My parents had surprised each of them with a new movie. They loved this new American Girl movie McKenna so much that they watched it a total of four times on the trip! I must admit it is nice having a DVD player in the van. I know I would have enjoyed that on all our journeys through the years!
It was sweet to see my children getting so excited about the little things on a road trip like I used to. After a few hours on the road we stopped and got them McDonald's pancakes (a huge treat for them; they love them dry, no syrup or anything) - they were thrilled!
Then at lunch time, we stopped in Georgia at Truett's, a place we had spotted on the way to camp. It is a Chick-fil-A (our favorite) but it has both a quick service area and an eat in diner.
It is so cute inside - we loved that the name of the city where we met in college was on the wall!
Trev was wide eyed with excitement over the train that was traveling around the top of the restaurant...
And I was equally excited about my burger that I ordered from the quick service menu!! I just had to try a burger at Chick-fil-A. And let me tell you, it was delicious!
A huge hit was that they let kids use the ice cream machine for a free cone. My two thought this was the best thing ever. After many hours on the road, this was the perfect stop!
After lunch we made it through Georgia...and Tennessee...and Kentucky...and actually didn't stop for the night until Indiana. The kids were being so pleasant and the sun was up so long that we were feeling good and kept going! Madi drew pictures of things she saw out of her window in her notebook from Miss Sandi as we went along.
We watched the sun go down as we made it through the last of Kentucky...
And we learned an important tip for traveling on the road....stop at the welcome center and pick up hotel coupon books. We saved close to 40% on our hotels by doing this, and it also gave us options to look at and consider. Since the kids had taken a good nap and been on the road for nearly 16 1/2 hours, we wanted to let them burn some energy. We got a steal on a nice little hotel with an indoor pool that was open until 11:00, so they had half an hour to swim hard before settling in for the night. I remember getting to swim at night on some of our stops in my childhood road trip days, and remember what a big deal it was. Madi and Trev thought it was the coolest!
They swam until the pool closed, then we showered up and (drumroll) let them get something from the vending machine. I know. This is huge when you are 5 and 7!! And since we have never had cable, the kids get the biggest kick out of watching the Food Network when we stay in hotels. After their shower and snack, they watched Cake Boss until about 12:30, then we finally all fell asleep. Needless to say we didn't rush them out of bed in the morning. I set the alarm for 8:45, just in time to make sure we didn't miss the free breakfast.
And then we were on the road again!