Ah, summer vacation… It was always one of my favorite parts of summer break from school, and it never seemed to matter where we went — we always managed to have fun. Travel, whether near or far, has always been something important to me, and I hope The Girls also feel the same way during childhood and into their adult years. We took a big trip to Disney World last year, so this year we scaled it back and drove down (about 12 hours) to see my sister and her family in Arkansas. They’ve only lived there a year and a half, so we hadn’t been there yet; it’s one of those places that I can’t say I’d visit unless I had a specific reason to. Not surprisingly, though, we managed to find a lot to do and had a great time during our 9 days away.
I’m not going to go into mind-numbing detail, but we stopped in St. Louis (our halfway point) and stayed there a couple of nights so we could spend some time with friends in the area, enjoying a a picnic at the sculpture garden, a visit to the botanical garden, and attending a lovely cookout.
We made our way to my sister’s house in Fayetteville and spent 4 1/2 days there, finding all kinds of things to do: another visit with some friends in the area at a local park, a day trip to Eureka Springs, a tour of an outdoor art studio, swimming at an aquatic center, and plenty of 4th of July fun.
We packed the bags once more and headed to Memphis for an overnight stop where we went downtown and walked around Beale Street and saw the ducks at the Peabody Hotel. The Girls and I also had an impromptu visit to the Memphis Zoo when we had car trouble and needed some repairs before hitting the road for home. Seven hours later, we had seen pretty much every animal in the zoo (no joke!) and we were finally able to drive the final 7 hours home. We didn’t get home until 2 a.m. but at least we had Sunday to rest and recover and get ready for returning to our routine. It was no big, flashy, fancy vacation this year, but it was good to see and do new things while also spending time with my sister and her family as well as some friends along the way. But most of all, a road trip afforded us a chance to spend time with just the four of us, and I have to say that overall it went really well; both girls are great road-trippers, and for that I am very thankful.