Sunday, 29 June 2014

Texas Roadtrip--Camping in Big Bend and a Giveaway!

vintage camper quilt block2

It's the sound of fighting that wakes you up. The kids have been bickering back-and-forth the entire trip over DVD's, iPads, snacks, and anything else they can think of. You are exhausted, have a sunburn on half your body from sitting in the passenger seat, and have been tormented for the last 9 hours by constant arguing, the buzzing of every-technological device known to man, and the occasional outburst from your husband yelling about slow drivers on the road. You can't wait to get there. You need this. You ALL need this. Your children have become way too absorbed in their "virtual" worlds of texting, Facebook, and video games . They need to get outside, breathe some clean air, and take the freakin' headphones out of their ears.

“Don’t touch me!” your daughter yells.

“Well then stop looking at me!” your son exclaims.

"Guys, PLEASE!!! Just be quiet--we are almost there" you beg them.

“I’m bored.”’ your youngest son whines.

“How can you be bored? You got your iPAD." And you think to yourself that it's the same thing he would be doing at home.

"But I can't get on YouTube."

“Don’t worry, we’ll be there soon. There’s going to be all kinds of fun things for you to do. We can go horseback riding, and hiking--we’re going to be roughin’ it like the cowboys. We’ll be cooking over a fire, roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories. And that reminds me, I even read online that there’s a ghost town nearby!”

He perks up. “Are there really ghosts there?!”

“No stupid” your daughter decides to chime in.

“Thank you for contributing Casey, but don’t call your brother stupid.” Turning your attention back to your son you say “it’s an abandoned mining town with lots of old buildings to explore.”

Looking disappointed, your son slumps back in his seat. You look out the window at the landscape but there's not a whole lot to look at…mostly just dirt, a few spiky plants, and some low-lying hills in the distance. You grab your phone to text your sister. “Great, there’s no cell phone service!” you say outloud.

“Well…” your husband glances over at you with a know-it-all-look, “this is what you wanted. No technology, right?”. Unlike you, he wanted to take a vacation in an air-conditioned hotel with cable.

You want to tell him to be quiet, but you just roll your eyes. “Of course it is” you remind yourself and glance out the window again.

And then your daughter yells out again “This is so stupid! How am I going to talk to my friends out here? Is there even going to be any shopping?”

There’s not even so much as a Wal-Mart where you’re going. “Honey, I’m sure they’ll have some gift shops with some cute turquoise jewelry or something. Or maybe we can all get matching T-shirts with the name of the park written on it!”

“Seriously Mom? It’s not funny. All of my friends are going to the beach for vacation, but we’re going to some stupid campground out in the middle of nowhere and there’s probably not going to be anyone to hang out with.” You think to yourself that she is probably right. The place you’re going is one of the most sparsely populated places in the US. But that’s what attracted you to it in the first place. The only sounds you’d hear would be the sounds of nature—no constant buzz of technology to invade your thoughts. And the scenery is supposed to be breathtaking. It's the Texas version of the Grand Canyon. “And what about you guys?" she says. "You don’t even have your sewing machine.”

“Your dad and I will be fine. I have my hexies and brought along some books I've been wanting to read. " But secretly you are worried. You can't remember the last time you went more than a few days without sewing. And normally your vacations are conveniently located near a fabric shop or quilt show, but this time there's not going to be anything like that--unless you decide to drive a few extra hours. But you'll be fine, right? You really do have so many unfinished projects at home that you would have loved to finish. But you tell yourself it's okay. You are too attached to quilting. It's on your mind constantly, and this will be nice stress free break. You don't have to worry about blogging, checking instagram or Pinterest. But then the thought enters your mind, that while you're out here in the sticks, someone is probably going to come out with the most amazing design ever and you're going to miss it! You really should have taken a vacation on the coast somewhere. The kids would be happy and occupied and you could check-out the local art, do some fabric shopping, and still be able to get internet access. But it's too late to change your mind--your husband would freak out if you asked him. "No", you tell yourself, "this is going to be great". But you don't even believe the words you're thinking. And you realize you are just as bad as the kids. You turn around and look at them and they all look miserable.

You turn back around just in time to see an exit sign out for a gas station with the disclaimer that says “last fuel stop until Big Bend National Park-- 45 miles”.

You lean in to your husband and say, "I bet Galveston is really nice this time of year." And it's his turn to roll his eyes.

