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Summer 2012 Cross Cruiseapalooza Planning Begins!

Where were we?  Oh yes!  The family has decided to drive cross country to Seattle to board the Disney Wonder for that Alaska cruise.  So obviously, we were just this side short of sanity.

Skamarakas family cross country trips have been incredibly interesting.  The last one we took was dubbed the DNA Tour.  It was a lesson in making sure everyone went to the bathroom BEFORE we hit a mountain or desert, AND it was a lesson in watching what you feed people before you get to the Grand Canyon so no one has to puke, right at sunset, on the Grand Canyon.  Had there been a nation-wide crime spree, perpetrated by a crazed family in a minivan, we left enough DNA evidence between here and the west coast that we’d all be in Sing-Sing solitary as I speak.

The first piece of the puzzle is what car are we taking.  Our family has two – our minivan and Brighid’s Mini Cooper.  I for one am always up for a challenge, but I’m reasonably certain that I won’t fit the shoes I need for the cruise in the back of the Mini.  So it seems like a no-brainer, right?  The minivan.  That’s where Jim steps in and says, “We can rent a car that gets better gas mileage and save the wear and tear on the minivan.”  On our last cross country trip, we ended up in a Jeep Grand Cherokee that POSSIBLY got one mile more per gallon than our minivan; was painfully uncomfortable; had way less storage space; and had a driver’s side window that wouldn’t roll down.  I know what you’re thinking – how did Anna get her Starbucks with no drive through availability?  Thank you for thinking of me.  I managed.  This time around, we’ll check the windows before we get to Ohio; and if possible, we’ll check out the comfort level well in advance so we know we won’t have hineys hurting in the back seat.

I’m thinking the best plan of action will have us hitting Chicago our first day – maybe as far as Milwaukee.  If there’s a festival, Milwaukee may be the way to go; and if it’s Milwaukee, there’s probably a festival!  We could wake up early, do a little sightseeing, then hit the road for somewhere in North Dakota.  I spent much of my teen years denying the existence of North Dakota – it was my version of teen rebellion (I belonged to the Flat Earth Society, too) – but I digress.  After another night of sleep, a quick tour around some points of North Dakotan interest (that should be a quick tour, no?), we’ll hit the road again head for parts in west Montana.  That will be our last stay before arriving in Seattle, which should give us a full day to play with – so if we end up stuck in traffic behind a herd of buffalo (buffali??), we should still make the ship in plenty of time.

So send me your suggestions – where to go, what to see, who to visit!