Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Texas Trip

For years, we have been promising my sisters in law that we would make the time to come to Texas and see them.  Literally - years.
But every Fall Break, Spring Break, Summer Break...... it seemed like we were either in Chicago, or at the beach, or at Disney World..... and so on and so forth.  So THIS Fall Break, I was determined to make it to Texas!  No more empty promises from us, no siree!  :-)

I looked into flying to Austin, but there just wasn't really a *great* direct route from our hometown to Austin.  The tickets were expensive, and we would have been driving over 4 hours to the airport anyway, so I decided to drive the 14 hours there by myself and then - in true Owens fashion- fly Big Daddy in mid week, and he would drive the 14 hours back home with me.

14 hours is a looooong time in the car!  So I made up these "Owens Family" travel books for the kids.  I figured it was something to keep them occupied, that didn't involve a screen.

I printed everything at home and was lucky enough to bind them at our church (Big Daddy 'sort of' works there.)  But you can have them bound at Office Depot, etc. for less than a dollar!

 I included coloring sheets of each state we would be driving through, plus the state bird, flower and flag.  (Do you know what the state bird of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, AND Texas is????  I'll give you a clue - it's all the SAME BIRD!  How crazy is that?  :-)

 For my football obsessed JR, I also included some college football coloring sheets.

Then, I also searched Pinterest for some free printable Road Trip games.  My kids LOVED these!  It took 3 states before we saw a Fire Truck and they looked for 2 days!  Awesome.

I also included some maps of places we would be visiting on the way home.  Places like Memphis, where the plan was to eat at the Rendevous, see the Peabody Ducks, maybe walk down Beale and visit Graceland.

Before this trip, my kids had no idea who Elvis was (the horror!)  So I downloaded some Elvis songs off of iTunes and played them in the car.  My kids LOVED them!  They are definite Elvis fans now.  Graceland had some fun, free activity sheets on their website, so I printed them off and included them in the book:

And you know how much we love the License Plate game!!!

Even the back of the book served as a source of fun for ML.  She used hers to draw a 'girl octopus.'  :-)
I used carstock for the front and back covers to give them a little more 'heft' and protection.  And these books survived - these are the after shots of the books.  I'd say they held up pretty well.

Nothing like an Owens Family Road Trip!
We didn't take pics at the state sign for Arkansas - it was in the middle of the bridge over the Mississsippi River, who does that?????  Don't they know???? - Ha! :-) or Texas - it was 9pm at night and raining.  But these were fun to take.  They were 4 lane highways though.  Don't know if I'd have let them out of the car if we'd been on an interstate.
So fun!