April 19, 2011

Road Trip Endeavour

We already have a summer vacation planned with my parents.  My sister and brother-in-law will come for part of the week too.  We are renting a house on Crooked Lake in Petoskey, MI.  There will be lots of adults to combat  lovingly tend to the three boys, so we know it will more fun than work.  Lincoln and Spencer are now 4 1/2 & Jackson is 17 months, so the more adults the better.
Last April we took a Stewart family road trip to Chattanooga, TN.    We took the boys to see Thomas at the Tennessee Valley Railroad & to the Tennessee Aquarium.  We also stopped to see my Aunt Dutch. (We will see her in a later post from Road Trip Endeavor, stay tuned.)  She is the boys Great Great Aunt Dutch.  Anyway, back then Jax was only 5 months old and the most easy going baby in the world.  He adapted to pretty much any schedule, took naps in the stroller, ate baby food-super easy.  This year he is a very active toddler.  He's still great & pretty easy going, but obviously more work is involved now.  So, we decided to rule out a long family road trip this year and just wait for our summer vacation.

However, on March 9 that all changed.  We watched the space shuttle Discovery landing on TV.

Later that night John & I were talking about how there are only two more launches before the space program is discontinued and how cool it would be for the boys to see one before it was too late.  So, we did some googling and found out that the last one is at the end of June.  We ruled that out.  We definitely don't want to be in FL in June, especially when we wait all winter for our Michigan summers.  But, the second to last one was scheduled for March 19.  By the time we started this thought process it was too late to get tickets.  We looked on Ebay, but they were thousands dollars.  We debated whether or not to scrap the idea or take them to one of the suggested parks to watch it from far far away.  This was not an easy decision, if we do the park thing we would have to get there very early to mark a spot and have to  figure out parking, food, bathrooms, etc.  We debated for a few days, then decided to go for it.  John got his vacation time approved. We booked a hotel right on the beach in Daytona.  We figured out our route, booked two hotels along the way.  I did a bunch of lighthouse research.  Everything was all set.  Then something happened with a scheduling glitch, the Russians also had plans to do something at the International Space Station at the same time.  Someone had to change plans and it ended up being NASA.  Now the launch is scheduled 10 days later, April 29.  We found out early enough to change plans.  Fortunately, John was able to change his vacation request, all of our hotels were able to be changed & BONUS -  a lot of tickets went on Ebay.  Now the prices are affordable & we got some!  WOO HOO!  Now we can watch it from the Kennedy Space Center & have access to restaurants and bathrooms.  That is a HUGE bonus when doing this with 3 kids four and under.
I know this is a blog about our lighthouse explorations, but I always also include our adventures along the way.  We will be seeing several lighthouses and doing lots of activities, so stay tuned.  This will be the boys first time seeing the ocean.  So far, they've only seen Great Lakes lighthouses.  We have our lighthouse passports and we are ready to roll!

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