Round 5--Travel! It's almost springtime, and we're all thinking about where we'd like to go for a little R & R.
1. Do you prefer traveling by car, train, plane, or boat?
2. Are family vacations or yearly vacations of some kind a part of your regular schedule? Where are some places you've gone?
3. What's your favorite travel memory? Maybe a trip as a kid, road trip in college, honeymoon? Could be good OR bad...
4. Have you ever traveled in the back seat of a station wagon, like the old kind that faced backward?
5. Where to you hope to go this year or the next chance you get?
We love to take family vacations - and really haven't stopped as we have added children...both Steven and I love to travel around - even if its just short trips and we usually try to take the roads less traveled - avoiding the superhighways that bypass the countryside when the time will allow it. The major mode of transportation is by car - and for the most part I don't mind the car rides - the thing I do mind is the piles and piles of junk and trash that accumulate in the vehicle as you log on the miles. No matter how well I think I have packed all the stuff it eventually all gets pulled out and thrown around or stuffed in other places. When Isaiah was still a free plane ticket we traveled by plane a couple of times for our vacation and I didn't mind it a bit - but right now the price is just too high, although if the gas prices continue in this trend it may end up being a wash!
We usually go on a pretty good sized trip in the fall - around Sept. when the summer vacationers have returned to school and work and the touristy areas are not so touristy. These past couple of years the trips have involved a little bit of everything - tent camping, motel staying of various rates and luxuries, etc. it's a way to save some money and get lots of different experiences at the same time - when you spend $15 for a night's stay at a campground and average that with $100 bucks somewhere else for a night, it really comes out to be pretty reasonable. The last couple of years we have explored the "northern/mid-west regions of the US - Wisconsin (absolutely beautiful country) and South Dakota this last fall - went to the Black Hills and saw beautiful areas there as well as Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands and of course Wall Drugstore.
We also sometimes try to take a short trip at the Feb/March time to break up the winter blahs - this trip is a little more hit or miss though...
My favorite trip memory from when I was younger was probably the month long haul we took as a family in '85 (traveling to the NACC, RK!). We went south from IL, hit along the coastline into TX, then into CA for a convention up to WA to see friends and then over through some of the northern states to get to WI to see some more family and head back south to home...I remember spam sandwiches eaten too many times in rest areas, my parents drugging me so I wouldn't get car sick and puke all over the back seat (again), I also remember some of the major US sites we saw...Carlsbad Caverns, the redwoods of CA, the beaches, the white sands of New Mexico, the Grand Canyon (I'm not in many of the family pictures of this experience though cause I was in a drug induced sleep in the back of the car), Mt. Rainier, the Las Vegas strip and being so terribly hot at Hoover Dam that the bottoms of my feet were burning through the soles of my shoes...the list really goes on and on. I think this is really one of the first family vacations that I can really remember well too - like I can remember more than just a visual snippet, I can remember experiencing things...
Another memory I have is the trip that Steven and I made to Costa Rica to visit his brother who was living down there at the time. It was before kids, and my first international travel experience and we basically had our own personal tour guide to take us around and show us the country (a native friend of my brother-in-law). It is an absolutely gorgeous country and we would love to return there someday - sooo much to see there.
We never had a station wagon - one of my friends had the kind your talking about though and I remember thinking it was pretty cool, but I didn't have to endure it for any lengthy trip either! We did have a little subaru hatchback and there were a few times that I was put in the back cargo area to make room for other passengers, but again I remember it being for short durations and it being kind of a fun adventure at the time....
It's funny, cause Steven and I were just talking about traveling and throwing out ideas for the upcoming year or two...I think we will lay low and explore MO a little bit more this year since we will have a young baby -- probably head to the Elephant Rock and Johnson Shut-ins area...but maybe in the winter of 2009 we might try an extended Amtrak trip just to say we've done the train thing. Some of the trips look pretty reasonably priced, so it may work. Its fun to plan anyway.
So happy traveling everyone and let me know if you stumble upon any great "must-see" places or "can't beat it" travel deals!