Day 1: A rough start but a happy ending

We planned to leave for our surprise trip very early in the morning. Knowing we had two 10-hour driving days ahead, I thought it wise to get most of the driving out of the way in the morning so we’d have time in the later afternoon/evening to play and relax before hitting the road again the next day. I’d definitely do it this way again.

I had spent weeks preparing, planning road trip activities for the little kids, making packing lists and plotting to make it a surprise by telling the kids we were headed to Galveston for a few days. I wasn’t really prepared for their questions like: How long are we staying? Where on the island are we staying? Are we staying in a house or a hotel? So I was intentionally vague and often answered “I’m not really sure. We still have to pound out the details” even as we were driving away from the house! I would think my kids would be onto this right away since if there is one thing I excel at, it is planning. And more planning. And yet more planning! To think we left the house with no idea where we were going to sleep or how long we would stay is highly implausible! ;)

The kids got up and into the car and we headed out by 4:30am which is approximately when the insane thunderstorms started. Driving in the dark on back country Texas roads in sheets of rain is horrifying. These little two lane highways have speed limits of 70 mph and really anxious drivers who wanted me out of their way. I was not sure we would survive. we checked the radar and we were driving WITH the storm and the storm was huge. We literally drove in rain like that for 3 straight hours AT LEAST. And when I say we, I mean ‘me’. Because as nervous as I get about driving in torrential downpours, I am WAY more nervous when someone else is behind the wheel. Just call me a control freak.

It was still raining when Dalton first checked his GPS on his phone and discovered that we weren’t exactly headed for Galveston. We had planned to give him his diploma, a card from his Grandma and a card from us when he really started questioning what was going on. On our card it said “By the way – this trip is your gift and we are NOT going to Galveston!”. To say he was baffled and shocked is an understatement.

His siblings were all asleep so it took them much longer to catch on. We spent the next 7 hours playing the “Guess where we’re going” game, to no avail. It was SO fun (for me!). They were particularly confused when they asked for hints and one of the hints they asked for was when we’d arrive and I told them tomorrow night. Ha.

We finally pulled into our overnight hotel in just outside Destin, Florida in the late afternoon. We threw on our swimsuits and headed straight for the most gorgeous squeaky white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters any of us (except Tony, who recently went to Cancun) had ever seen. It was GLORIOUS!

I think after the fun beach time, though, Dalton was beginning to worry. He was actually really looking forward to fishing all weekend at Galveston. He had researched places, lures, types of fishing, etc to prepare. Destin is beautiful but it is TOTALLY different than what he planned for. And none of his knowledge would work here. Good thing I knew that we were headed somewhere that would be much more similar to what he had researched and would be much more in line with the kind of vacation he’d prefer.

We headed to the Melting Pot for a celebratory graduation meal and it was SO yummy. I even got my favorite drink ever – the Yin & Yang. When we are on vacation, we try to eat at places that aren’t available to us at home. Our local Melting Pot closed down a few years ago so this was truly a special treat.

We called it a night and hit the sheets, excited about where the next day would bring us!

(no photos today – I quickly realized how impractical it would be to carry my whole camera bag on the beach for two weeks so we did stop by a big box store and pick up a small bag just for my body and 1 lens so I have photos from the rest of the week)

One thought on “Day 1: A rough start but a happy ending

  1. Oh my gosh you are the coolest mom evah. Seriously. I am so impressed that you pulled that off… and what a GREAT graduation gift… for the whole family. (and when you are a homeschooler, it really is the whole family working toward that goal, no?)

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