Relief, joy, excitement: this pretty well described all members of my family on that final day of school. The adventure of a lifetime was only a car ride away. As this final day slowly approached, my father began to prepare us for the the long days driving in a cramped minivan and the nights we would spend in crowded hotel rooms. While at first I was struck with reluctance to embark on our summer excursion, I began to realize how many opportunities I would have to see some of our nation’s most famous monuments and important landmarks. This truly would be an experience I would never forget.
Because school had just come to a close, getting into a van and driving nine hours with an exhausted dad, a drained mom, two obnoxious teenagers, and a brother who just wanted to be glued to Mine-Craft for twenty-four hours a day was not what I would have labeled as enjoyable. However, here I was in a car for nine hours with my family; I would have to make the most of it.
Our first few days were full of driving and stopping and driving some more. I was pleasantly surprised with how well my family began adjusting to this new way of life. Hotel breakfasts as well as lunch and dinner on the road actually became exciting in an unfamiliar way.
As we travelled through plains and mountains, my eyes were opened to the beauty of the world around me. Little did I know that some of the most breathtaking pictures I had ever seen of various landscapes were ten times as astonishing in person. I cannot express in words the awe I felt while witnessing our God’s creation. I felt as though I had been placed in a painting, God being the artist. I will never be able to forget the images of creation I was so fortunate to see during those ten days of roaming the country.
I believe what made this time so significant was the combination of who I was surrounded by with the backdrop that surrounded me. Being from a family of six, one would not always expect everyone to enjoy every moment of a family trip; however, this trip was different. The unity was there. The love was there. The mutual amazement at the masterpieces we encountered brought us closer.
Being in the car for over four thousand miles is not easy. I do confess it was hard at times. But the honest truth is that the good times outweighed the bad so much that I can hardly remember a time where I wanted to go home. For the first time ever I felt a sense of peace. I was surrounded by the ones I most loved and given an opportunity of a lifetime. What more could I ask for? People have asked me if I would ever go on this adventure again. My answer? I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.