A couple Wednesdays ago, we loaded up the minivan, picked up Max early from school, and started our journey to Destin, Florida. Josh’s cousin Matthias was getting married on the 19th and they hired us to shoot the wedding! Since it was a family wedding, we brought our kids (and Josh’s parents came to watch them). We figured we couldn’t go to Florida and NOT make it a vacation!
So, anyway, we typically blog our road trips while we’re doing them. Since we launched The Summer Bucket List Challenge last week, we couldn’t really keep up with that AND blogging every night. So, even though we’re back home now, you can still follow along on our journey!
So, back to the trip. We picked up Max early from school and headed on our way. Our first stop was the QuikTrip right by our house. We ALWAYS make a pit stop there on our way out of town to stock up on junk food. The kids were super stoked to get their push pops and colored sugary drinks. We don’t usually let them have that junk, so they were overly thrilled!
We got on our way, heading to Springfield, MO. We made a pit stop in Lawry City and then continued on until we got to Springfield. We had plans to spend the night at Josh’s aunt and uncle’s house. This worked out well since they were heading to Destin with us. We arrived in time for dinner, then put the kids to bed.
We got up early Thursday and got on the road. Thursday was a ROUGH day. For whatever reason, Lia was in a BAD mood! We ended up having to drive from Springfield, MO to Birmingham, AL. It’s a LONG drive. Way too long for one day. We are usually never on a schedule when we road trip, but this time we had to get to our destination on a timeline. I thought I had allowed enough time for us to get down there and travel at our normal leisurely pace, but I didn’t. We always make random stops and just have fun, but we really didn’t have a lot of time this trip.
And boy did we pay for it! Lia was SO grumpy! I spent most of the day on Thursday getting kicked, hit, and yelled at. We did stop at a really awesome roadside antique/collectibles shop in Arkansas called Dear Crossing. We drove past it on our way home on our Great Smoky Mountains road trip and it was closed. This time, it was open. The kids were super happy because they had an entire room full of toys. I was excited because I got a piece of yard art in the shape of the US for our garden.
We continued on toward Memphis. We remembered our epic three and a half hour lunch at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken on our last trip through Memphis, so we called in our order this time. We stopped at a local park to eat our chicken and let the kids burn off some energy. The chicken was every bit as good as I remember it being!
We continued driving and made a stop in Tupelo, Mississippi to take a peek at Elvis’ birthplace (Josh’s parents are big Elvis fans). We got there right as they were closing, but we were still able to walk around a bit. I discovered that the kids didn’t know what leap frog is, so I decided to show them. It ended badly when Lia leaped and landed right on Ava’s head. She screamed SO loud!! Luckily, they were all distracted by a little fountain splashing.
We continued on, and drove all the way to Birmingham, where we stopped for the night at an Econo Lodge. It was LATE. I corralled the kids to bed and Josh went out in search of dinner. He originally planned on getting McAlister’s, but it was closed, so we ended up with Chipotle. We ate and then we crashed.
We got up Friday and got out on the road. We drove and drove, through Montgomery, Alabama and all the way down to Destin, Florida. Luckily, Lia was in a much better mood on Friday. We made it in to town in the early afternoon, but our hotel wouldn’t let us check in early. We decided to grab lunch, so we stopped off at the Pancakery. The kids had pancakes and everyone was happy.
After lunch, we checked into our hotel (the Village Inn) and took the kids to the pool for a bit. The water was nice and warm and they were so happy to be out of the car! We swam for a bit and then got cleaned up. Josh and I headed to the Inn at Crystal Beach for Jen & Matthias’ rehearsal dinner. We spent the entire next day shooting their wedding, so we didn’t do any sightseeing or anything until Sunday.
Truth be told, I felt like a bit of a failure on Thursday when Lia was in such a bad mood. It really put a damper on our whole day. And no matter what I tried, she would be happy for a little while, and then she would go right back to being mad. Note: Most of the pictures are of the kids having fun just because I can only take so many of Lia throwing a fit…
But, I know if we had simply followed our own advice and let the kids dictate how long we drove at a time, we would have had a much better day. Next time we’ll leave a day earlier! (P.S. I’ll be blogging the rest of our trip this week… I’m happy to tell you that we had SO much fun in Florida!! Stay tuned!)
road trip stop at quiktrippeanut butter jelly sandwich in the carflyswatter taggirl jumping on the bedkids playing at dear crossing antique shop mammoth spring arkansascute girls with food on road tripentertaining kids on a road tripleap frog and splashing in the fountain in tupelo mississippi elvis birthplacekids reading in the cargoogly eyes and balloons in the car road trip to destin floridathumb war and staring contests in the back seat road trippingkids with balloons in the car


  • You are not a failure. 🙂 I just thought someone should point that out for you. We are hardest on ourselves, aren’t we? Can’t wait to hear the rest of your adventures! I love the thumb wars and bins in the car for activities! I know those well!!!

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