some things i’ve learned

We have two weeks left on our massive RV odyssey and I have to say it’s surpassed even my (likely inflated) expectations.

A lot of people asked me why I’d want to take a baby and a five year old on a cross-country RV trip, and I can understand the question.  Cohen will remember nothing of it, Keaton maybe snatches here and there.  The “work” of tending to an infant on the road, with a five year old in tow, might seem daunting to most.  It’s expensive; it’ll be hot; you can’t have any “adults only” nights out.  I heard a lot of it.  Not that it bothered me, the mule I am once my mind is made up.  I’m sure I’d ask a few of the same questions to a friend telling me about a trip like this.

I wanted to do it because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve been craving time with the family.  Simple as that.  Yes, it’s expensive.  Yes, doing it with young kids means things take longer and rules out certain destinations or activities (no Vegas this time).  Yes, it’s been hot here in the South.  But so what?  It’s also been amazing and refreshing and brought us together like I bet little else could.  Keaton is having a blast, Cohen is like the baby made for road-tripping; lucky for us we have decent kids who make this undertaking not only realistic but really fun. Anyway, I’m not scared of kids or heat or negative dollars; those things can all bite me.

And, because I’ve been wanting to do this, here are some things I’ve learned while on this trip:

  • The posted speed limit is always 5MPH less than the actual speed limit.
  • I’m not sure I really need more than a week’s worth of warm-weather and a week’s worth of cold-weather clothes.  This now seems more than a sufficient wardrobe.
  • Wind can be a really, really bad traffic hazard.
  • Less of a learning and more of a confirmation: People in the South are just “nicer” and “friendlier.”
  • Google Maps is hands-down the best navigation tool for road-tripping.  It gives better routes, clearer directions, better estimated timing, and overall out-performs the dedicated TomTom GPS unit we borrowed.
  • The gauge system on this RV is, at best, a finger in the wind.  The fresh, black, and gray water and propane levels could be better predicted by palm-reading.
  • Beach camping is the messiest (in terms of keeping the vehicle clean) camping you can do.
  • Staying with friends and family is every bit as good as seeing Mt. Rushmore or Niagara Falls.
  • Starting off the day driving with no idea where you’ll sleep than night is a fun removal of limitations, and leads to some good impulse stoppage.

OK then friends, I’m done.  Writing this via a shared 3G connection with my phone while Sharaun pilots us down I-10 towards Louisana.  We’re gonna go out tonight and get a seafood dinner if we can find a place worthwhile.  Until next time then, happy travels.

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