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Road Trip from California: The End

All good things must come to an end.

Or so I’ve been told.

In this case, nearly 4,000 miles and uncounted hours with my family, in a vehicle, for nearing 10 days- I was ready for our road trip to end. And for my teens, it couldn’t end soon enough.

Sure, things had improved since our stop in Amarillo, Texas.

And we did survive the snow storm that initially freaked me out. But to my daughter, being forced to be in the company of your family around the clock with no privacy for days and days is enough to cause anyone mental anguish. Hmmm…have I ever mentioned that she’s a bit of a drama queen? Maybe my husband felt the same way because he began to fantasize about going to work. I am proud of him though. Normally he wouldn’t consider taking off 10 days of work for a road trip.

I guess it was time to get them both home before they cracked. We drove and drove and drove. Barely stopping for rest room breaks and to eat. My family had a mission at this point. To return home as quickly as possible.

But I had a few last stops in mind along I-70, America’s Main Street and tried to convince them that we couldn’t end our trip just yet.

Entering Kansas

As a result, our conversations went something like this:

Me: Do you want to see the Prairie Dog Town?
Passengers in the Vehicle: NO.

Me: Oh look! There is the Van Gogh painting- you can see it from the road!
My Kids: NO!!! Don’t stop!!! Keep Going!!!
My Husband: Tonya, pull over- it’s right there.
My Kids: Dad, why do you always have to be on mom’s side? That is so aggravating!
My Kids: Stop, but don’t expect us to get out of the car so you can take another picture of us. It’s NOT going to happen.
My Kids: This is such a waste of time. (insert eye roll) It’s going to take us forever to get home.

Van Gogh Roadside Attraction

Me: We’re almost to Abilene. We should stop.
Passengers: NO!
Me: But….
Passengers: NOOOOO!!!!

Me: I really want you guys to see this. It will only take a minute. It’s not far off the interstate.
Passengers: NO! We don’t want to see anything else.
Me: But you’ll like it, it’s a huge cathedral- I saw it last time I was through Kansas. You guys will enjoy it.
Passengers: If you saw the church last time, how come we have to see it now? We don’t even want to stop.
Insert more grumbling all the way to the cathedral.
Passengers: Don’t you love how Mom’s minute is like twenty minutes? We’re never going to get home.

Cathedral of the Plains

My husband originally planned to drive straight through the night but thankfully he reconsidered and thought better of his idea. 

The kids were thrilled to get out, stretch and explore a new hotel room. And I was happy too until someone thought it would be fun to trap his sister in the closet. Let me just clarify- that is not my daughter’s happy face. That is the “How could you let this happen, mom?” look.

Hotel room where we rested for the night

Luckily a full blown eruption was avoided and we all managed to fall into bed and fast asleep.

We got an early start the next morning as we were the first ones for breakfast, a feat I don’t ever remember accomplishing before. We were back on the road before the sun rose overhead.

To my teenager’s
chagrin, my husband stopped at a couple of roadside attractions against their wishes.

He would not stop at the giant cross in Effingham since it looked just like the cross in Texas, which pleased my children immensely.

But how could we pass by the World’s Largest Wind Chime and not stop? 

worlds largest wind chime

We arrived home that evening to a very happy dog who wouldn’t let us out of his sight which has lead me to consider taking him on our next road trip. 

Need to catch up? 

Road Trip to California Day 1: Viewing the St. Louis Arch
Road Trip to California Day 2: To Texas and Beyond
Road Trip to California Day 3: A Day Full of Surprises
Road Trip to California Day 4 & 5: We Made It!
Road Trip to California Day 6: The Never-Ending Day
Road Trip to California Day 7: It’s All Downhill from Here

Day Nine Expenses:

Gas/Toll Charges/Parking Fees: $115.18

Food: $83.99

Lodging: $115.06

Entertainment/Souvenirs: $3.69 (Redbox Movies)
Total: $317.92

Day Nine Expenses:
Gas/Toll Charges/Parking Fees: $70.03

Food: $40.04

Lodging: $0

Entertainment/Souvenirs: $0
Total: $110.04

Miles traveled this leg of trip:  1508 

Total miles traveled for our trip: 5341

Stephanie Person

Sunday 26th of January 2014

Whoa the worlds largest chime.. how cool!! Cheers to you for making the 4,000 mile trip!

Elaina- A Time Out for Mommy

Sunday 26th of January 2014

What a cool trip! I think towards the end of ANY vacation people get a bit restless and homesick!


Monday 27th of January 2014

Yes! You are absolutely right. And home always feels so far away on that last leg of a road trip.

Angela S

Saturday 25th of January 2014

I'm so glad you survived your trip and had a bit of fun along the way.


Tuesday 21st of January 2014

I would've wanted to stop at the World's Largest Wind Chime too! =)


Tuesday 21st of January 2014

It was definitely worth stopping to check out. There's a small cafe right beside it that sells souvenirs, etc. I really wanted to eat lunch there too but my family wouldn't budge on that one.

eileen at FamiliesGo!

Tuesday 21st of January 2014

my daughter can be on vacation too long and starts wanting to get home to her toys and friends -- and she's only 6 -- I imagine this only intensifies as kids get older and find their parents increasingly less interesting. :-) Protection Status
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