It's challenging to summarize a year/fourteen months of travels in just one short post, but with this phase of our adventure at an end, I'd like to point out some favorites: You'll notice that there are hyperlinks for the national parks, state parks, and museums that will take you to a separate post with the top (as voted by those old enough to vote in our family) parks, etc. visited on our adventure.
1-Visiting Friends & Family -- Hands down, this has been the most fun of our adventure! Relationships trump "stuff" every time. We will never regret the time we spent with others, period. Rekindling friendships, making new friends, and sharing life with family we don't live close to made priceless memories that we'll cherish for a lifetime.
2-National Parks & State Parks aka "The Great Outdoors" -- Visiting National Parks all over the US was awesome! Learning history, geography, and science, all while experiencing God's creation firsthand was great for everyone. We certainly didn't make it to all of them; we had to leave some for later vacations, you know!
The kids learned so much from various Junior Ranger programs, and we did, too! Of course, just getting out there and experiencing God's amazing creativity and imagination, all for us to enjoy and explore, was fabulous.
3-Museums -- I have a confession to make...prior to this adventure, I had no great love for museums. I did occasionally go to them, but I often found myself overwhelmed with the massive amount of information, as well as the crowds. Certainly, I got stretched in this area, and I have to say that there are definitely some incredible museums out there that are very much worth your time and your money to visit!
4-Campgrounds -- We stayed at probably over 50 different places on our trip. These highlight the best ones.
Ultimately, I think all of our family learned that, pretty much no matter where you go, there will be great things about that place, and perhaps some not-so-great things. When you are visiting a place at just the right time, with perfect weather, perfect amount of people, etc., there is no place better in the world to be! I'm happy to say that we managed some of those moments of pure perfection, and I'm also happy to say that there were moments that didn't seem so perfect on the surface that we embraced and made priceless memories just the same! I definitely want to remember that as we go forward--whether on-the-road or not--embrace where you are! You are not confined by circumstances!