                                                         *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Okay, I'm not trying to talk anyone out of Big Bend, because the scenery is supposed to be beautiful, but just beware, it is really desolate, there's not a Wal-Mart (or quilt shops) and you probably won't get cell phone service. But if you like camping, hiking, nature, and kayaking this would be a great destination. And there really is a ghost town to explore in Terlingua. As for the story above--it is not true--but I imagined it probably could be. 

So anyway, now onto the quilt block. For the block I wanted to make something that represented camping--since that's what you'll probably be doing if you go to Big Bend. So I made a vintage camper. Click here to download the instructions.

Vintage camper quilt block


I sent Melissa the instructions to test, and she sent this pic back of her camper with the cute bunting!!!


So I had to add some bunting on mine too--but I still like the arrangement of the bunting on Melissa's better:)

vintage camper quilt block2


I also have been adding some things to the outside of my quilt, so after I read about the ghost town, I decided to make one for my quilt. When it was all done it looked more like the downtown area of small-town Texas, so now I've appropriately named it "Downtown Small Town" and it's about 8.5" x 17". If you would like to make one of your own, you can get the instructions here:
  

Downtown Small Town

Note: You'll have to excuse my photos...it's been dark and rainy all weekend!

And now for the giveaway...

Aurifil has generously given us tons of thread to giveaway, so if you've been following along you've probably seen the giveaway a few times before. But that makes your chances of winning even better right? We're giving away a designer mystery pack of thread, and Aurifil color chart, and a sample pack of thread of the same color in different weights. The winner will get all three! So, to enter, just leave me a comment and tell me about your most memorable vacation. Also, make sure you to leave your email if you are a no-reply blogger so I can notify if you win. If you aren't sure if you a no-reply blogger, then leave your email just in case:)  

Thanks for stopping by on the Texas Roadtrip QAL!


72 comments:

  1. Super cute block, especially with the bunting!

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  2. Please post the instructions for the ghost town.

    My most memorable vacation was when five families went on a lake vacation. It was a week of being a servant to everyone else. Our family had taken our car, our van, and our ski boat. Finally, I left my husband and two children in another state and came home. When I got home, I had to call him and tell him that his uncle, his dad's only sibling had suffered a heart attack and had been Life Flighted to our town. The next day he packed up the car and boat and stopped to get a bite to eat. Our daughter said she didn't feel good. Just as he picked her up, she passed out in his arms. He called me from the hospital. When he got home with the children, I was in bed asleep from the exhaustion from being asleep. He was mad that I was asleep - I had offered to go to the hospital. It was just about WWIII. Oh, yeah, his dad had just died less than two months earlier.

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  3. Funny how kids can be on a road trip.... Never failed that when we were about 30 - 45 min from our destination, our kids would begin 'misbehaving' and it was usually within city limits as we were encountering heavy traffic!! Our most memorable vacations were road trips east to the Canadian Maritimes and out west to Alberta!!

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  4. OH sew cute!! I am a Texan living in Florida and one of the few family trips I remember was a trip to Big Bend. The ghost town was amazing to the 11 year old me and the park was really cool. That was the first time I saw a live roadrunner and a real tumbleweed. I would love to make both the camper AND the ghost town! Would you share the ghost town with me? Maybe I will add a little tumbleweed :) Thank you for creating these additions to the Texas QAL!

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  5. Being a Dallasite, I've never been very far into western Texas, but I remember going to Sea World San Antonio a few years ago. A few hours after our day started, I suffered a bout of heat exhaustion, so I went back to the hotel with our littlest one. My husband stayed with our other two kids, just to have our little covered Radio Flyer wagon stolen while they were eating lunch. The next day we came home. Most memorable, but not most favorite. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. I went to Hawaii about 6 years ago, and it was wonderful! I am going back this August and I cannot wait! :)

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  7. We just returned from Alaska in celebration of our 25 the wedding anniversary. Tracy arm is the prestine land untouched by man. I will remember that part of Alaska for the rest of my life!

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  8. Our ultimate and challenging camping trip was our home in the deep south to Bozeman, Wyoming. Oh Yeah!! There were 4 adults and 2 teenagers in a 34' RV out for a summer adventure. What an adventure it was. Except for the A/C going out in Texas. lol, it was a great trip..

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  9. I love your block and the story behind it! One of my most memorable vacations was a couple years ago when I visited the Grand Canyon- we hiked in the canyon and flew in a helicopter above it- it was amazing!

