I was worried and had every right to be. But this journey turned out to be nothing to worry about.
We left the house at our prescribed time, 5:00 a.m. and got on the road. The kids actually did go back to sleep for a little while and we did not have to make our first stop until 7:30 - because The Costello's run on Dunkin! We popped right back into the car and traveled for hours more. We spent the day listening to music, the kids watched lots of Netflix, played lots of games on our new iPad and listened to audio books. What they did not do was fight, cry or throw up. It was just the weirdest thing!
When I realized that our route would take us so close the Shenandoah National Park, I could not resist the urge to at least pass through. The road that goes through the park, Skyline Drive, follows the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 105 miles. We were only able to do 30 miles of the park, but that was enough to know where I'd like to head back to for some spring camping.
With just a few brief stops, we made it to our prescribed goal of the kitschy, neon-fueled tourist trap - South of the Border. We plied the kids with cheap, Mexican-themed souvenirs and adequate Mexican food.
See how happy they look?! It was unbelievable. We had pre-determined that if the kids were doing well at this point, we would push through a little further. A few hours later we bunked at the Best Western Plus in Santee, SC and we can recommend it if you are headed that way.
The following day went just as well and we arrived at our destination. I am really pleased that we chose an off-property house, in a quiet neighborhood with a private pool and bedrooms for everyone. It was a more economical choice for our family of six and provided all the amenities of home - oh, except the huge master suite with soaking tub and a lock on the door - don't know how I am expected to live here without one!We spent the night preparing to enter or first Disney Park - Animal Kingdom. We packed a backpack wth what we considered essentials, charged the iPhones and camera and briefed the kids about a wake up time that they were clearly not accustomed too - 7:00 a.m.
We were obviously in unchartered territory and looking forward to the adventure.