The other morning, I took some heat from the boys that the blog wasn’t accurate. They said that ‘the blog tells the fun stuff, and makes it sound like it’s always fun’. Well I don’t know what trip those boys are on, but the one I’M on is fun! …and a lot of hard work. It’s fair to say that the next time someone asks “How’s it traveling across the country on a bus?” I should honestly say: “It’s hard.” That does not preclude the terms fun, or exciting or life changing. It will do a better job accurately telling the whole story.

Over the last week, WHY we’re doing this has been discussed more often within the family. Why are we subjecting ourselves to being on a bus, in such tight quarters? Why are we forcing our children to go to all of these attractions along the way? Why are we keeping things so loose and not assembling a firm schedule? Why are we doing this to ourselves? Is it really good or bad? Everyone we have spoken with has reassured us this is the right thing to do. Take the kids, school them, show them as much as we can, and store it all away for later reference.

Last week I was excited to head out for another cool roadside attraction of mermaids in Weeki Wachi, FL. My suggestion met rolling eyes and ‘no thanks’ from most everyone, including the other adult. Come to find out they all have a limit on how much fun stuff they can stand. Also turns out that my timing isn’t always perfect. I suggested it on top of traveling several hours across the state, before we had figured out where we would be sleeping and dumping. I admit the timing was bad that day, but this wasn’t the first time I had an idea rejected. In fact- educational, expensive, important ideas for stops have been rejected by the kids who appear to have been possibly overloaded. We may be guilty of offering too much, and they are to the point of not being interested because they have been to 20 beaches in the last 9 months; they have absorbed over a dozen significant historical sites (think: Alamo, Alcatraz…), they have walked the trails of 15+ national parks, they have … … … done ‘everything’. But we don’t want to call it off just yet. There are some important sites to see, exciting highways to travel, friendly family to visit with- and we have blocked off until July 20th from our real life to have the flexibility to see and stay where we like, as long as we can get the bus there pulling the van.

So what’s next? We’re rethinking how we attack each state. We think we’ll pick the most important stops for us to focus on, and head straight for them, instead of flitting along the 2, 3 and 4 lane highways and filling in destinations as we travel.

We’re open to your suggestions, and I will try to be more honest as the blog progresses. I’ll also admit that it’s a tough lesson in relationships to be confined within 360 square feet especially if you’re a teenager, or have 6 siblings, or have 7 kids or have a husband- or wife: if you’re on this bus in our family it’s hard work to make it work.

If I hadn’t mentioned it, the intent of the blog is to share with family the details of our trip. More importantly to me will be packaging it all up and handing it to each child on a DVD or something that they can pull out and reminisce with their kids or each other someday about THEIR big trip, ‘back in the old days’.