• This Land Was Made for You and Me: A Fun Travel Project You’ll Want To Do With Your Littles

    I’m pretty sure I was born loving to travel.  And if I wasn’t born that way, then growing up in my family quickly made me that way.  Every year starting when I was pretty young, my Grandpa’s World War II group would get together for reunions somewhere across the country.  Grandpa always invited any family members to join in on the road trip to wherever that year’s reunion was taking place; and, seeing a good opportunity for her daughter to get to see the country, my mom always accepted the invitation for us to go. Some of the destinations that stand out the most to me are Williamsburg, VA; Niagara Falls, NY; Montpelier, VT; Myrtle Beach, SC; and Cocoa Beach, FL. Each reunion always had plenty of time to mingle, a banquet for all of the veterans, and organized sightseeing excursions. I feel like it was yesterday that I was being patted on the head and given presents by so many brave navy veterans from the second World War, and it’s just a little unreal to me to realize now that most of those men have passed away.  My Grandpa, thankfully, is still one of the lucky ones living in great health at age 91.

    Thanks to these wonderful memory-filled road trips and the burning desire to explore this country that was born from it, I have been able to visit 44 out of the 51 (I’m counting Washington DC) United States. Just for kicks and grins I made this map to get a visual on those states that I haven’t yet visited (shown in gray) and I see now that in a couple of fell swoops and fun road trips I could probably knock the others out pretty easily!

    The farthest we’ve traveled with Bubs has been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a 4-hour drive from our house. He actually traveled really well for a 7-month-old, putting to rest my fears that his amazing eat/play/sleep schedule that I’ve worked so hard to get him on would crumble like a sandcastle the second he woke up somewhere other than his own nursery. We continued his normal rhythm and routine on vacation, sneaking in sights like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (which he wasn’t allowed to go up; if you’ve read my last blog post, you’ll notice this is a trend for Bubs) and the Atlantic Ocean (which he actually fell asleep on the 50 yard walk from our beach house to the ocean, so he actually STILL hasn’t seen the ocean, haha). This boosted our confidence that Bubster will make a great road trip traveler, but I think we want to wait until he’s old enough to form some basic memories of the trips before we plan anything too extravagant.

    In the meantime, I decided I want to help Bubby get excited about discovering that he lives in a big, beautiful country, full of places that look completely different than the verdant, humid climate he’s grown up in so far. Cue the brilliant idea. Zak’s parents recently made a road trip from Pennsylvania to Utah; and on the way there they stopped at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. They sent a postcard from the site; and as soon as we received it in the mail, I showed Bubs and pointed to the four men’s faces carved in a large rock outcropping in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

    He seemed mildly amused, as he would with any picture book I open and show him at this age, but an idea sprang from this encounter. What if I were to assemble for Bubs a photo album full of postcards from each of the 50/51 states in the US, featuring a shot of the landscape, and put them in a photo album for Bubster to look through? How fun would it be to point out a unique feature each state has to offer and watch his preferences for different landscapes to emerge and his first travel bucket list form? Yep, this is our new project, I decided then and there.

    So, dear friends who are reading this blog - we need your help for this fun challenge! And if you’d like to take up this 50/51 state postcard challenge to make a travel book of your own, we’re here to help in return! We’ve got South Dakota covered but any of you who live in any other state or plan on traveling to any other state, if you would be so kind as to send us a postcard featuring the landscape of your state, or the state you’re travelling to, along with just a quick little written message, we’ll send you a North Carolina postcard with a message in return! Just comment below or send a message through Facebook and let’s get our fun travel learning experience books for our kiddos started!
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