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  • kristen

So it begins

I had been trying to get my parents to sit down to discuss what they wanted to do for their 60th birthdays for at LEAST 15 months. I knew that, inevitably, time would get away from us, Jimmy and I wouldn't have enough time to plan something amazing, and a milestone birthday would come and go just like every other birthday.

We've never been the type of family that celebrates with blowout celebrations and I was hopeful that we'd be able to get something together this year to really *celebrate* my parents. But as July 28th, 2020 (Mom's birthday) crept closer and closer, I realized we were falling back into the trap that we've fallen into every other year.

In a phone call to my brother a mere 10 days before Mom's birthday, he and I were putting in a last ditch effort to figure out something fun to do for them. She's been wanting to take a family trip somewhere, but where could we possibly go with a global pandemic keeping us grounded?? BOOM...RV trip. We went from idea to action in a matter of about 7 days, which I believe to be a new record for our family. We presented the idea to Mom and Dad on Saturday afternoon and had a 41' rig booked for the first week of September less than 24 hours later. Now, to figure out where we're going!

...We already knew we were going to go west. We got started on a shared packing list and brainstormed what we wanted to see: Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons. We did a lot of work prepping, too: stocking up on wool socks, hiking boots, water bladders, baby carriers, the whole shebang. Of course, we made sure that the tent from our childhood was still functioning and in good shape in the unlikely event that a ~600 sq foot RV was too small for 6 adults and a one year old baby over the course of 10 days. We have also not dismissed the idea of nearby hotels, just in case.

It's now August 25th, roughly a week before we're set to hit the road. We've got all our gear ready to go, we've done our research on what is recommend you see while driving cross country, and we've looked into campsites.

The problem with being first-time RVers is that we didn't realize how limited we were with pull-through campsites that accommodate rigs over 40'. Not only that, but most campsites book up well in advance (some sites even said 365 days before the planned trip date?!?). Our efforts to find places to stay within Yellowstone and the Tetons turned up fruitless, so we are left to rely on people who cancel (or don't show up to) their reservations last minute...that, or hope that we can get to a first come, first served campsite in time to snatch up one of their sites big enough for us! We are currently accepting any and all prayers and positive vibes that we will be able to find something near where we're hoping to be.

Jimmy and Dad picked up the RV in Mokena, IL Thursday afternoon, and Mom spent the entire afternoon and early evening organizing and loading it up with enough food to last us the rest of the pandemic. (Any fellow Enneagram 2's out there?)

And so, our adventure begins!

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