DSC_0414Stopped in VAIL, CO for lunch – obviously freezing.IMG_6310 IMG_6313 IMG_6316


You start playing with your son’s toys after too many hours in the car….


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While I’d like to say that all 2500+ miles went smoothly from Chicago to Los Angeles, nobody would believe me. However if smooth is measured by candid hilarity, countless pictures, untold memories and a whole lotta thinking time, then, yes, it was smooth and you can actually believe me. We packed our grey SUV to the max (read ZERO LEG ROOM), so the rest stops were part necessity and part celebration. I’ve never made the drive to CA before, so seeing the sun set in Monument Valley and the San Juan River with floating chunks of ice were something to behold. I also didn’t think I’d see the day when we would have been within feet of hitting a cow in a free range pasture in south Utah, but yup, saw that too. And my five year-old’s reaction? “Ugh, cows these days.” Definitely blame the cows.

Below is my top 5 travel tips before leaving on that 2500 mile trip:

1. All those snacks are worth the lack of leg room; some areas had zero stops for 70 miles.

2. Buy drawing pads from Cracker Barrel. The kids loved them!

3. Pack your all black #OOTD, read leather jacket and busted knee jeans. An all-black outfit is easy to mix with different accessories and covers all milk and mustard stains. My trusty uniform was this:  JEANS / MOCK TURTLENECK / LEATHER JACKET with BROOKS SNEAKS

4. Non-fiction DVD’s for the kids, Kids get schooled and I don’t feel guilty.

5. Save room for exploring. I regretted getting upset that we were going the long way at times, totally forgetting that the JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION.