“You’re driving to Florida? Oh. Um. Have… fun?” is the reaction I got from nearly every single soul when I told them we were driving the family (3 kids) to Orlando, Florida from Wichita, Kansas. I’ll admit, I too was a little leery about 22 hours on the road with my kids who get bored driving to the park.
We’re going to Florida for a national volleyball tournament. And no, we’re not going to Disney. I have zero desire to see Disney. The people, the lines, the empty wallet. There are so many reasons I don’t want to go there. I know it’s an unpopular decision and it seems insane to go to the Disney capital of the world and not go to Disney… but… that’s kind of how we do things in the Wallace family.
At one point, I thought the kids would miss out and for a fleeting moment, I thought they would miss out. I even priced out tickets. Donnie reminded me that we’d be spending nearly a grand on standing in line and dealing with other people who were also standing in line. So the verdict was, no Disney.
Instead, we’re thinking… gator park?
The day before we left, Donnie and I realized we had no real plan for our trip. That’s probably something that should probably be settled more than 24 hours before you hit the road. Unless it’s a brocation, in which you just get in the car with the clothes on your back, or just a pair of good swim trunks. This, however, was a full-fledged, week long family vacation and we hadn’t even booked a hotel yet.
Ten minutes on the interwebs and that problem was quickly resolved. Thanks Priceline, hotel right on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Beautiful.
We got on the road late and Siri navigated us through our first full day of driving, 14 hours.
Sometimes I imagine how Donnie and I would even survive pre-digital age.
I, like most people, would just like to get there so the vacation can begin. But… there’s so much we miss when we fly over states. For example, I’d never have known how disgusting Mississippi was, or how its probably home to the most Dollar Generals per square mile than any other state. I’d also have never known how AMAZING the Alabama coast is. Before this trip, I had no desire to visit Alabama. None.
The area that I picked on a whim the day before we left, turned out to be so great: white sandy beaches, family-friendly night life, and a tourist area that wasn’t overly packed with tourists. We decided to stay 2 nights there in Orange Beach.
Now, as we drive on to Orlando, I’ve got a belly full of fish tacos and a new memory of the boardwalk in Destin, Florida. A Yelp suggestion. Thanks again digital age.
Five more hours until we reach our final destination. Guess I better get on Priceline and figure out a hotel.