no idea, but it should be interesting.
The road warrior stories will begin next week. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.