Monday, November 8, 2010

Road Trip ~ Travel Day 1

In October we took a road trip from New York to Florida for our annual family vacation to Disney World.
This year we opted to drive instead of fly, I was a little apprehensive about taking such a long trip with a full car...

... and an active five-year-old, and only one driver, but it all worked out fine and it was lots of fun!
We left while it was still dark (about 3:30 A.M.) on a Thursday morning and Ray decided to drive through Manhattan, it was strange to see those city streets empty of traffic and crowds, and we breezed right through the Lincoln Tunnel. Ray said the worst part of the trip was driving in the pitch black dark through New Jersey, it was hard to see road signs.

Lucky for us ~ rain, shine, dark, or light, nothing bothered this little passenger on our road trip:

We stopped for an early breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants:

Rockers lined up outside...

...and a little man enjoying one that's just his size!

We don't have Crackerbarrel near us, the closest one is in either Pennsylvania or Connecticut so Ray decided we were going to stop along the way and eat at as many Carckerbarrel Restaurants as we could!

After a BIG breakfast (way too much food for us to finish! We learned our lesson after the first day and shared breakfast orders after that) it was back in the car, and we had a few hours of rain, but once the sun came out, it was a beautiful drive! Ray decided not to take 95 because he feels it is such a boring, monotonous drive. He decided to drive through the Shenandoah Valley instead, and I'm so glad he did!
It really is a beautiful country we live in!

And each rest stop we made was nicer than the one before it! We stopped about every two hours.
It was great to get out and stretch our legs...

...and climb these steps... a little picnic oasis!

If I had known the rest stops were going to be this nice I would have packed picnic lunches for us! It would have been nice to enjoy lunch sitting here!

Back into the car again and more beautiful scenery!

(The Blue Ridge Mountains really did look blue to me!)

These cliffs were amazing and reminded me of upstate New York.

I had never before seen the 'runaway truck' areas they had set up on all the hills though! (Diana, I guess Jake is used to seeing these!)

And another thing I wasn't used to seeing was the very clear and definite demonstrations of:

I guess I'm so used to New York and the anti-Christian mind-set (saying 'happy holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas' and seeing ads for 'holiday trees', 'holiday lights', and 'holiday gifts' instead of Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and Christmas gifts).
You begin to forget that the rest of the country has a whole different mind-set.
It was surprising and refreshing to see such an open display of Faith along the road on billboards, and at a rest stop we saw this:

And we saw crosses on many of the farms that we passed:

It really gave me a nice feeling having left New York after just hearing news of public school children that were told to tuck their crosses, and crucifixes, and religious medals into their shirts, and not to display rosary beads. It's as if anything Christian should be hidden away like it's something dirty or something to be ashamed of, which is mind-boggling when you think about it, especially in New York where there is usually an 'anything goes' atmosphere, except I'm seeing a lot of tolerance for everything except Christianity lately. So this was a very nice change of pace for me.

Okay, back inside the car, Jayden passed some time sleeping...

...or watching movies...

...but no sleeping or distractions for the driver though!

Okay, almost time to stop and rest for the night after the first day's long drive and someone is very happy to hear that news!

The room was really nice...

...and we were all happy to climb into these beds early that night!


  1. You shared so many nice photos of the first day. Your family vacations must be something you all look forward to every year.

    Oh my, such a beautiful trip - and so you continue to write those loving and cherished chapters of your grand children's young lives. Great pictures. I love the Shenandoah Valley area - so lovely. Wonderful - thanks for sharing these special family vacations. :-)

    love to you

  3. Hi Eileen!
    I am so glad that you decided to take the road trip. There is so much to see in this beautiful country. We traveled by car a lot while I was growing up and have many memories of different places. Jayden looks so grown up and that he enjoyed the ride as well. Beautiful shots that you took along the way!
    Yes I know all about the run away truck ramps. I don't think that Jake has ever had to use one, Thank God! But they are there for a reason! I'm enjoying the ride so far, can't wait to see more! Love Ya, Di ♥

  4. I love seeing your family together making this trip. When we went to Disney World we drove the I95 as we were driving from the Maritimes and it was such a long drive. I so love the clean washrooms and I can't say enough about the wonderful people - loved them.
    Great post sweetie, looking forward to more.
    Big Hugs...:-)

  5. Jayden is so cute, Eileen! That is a long drive to Florida, we haven't done it recently, but have several times. My grandparents lived in Virginia, so the Shenandoah Valley is very familiar and is a beautiful area! Have a safe trip and enjoy Disney World!

  6. Senior Moment!!!
    This was in've been there and back!

    I've been boggled by a new computer and Windows 7 Eileen...

  7. Oh, Wanda, don't worry about it, I am the same way! I am still having so much trouble with this blog, so I don't know how much I'll be able to post about the trip. I set up a post for tomorrow but it already posted! I guess that's better than not at all.
    I didn't know your grandparents lived in Virginia, it is such a pretty state, I wouldn't mind living there.

    Wow, Bernie, you did have a long trip! We met lots of folks from England and they say they'd rather do Disney here than in England because Americans are so much more polite! I almost fell over when I heard that one!

    So glad, Diana, that Jake didn't ever have to use one of those truck ramps!

    Thanks, Techno Babe and Gail for visiting and for your kind comments. I've been following your move, Techno, at times I envy you, and at other times I wonder how you ever did it!
    Gail, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.

  8. This looks like so much fun! I really love your music too. Willie Nelson has always been one of my favorite artists. It seems like Christains are taking knocks all over our country so it was very nice to see these religious displays. Here in our area they are trying to stop my old hometown Catholic church from ringing it's bells.

  9. Eileen, looks like a fun trip! I haven't been through the mountains in a long time, but they are beautiful. And I agree, I like the backroads. I always drive through the Ocala National Forest on the way from St. Augustine to Central Florida. It's a little longer but worth it!

    I love that truck that said Jesus Christ is Lord not a swear word! How true!



  10. Was your hotel a Marriott? The carpet made me think maybe it is. It was really fun seeing your trip!
    Oh my the scenery was GORGEOUS. All that greenery!
    I have heard of Crackle Barrel restaurants but I don't think we have them around here because I don't remember ever eating at one. I will try to find one on google.
    Oh and I so know what you mean about Merry Christmas. When someone says Happy Holidays to us I try to remember to always says Merry Christmas right back. And since when did we have to hide that we are Christians! I sure hope the schools aren't doing that here too. Love the sign on that truck!