Fayetteville, N.C. — The stats are beyond impressive by themselves: 23 states in 27 days.
But when you consider this is how a Hope Mills mom spent the summer with her three young boys, on her own, it earns its way into the amazing category.
Haven’t we all fantasized about taking a cross-country road trip with our kids? The learning! The beauty! Wonderful memories our children will always cherish!
It sounds ideal for sure, but the practical side of me always talks me out of such dreams. Won’t the kids be bored with all that driving? And wouldn’t such a long trip break the bank?
Add in the fact that I would be the only adult on the trip, and I am definitely out.
Lucky for Tracy Hohan’s kids, their mother is no such wimp. Hohan just got back from a road trip to California with her three sons, Teagan, 10, Liam 11 and Aidan, 14. Her sister had a baby 6 months ago, and Hohan thought meeting her new niece provided the perfect excuse to make the trek, despite the fact that her husband would have to stay behind and help their two older sons prepare for moving to college.
“I want [my kids} to have a greater appreciation for how great and diverse our country is,” Hohan said. “I believe this trip made them more open to new experiences and food, made them have a greater curiosity about life.”
Hohan allowed her Facebook friends to go along virtually on the family’s journey, and the pictures along the way tell a wonderful story. From the beaches of Dauphin Island, Ala., to the deserts of Great Salt Lake, Utah, those boys got to witness the beauty of the United States first hand.
“We could start the morning in the desert, go through the mountains, farm lands, and cities…and end up at the ocean. All in one day!” Hohan said.
Was it hard? Hohan acknowledges some challenges, particularly with their car size. “We rented a little economy car for the price and gas mileage. Next time, we would definitely go with a slightly bigger car. More personal space!”
Also, Hohan said eating healthy and keeping fast food to a minimum took some work. She said finding healthy food choices on the road was easier in some states than in others. Keeping a cooler packed in their car with low-cal options certainly helped.
“I didn’t gain a pound!” Hohan chuckles.
Traveling with teen and tween-aged boys, you have to figure electronics were an important part of keeping the peace, but Hohan says, this, too, surprised her. “When you’re on the road for hours and there is no wifi or radio service, it is amazing what you find yourselves talking about. I was surprised at how much we laughed together, how many deep talks we had, and how much we shared our feelings with each other.”
Now, see? That has me wanting to take on the challenge!
And Hohan says she and her brood will definitely do it again. They are already making plans for their next adventure.
In the meantime, Aidan, Liam and Teagan are sure to have the best “How I Spent My Summer” essays around.
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. She writes about motherhood and family-friendly events in Fayetteville here on Go Ask Mom.