Welcome to my 14-day series on our East Coast Road Trip where I share our adventures along the way, how we’re doing this on a budget, honest reviews of attractions & restaurants we visit, and money-saving tips and ideas. If you missed it, read Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, and Day 5 here.
How is it already Day 6 of our 14-day trip?!? I’m sad that time is going by so quickly!
This trip has been so good for us. We’re spending so much quality time together, we’re experiencing so many memories together, we’re having so many good conversations, we’re learning so much about history, and it’s just drawing us close together as a family.
There’s part of me who wishes we travelled full-time. But I’ll be quick to say that the other part of me loves our community in TN, the routine and rhythm of our simple life, and yes, and our own bedroom with a door that shuts! 😉
After a few full days in D.C., Day 6 was a laundry and travel day.
The 5-day clothes packing system is working really well! Today, we stopped by a laundromat in Alexandria to do our laundry and now have fresh, clean clothes for the next 5 days.
(Note: While we were really happy with how simple it was to use the laundromat and how clean the place was — we had looked up reviews online ahead of time — it took us quite a bit of extra time to go to the laundromat and wait for the laundry to get done. Next time, we’re going to try to plan it so we choose a hotel with laundry facilities as I think that will make it much easier and less time-consuming.)
Fitting in Work on the Road
While we were waiting for the laundry to run, I got in some blogging time. 🙂 I love that I can take my laptop with me and work pretty much anywhere.
Some of you have asked when I’m fitting in work on this trip. Well, I had initially thought that I’d work in the mornings and then we’d go explore and play in the afternoons. But I quickly realized that plan just wasn’t going to work without it meaning that my family was waiting around on me and I was feeling stressed that I needed to hurry up and get done.
So, for the most part, I’ve just been fitting in work where I can — which is usually when Jesse is driving or at night after the kids go to bed. And sometimes, like today, it was at the laundromat.
Before I left on this trip, I worked hard to make sure things were in good shape business-wise, we cleared my schedule so that I didn’t have any extra tasks while I was gone, and I decided to only focus on doing the basics + blogging/posting on social media about our trip while I was gone. This meant that I was able to cut back to only needing to work about 4 hours per day, instead of my usual 7-8 hours.
(I’m so blessed to have a team in place who works so hard behind the scenes so that I can take a two-week vacation and be offline for half the day — or more! — every day without me having to stress that things are falling apart or the work is piling up in my absence. For years, I tried to do so much of the work myself because I just didn’t have the courage to delegate and trust other people. The more than I’ve delegated and trusted people and focused on doing only those things that I can do/am good at, the more I’ve enjoyed life. Plus, I’ve been able to empower other people to use their gifts and skills to not only earn an income but to also make a difference through this blog/business.)
Our Car Ticketing System
The kids made notebooks for themselves with travel games in them printed from MomsMinivan.com (yes, when your kids get older, they instigate this kind of stuff all on their own and just ask you for permission to do it!!).
They also came up with the idea — 100% on their own! — to implement a ticketing system. They printed these tickets here and then made one baggie for each child.
I set the timer for 30 mins and then hand out a ticket when the timer goes off to everyone who has had a good attitude. At the end of the day, whoever has the most tickets, gets to choose which show we watch as a family when we’re at the hotel.
This system has been very effective — especially on our longer traveling days!
The tolls from D.C. to New Jersey are pretty crazy. We spent about $30 just in tolls today! We were definitely not prepared for that and it shocked us that about every few miles (it felt like!), we had to hand over more cash!
A Stop at Barnes & Noble
The traffic was also really bad in Maryland, so we ended up stopping at Barnes & Noble to take a break since some of us were really car sick. I had a $50 gift card I’d been saving and I whipped that out and we used it for special treats at the cafe plus letting the kids each pick one thing out to do while driving.
We passed through Delaware — my first time in the state, if I’m remembering correctly! We didn’t stop anywhere, but at least I can now say I’ve been to the state!
We made it to New Jersey and are headed to spend the day in NYC tomorrow! I can’t wait for our kids to experience it! (This was my top pick for where we’d stop on the trip!)
What I Read Today
I read this fascinating book by Obama’s deputy chief of staff, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? (It has a lot of crass language in it and it has very mixed reviews on Amazon, but I personally found it to be a really interesting look at what it’s really like to work in the White House and the stress that comes with the responsibility riding on your shoulders.)
To be continued…
Want to follow along with our trip in real-time? Follow my personal Instagram account here where I’ll be sharing a daily recap + videos and photos via Instagram Stories.