Road Trip Tip: Sometimes Changing Direction Is the Best Course

I go on a big road trip every summer with my daughter and my dad. We’ve visited so many states in the U.S., seen things we all enjoy, and usually by the end of one, I’ve got a solid idea where we’ll be going next year. I don’t usually give my road trip buddies details or itineraries (for reasons I’ll talk about in another post), but they have the big picture outline and know the major destinations we’ll be visiting. I love to surprise them with a variety of things that are special for each of them. In the midst of last summer’s road trip, where I heard endless complaints about how humid and hot Florida was I declared half-jokingly that we were going to spend the next summer in Canada. 

Apparently this stuck, and when family and friends have asked, we have just been saying we’re going to Canada. Until I got started planning the details. And I was just not really feeling it. I love Canada, but I’d been to Montreal and Quebec City a bunch and so has my dad, and while Prince Edward Island is one of my personal dream destinations, my child detests Anne of Green Gables. So a trip while I imagine gleefully take pictures of the White Way of Delight, she would likely be rolling her eyes and sulking. That’s not fun for anyone. And even when I’d mentioned it to her, she was like “we can go if you really want.” So I spent time looking at other spots and we could visit to make sure there was a balance of fun stuff for everyone and I just felt like I was planning this trip without the usual passion and enthusiasm I ordinarily have. 

My dad an daughter making friends in Antietam

This past weekend, after talking to my dad and kid to make sure they didn’t have their heart set on Canada, I got the go ahead to change destinations. Honestly, they didn’t care as long as we have a good time. Within an hour, I had a new trip routed and mapped out, with a list of two dozen stops I wanted to visit and a smattering of places that I knew that the three of us would really just love. Now I’m really diving in and looking for special stuff and hotels, but I’m super excited to hit the road for a week and a half in June/July to explore all the National Parks, historic spots and weird quirky delights and those unexpected surprises that just make a road trip extra special. I can’t say much, but we will be visiting another battlefield, and well, I might have to deal with complaints about everyone being hot.

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