We had a wonderful time on our vacation, and it was great to get away. Didn't realize how tired I was until I could just sleep with no obligations coming up in the next day.
It was wonderful to get away, and spend sometime alone, as well as some time with family. Truth be told, though, I could have used an extra day off to recoup from the vacation! Extra laundry, and all those things that pile up when you're gone. It was worth it, though.
We ended up leaving after work, and driving roughly halfway to our family's that night. Knowing we would most likely stop for the night, but not knowing where, we decided against making a reservation in advance, and instead, opted for the coupon books. For those of you in The States, you know those books that are usually stationed at rest areas, welcome centers, and gas stations along the highway, that have lodging coupons in them? Yup, just a book on newsprint of hotel and motel coupons. We have used them before with great success, and this time, too. The trying-to-be-green part of me does feel guilty about wasting the other coupons/pages of the book, but at least it was printed on recycled materials, and is recyclable itself.
Because we left earlier than initially planned, we had the next day more or less free. Sure, we had to drive a few hours more to reach family, but 3-4 hours in one day is nothing compared to the 8 hours it would have been. We took this opportunity to avail ourselves of another state's welcome center to see what there was to see. Ended up seeing the Parthenon in Nashville, as we had originally thought about doing. I went there in 6th grade on a school trip, and Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief was filmed there. It was definitely worth the side-trip, and worth seeing again for me. The exhibit about how a replica of the Parthenon ended up in Nashville was very interesting, as was the "Women in Mythology" painting exhibit. There was an entrance fee, but nothing too steep. (We did decide against touring the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green because of the price. There are a bunch of cool cars to see outside of the museum, though.)
The bulk of our vacation was with family, and we had a great time catching up, and just spending time with them.
When I was little, my mom always made us clean our rooms/the house before we went on trips. Believe me, I complained the whole time, and was a general nuisance while cleaning. But, I always appreciated coming home to a clean room (partly because it was the only time my room was clean...) and clean house. I'm sure she did, too. Without someone else to push me to clean house before leaving, I've not kept to this pre-trip ritual as an adult. But, this time, I did hit the highlights - bathroom highlights, kitchen highlights, light dusting and sweeping floors - before we left. It made coming home even better.
Do you have any trip tips? Any pre-trip rituals you love, or that make coming home extra-special?
On the way back, we did pick up my grandparent's dining set from my dad. We had rented a smallish moving truck for this, and ended up running out of room, so had to leave some furniture my mom was holding on to for us. Just another excuse to visit!
I've got to tell you, that dining set has turned an empty space into a real dining room (as it would), and has made a huge difference, turning the house more into our home. Combine that with the face that I spent much of Sunday unboxing our wedding china (and peeling off labels and washing it all) to place in the china cabinet, it really is quite homey!