First destination decided

Debates have began on which destinations to add to our travel route. Number 3 requested Australia, newsflash little buddy, we can't drive there!! Number 2 has voiced opinions of revisiting Texas, all the while Number 1 complains "can't we spend this summer home?". Ummmm NO! Not an option! It's just because he is trying to justify the need for an air conditioner in his bedroom. We never install them due to the fact, we are not home to use them! So he figures if we stay home, he will get one. Ummm again I say NO!! I'm not an air conditioner fan!

Back on track , we do have one definite destination on our Master Guide. We will be giving Alabama the pleasure of hosting us! Space Camp awaits #1 and Sewing Camp awaits #2. The pool awaits #3 and I!! I'm also looking forward to having breakfast cooked for us!!! Usually most of our travel takes place through time share arrangements, but this destination proves to be not within the vicinity of a time share option. Therefore we will be as cozy as can be in a hotel suite.The upside being --breakfast cooked to order daily!!! Yeah!!! That fact alone leads me to believe I can do without separate bedrooms and the lack of a kitchen.

It's That Time again!!!

Hello everyone, and welcome along on my family's infamous summer expedition. Each year we receive numerous inquiries about our trip, so we thought we would include you all this year!! Our physical home is in New Jersey, but our mental home is anywhere warm with fun stuff to do. So to upkeep our mental home, we road trip from coast to coast. Soaking in all the sights, creating visual remembrances with not only digital cameras, but also mental "eyelid" snapshots. Arranging complete photographic scrapbooks, all in the peaceful serenity of our own memories- no scissors required!

Those of you who do not know us, "we" are actually a family of five. The five consisting of Mom, Dad, Kid #1, #2, and #3.

Mom, Kate, is not old. I'm very adventurous, do not like confinements, and love to lose myself in travel brochures! I've been given the gift of creativity and love to immerse myself in a sea of crafts when bored or anxious. I believe that life is a game and personal success depends on your own actions. Life's what you make it, so I made mine fun!
 I quit my job as a creative entrepreneur a few years ago because I found much financial reward, but very little happiness. I loved doing what I was doing, but I hardly spent quality time with my children. We relied on a live in nanny or daycare to tend to them, there was always laundry to be done and house to be cleaned, and I worked a ton. So, I sought direction, and followed my gut.....
Within a short time, I closed my business, gave away possessions, pulled our children out of daycare, and sought happiness. I was left with less income, a messy house, and kids it seemed I had to get to know again. Then came the fun part-- trying to figure out how to spend "quality time" with my children, what can I do for fun without getting aggravated, that we as a family can fit into our budget, and the idea of a road trip sprung into my head. So I ran with it!  During the summer months I, travel with the kids to cure summer boredom.
I started the trip as a game to see if it would be more cost effective to stay home, while sending the kids to local camps, or if traveling and experiencing the great bounty of attractions the continental U.S. had to offer, would come in at a smaller fare. All while seeking how to perfect "quality time". Well traveling won!!! Yeah! I was so excited and intrigued by our first trip, I started planning the following summer's as soon as we returned. Now...
I travel with the kids all over the U.S., exploring museums, aquariums, historic sights, national parks, zoos, and whatever else we come across. We make it a game by seeing how little we can spend on each adventure and have found numerous ways to cut costs! Gosh , I love life!

Dad, Louie, is older than Mom. Louie walks to the beat of his own drum! That's what drew me to him many ions ago! He looses himself in iconic hot rod magazines from long ago. He drives an old car, collects old things, and has been wearing the same style vans since the day we met. Thank goodness he didn't want an old wife! He knows the most bizarre facts and is well skilled in everything history. His true calling should have been a history professor or something of the sort. He takes comfort in his ancient collectables, reveling in each pieces story of how it came to be where it is today. Louie was given the gifts of super compassion, incredible patience, and a natural ability to hold no judgement toward others, while always offering a helping hand. Knowing him makes me a better person. He's helped my life's journey take shape into where it is today. We have created wonderful children with pure hearts to spread joy unto others!
Louie doesn't participate in all of our cross country meanderings. He's nobly opted to stay behind to help finance our excursions. He takes pride in knowing our children will benefit educationally by being exposed to so many cultural and historical sites, and socially by coming into contact with numerous beings daily. He does visit at various destinations to partake in the fun!

Kid # 1, Ethan, is 14. Ethan has Aspberger's syndrome and dysgraphia. Diagnosed at age 5, he is extremely brilliant, but at times a little socially black and white. Social skills classes have helped tremendously! He was blessed with being able to "speak" computer- which is somewhat foreign to me! So he enjoys stimulating conversations that, again, are foreign to me, and sometimes others as well! He's obtained a handful of college credits so far, and thus had started his descent toward a degree in something with pixels and rams! Ethan also has an amazing talent to create beautiful pieces of art with spray paint. He gets nervous about the unknown adventures, so he is why our Master Guide was brought into life. He has taught us to "not judge a book by it's cover" since his face always appears serious, but it's just a facade. He's as big a goofball as the next teenage kid!

 #2, Mia, is 8. Mia is our family's pretty princess! Stunningly talented in the arts, she blows my mind with everything she creates. When she gets anxious about anything, her calming force is creating. Our family joke when Mia's in her room for long periods, is that she is making confetti! The pieces that have flourished through her "confetti" making are amazing. Wonderful works of fiction complete with artwork, three dimensional objects shaped from whatever resources were obtainable, chalk work, paintings, drawings. The list goes on and on. While "confetti" is what we refer to her creating stage as, it really is the remnits of her works left on her environment, that resembles Times Square on New Year's Day.
In addition to being artistically advanced, she was given the gift of grace. She is a beautiful ballerina, that flourishes through lyrical poetry across the studio floor. Her ability to let go of physical inhibitions and meld to music with such fluid motions is beauty in itself! Being so creatively blessed , and functioning on such an artistic level, Mia doesn't always comprehend her surroundings. Oblivious to dry humor, she once believed her cousin was visiting the moon and wanted to know if upon her return, they could have dinner together! That innocence is what makes her so lovable!

Last but not least #3, Louie, is 6. He has his name due to the fact that I lost the hand of rock-paper-scissor with Big Louie. Thank goodness because I couldn't imagine him with any other name! Louis the 4th is a very spunky child with an air of regalness, if that's even a word! He too is disgraphic, just as his older brother. He was blessed with an amazing sense of remembrance for facts. He studies history, military, currency, and presidents. His goal is to become involved in politics when he's older. For being a history buff he is incredibly quirky, downright silly at times. He break dances, sings, and performs magic tricks.
At school he remembers every one's names- knows which family they belong too and who there siblings are. As a person he has a magnetic personality, he draws people to him. He makes friends wherever he goes, participates in social events, and definitely leaves his mark on all he meets!

Every year around this time we research our destinations, plan our routes, and print our maps! Out come my favorite colored highlighters and the real work begins. Strategically placed color coded dots represent a host of lodging and entertainment options. Highlighted routes showcase numerous ways to get from one point to the next. Entries into map quest steer me into the most time effective routes. All while careful consideration determines how to intersect routes and activities to become a landing place in our evolving summer vacation plan! All gathered information is then compiled into a "Master Guide" binder that accompanies us along on our journey, and quells any anxieties that the children might encounter in response to the famous question" where are we going next?".