Rachel and I just got back today from our summer vacation. This is only the second real vacation we have taken as a family (in 2005 Rachel, Bridger and I spent a week in Nova Scotia) and it is the first vacation where I actually felt like I got some R & R and didn’t feel more tired when it was over than when it started–this to me is the mark of a great vacation. Here’s what we did…

  • Day 1: Woke at 5 AM – hurried to load the kids and our stuff in the car en route to Brookings, SD. We pulled in to Rachel’s parent’s driveway at midnight (total miles driven: 1030 – OUCH!).
  • Days 2-4: Hung out and relaxed with Rachel’s family – several extended family members drove from various places to see us.
  • Day 5: Woke at 6 AM and drove to Sioux Falls (50 miles) to catch an 8:30 plane to Philly. Landed in Philly (900 airmiles) around 1 PM and hung out with friends in the city until about 9 PM before rushing out to the suburbs so I could play pickup basketball with the guys I used to play with – was a great game!
  • Days 6-10: Stayed around Glenside hanging out with various friends, attended Westminster’s graduation, placed 4th in the 3rd annual Moser Birthday Settlers Bash, and found a much needed respite at New Life PCA on Sunday morning. We didn’t realize how spiritually malnourished we’ve been until we were at New Life. After church, we drove down to the Jersey shore to spend a few days relaxing on the beach with our good friends, Amy & David (total miles: 100).
  • Days 10-11: Hung out, drank beer, and went to the beach with David & Amy. Perhaps the highlight of day 10 was sitting around my laptop after the kids were in bed watching clips of “New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk parody” called Flight of the Conchords. This first one is my personal favorite (and Amy’s) called Business Time and the second clip is also quite funny called Think about, Think, Think about it (BTW…for our Philly friends, these guys are playing a show there on June 12th). These clips are from an HBO show they did in 2006. (We ended the day by packing everything up and driving back to Philly (total miles: 100).
  • Day 12: Woke up at 5 AM again and caught an early flight back to Sioux Falls (total airmiles: 900). We made it back around 1 PM – just in time to catch a lunch with our good friends, Steve and Charissa Van Roekel. Steve is currently pastoring a church out in the middle of nowhere in Chancellor, South Dakota. Then we drove back to Brookings (total miles: 50).
  • Days 13-16: These were some of the best days of the whole trip. We lounged around Grandma & Grandpa’s house while they took care of the kids. We caught up on some reading – saw Pirates of the Caribbean III (sorry Cryder’s, but we weren’t impressed with this one either) as well as Shrek the 3rd (also not the greatest, but Bridger liked it).
  • Day 17: We hopped back in the car and drove from Brookings, SD to Billings where we decided to call it a day by staying in a hotel where we could all relax and have fun in the pool (though Bridger would not leave the safety of the third step). Nonetheless it was very relaxing except at bedtime when we realized that our room was right beside the pool door which banged shut every 5 minutes until 11:00 pm and then woke us up at 3:30 am. Miraculously the kids slept through it (total miles: 700)!
  • Day 18: Got out of bed around 6:30 and after packing up, trying to get a discount on our room since we didn’t exactly sleep well, and throwing down a pretty decent continental breakfast, we hopped back in the car and continued our westward bearing. After a 15 minute stop in Bozeman to say hi to my sister (and one unscheduled stop beside the road to show Bridger that I would indeed pull the car over) we arrived home in Missoula. The grass in the backyard was tall, some new flowers were in full bloom, but for the most part everything was exactly as we had left it. Home sweet home (total miles: 345).

It was a great vacation. We saw so many great friends and made some new memories. We realized that we can still drive long distances without killing the kids (though we came close a few times towards the end). The first thing we did when we got back to Missoula was buy Bridger a new car seat since he has pretty much worn his old one out. We logged around 4500 miles total including the flights. If you want to see some pictures of the trip – check out Rachel’s blog (Suther Land). I’m sure she’ll be posting some pics there soon.