Our 5 Year Old Traveled to all 50 States

May 2, 2018

From Hawaii to Maine.

*pause* if you haven't read my post 'From Dream Home to Nomad Living' or 'First Stop - Family Time in Maui' make sure to head over there. *un-pause*

With just one week out of our house our plan to finish visiting all 50 States before Little Phil turned 5 was going well. Morale was high, Little Phil was all on board and is literally the best traveller, and *slowly pats own back* I was slaying the packing & always having the essentials game if I do say so myself. We had minimal car sickness so big thumbs up there. 

With Hawaii checked off the states Little Phil had left to visit were Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. Oh and we needed to be in Chicago by Thanksgiving. So 23 days. We got this.

We made it back to San Diego just in time for Little Phil to put on his Lego Ninjago costume, he was Kai, for trick or treating with friends. Man, they sure take Halloween seriously in San Diego. I guess it must have to do with the fact that it's warm and people keep their doors open etc. The amount of candy Little Phil got from just walking a few blocks was CRAZY. He had a blast and it made cutting our time in Hawaii short worth it to see him (or not really see him seeing as he was completely covered head to toe) dressed up as a Lego, try to walk as a Lego, try to talk through his huge Lego mask. Halloween = success.

After a good night's rest, getting some work wrapped up, we hit up our favorite salad bar at Lazy Acres (grocery store happiness right there) and as we crunched our lettuce we drove off into the sunset.

Just like that. 2 years of San Diego dwelling wrapped up in a beautiful sunset and a lot of amazing memories. Dang nab it my allergic-to-tears eyes even got a bit moist.

Driving off into the sunset always seems so perfect at the end of those movies, right? In real life what's weird is when you drive off...life keeps going. Wait...

...an hour outside of Phoenix, day one of our official "finish 50 states" road trip, our car decided it wasn't going along with us on our journey. Kind of a bummer. Took it in and the repairs cost more than the value of the vehicle. We quickly figured out a plan B. Left our car and rented an SUV with a one way rental and drove off on our way to Texas. Biggity boom. Biggity bang. That's how you overcome obstacles folks. *bows and exits stage left*

Having road tripped how many thousands and thousands of miles together there is one thing we try not to do any more. Overnighters. You miss so much driving through the night! It messes with your health, your mood, your enjoyment of the whole trip. EW. So if we don't absolutely have to we don't drive through the night. That said, we do drive some good, long stretches. *rubs butt*

One of the best things about traveling is getting to meet new friends and visit with old ones. 
This trip was the perfect example of that! In just about every single state we went through we got to either see family or hang with friends we hadn't seen in eons, and we met so many awesome humans along our way! 
The people just made our trip that much better!

We had an absolute blast and besides the car drama we were able to make the trip relatively stress free. Big cheer from the mom/easily stressed side of me.

We weren't on a mission to see or do too much in particular and that was kind of nice to just be chill without too much of an activity plan. With that said I'm not going to do any recommendations for places to stop etc in this post though I guess I could...meh...nah. Don't feel like it. I will say there's so much good, good, good food, coffee, desserts, museums, memorials, parks, sites and sights in this gorgeous country and there's that for now.

We all three wrapped up visiting all 50 states together as a family. I can't even believe it. My mom dream came true. Now if we have more kiddos it'll have to be our tradition. *crazy Esther wink at Phil*

I can't thank my incredible Love Philip enough for not only humoring my crazy ideas BUT GOING ALL IN WITH ME and making it happen! Taking us on these adventures and making the best memories. Seriously means the world to me and I just can't even with how fantastic he is.

Little Phil and Mom's Road Trip Survival Check List:
  1. Snacks. Healthy ones because unhealthy happens naturally far too often when traveling. We love having organic apple sauce squeezes, lunch meat, sharp cheddar cheese & gluten free crackers ready to go in our cooler. We usually hit up a Trader Joes or similar grocery store at the beginning of any trips and stock up.
  2. Toys! Little Phil plays with legos, mini dinosaurs & hot wheels cars primarily.
  3. Drawing & Activity Books - now Little Phil sometimes gets carsick so we will monitor & limit reading, screen time & drawing to avoid that from happening, but he still does spend a good chunk of time either drawing or doing an activity book. We have been very intentional about encouraging Little Phil's creative side ever since he was a baby and finding mess free ways for him to create whenever he wants has become a bit of a life skill of mine. I highly recommend THESE activity books (they also have a ton of other types besides water) for traveling with kids - so good...especially for toddlers. Also, Usborne activity books have been a major favorite of ours. Who doesn't love a good pop up?!
  4. Speaking of carsick...these sea bands work so well!
  5. Water bottle! Letting Little Phil pick out his own fun water bottle at the beginning of the trip was a great move on our part. These Thermos ones work amazing for no spills and easy popping open and closed.
  6. A cozy fleece blanket.  No explanation needed. 
  7. This Travel Light. You're welcome.  
  8. Flushable wipes. Hand wipes. All the wipes! 
  9. Magic Erasers. Remember where I said we liked to encourage all the artsy side of Little Phil? Yeah. That's usually where these come in. We have avoided leaving many an accidental stray mark by utilizing these bad boys!
  10. Spot Treatment - this is my favorite so far of all of the different treatments out there. Though you can't beat the portability of a regular Tide 2 Go stick they do have a 2 ounce version of this spray that definitely is easy to carry along.
  11. First Aid kit, Essential Oils, Bug Spray, Flashlight, Ziplock Baggies, Medicine, Ear Drops, Natural Remedies. You just never know so I like to have it on hand.
That's just what I've got off the top of my head though I'm sure I'll remember some 

Alright, lets jump into road trip via photos & video. 

Alrighty Folks. That's all for now...

Peace, joy, and all that sincere & fluffy stuff, 

Allie Esther


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