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  10. Train trip to see the western National Parks. We saw about 8 parks, and rode the train in between. No getting lost, searching for hotel. Everything was taken care of. Sit back and relax, taken in the western views.
    24Tangent "at" gmail "dot" com

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  11. I love Big Bend. Once I went there on a trip that included Marfa. I love your ghost town block. At first I thought it was the Prada store in Marfa.

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  12. My husband and I love camping, we do that a lot! We have done half of Rte 66, California, Florida, and I think our favorite is exploring the plantations in Charleston, SC. I've always wanted to go to Big Bend, but have never been able to.
    missysaprons@gmail.com

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  13. Last year my husband and I spent 2 weeks in the Dominican Republic. It was amazing!

    I have been to Big Bend. It was beautiful. The small towns in the vicinity are also wonderful.

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  14. Your block is the cutest, thanks for sharing! I still remember a trip to London, some years ago. Best times, ever!

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  15. THANKS FOR SHARING A GREAT GIVEAWAY!
    We had a great time in St.Augustine, Fl. -beaches so fine-nice weather with lots of fun!
    Happy Summer All !

    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  16. I love the RV square and the small town downtown is wonderful! PLEASE POST THE DIRECTIONS.

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  17. So cute! We definitely want the small town pattern, too!!!! :)

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  18. I love the RV and the small town is adorable too!

    My most memorable vacation was a few years ago - it was the first vacation my then-fiancee and I were taking together so we decided that we might as well go big and we eloped! So vacation/honeymoon all in one.

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  19. My most memorable vacation was when we went to a family reunion in northern MN and then went on to Thunder Bay in Canada, down to Lake Superior and then back to Kansas. It was a great three weeks.

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  20. I'd say it was a trip with the kids to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

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  21. Love the camper block and can't wait to give it a try! Our go to vacation spot is Galveston but think we need to change it up with a big bend adventure.

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  22. Cute Camper, please post the instructions for the small town ghost town! Thanks for sharing. If you love texas patterns, you might check mine out. http://www.quiltingqueenonline.com/p/quilt-patterns.html

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  23. My most memorable vacation was going to Disney last year with a good friend and her kiddos...we had so much fun! I am really enjoying the quilt along too!

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  24. Would love the instructions for the ghost town block, super cute ! Best vacation was my honeymoon with my husband to disney with no kids lol. We had a blast and ate at victoria and alberts in a private dinning room it was the best food I have ever had. It was during the food and wine festival it was so much fun ! Thank you for the give away !

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  25. If I had to pick out of my adult life, it would be the camping trip with friends where I happened to meet my now husband.

    If I had to pick from childhood, the memory that stands out to me the most is going to the Oregon sand dunes and running up and rolling down over and over. I have no idea what my parents were thinking!

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  26. My most memorable are the ones where I get to sit, relax and hang out with family. Which is what we will be doing for the 4th this week. We go visit my in laws. I I know most like to go somewhere like an amusement park, but it is a nice, stress free vacation from home.

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  27. My most memorable vacation was when I took my 3 girls to Vernal Utah to see the dinosaur dig. We spent the night just outside of WY, at a campground, it was nighttime and the camp host showed us to an empty space for tents. After I put up the tent, we all went to sleep, much to my horror when I awoke the next morning we were camped less then 50 ft. from the edge of a cliff that went down more than 500 ft. I will never forget getting my 2, 4 and 7 yrs. back into the car. As I left the camping area I was thinking, thank goodness the girls were all sleeping in the car while I put up the tent and not running around excited to be out in the wilderness. After that I always looked up camp sites and inspected them before getting out of the car, and never again at night......

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  28. Such a cute block. It reminds me of all the insect collecting trips I took in college!

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  29. It sounds just about like the one you envisioned above :) We took our 2 kids on a big 6 State road trip and went through Monument Valley a very desolate part of the US and I was very surprised when my 5 yr. old son used the bored word, I didn't even know that he knew that word.

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  30. Most memorable vacation...have only been away couple times...but have to say..going to North Carolinsa to visit our Daughter...and getting to spend a day at the Ocean!! Gorgeous!!! We had two delightful fun filled weeks with her..saw alot of NC..even went to a quilt show!!

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  31. That would have to be my first motorcycle trip to the Sturgis motorcycle rally where I ended up getting married in a gas station parking lot.

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  32. The most memorable vacation for me would have to be the first time we took our two sons, ages 4 and 9 months, to Disney World in Florida. At one point the flight down to Florida got a little rough and our 4 year old held onto his father and yelled "I love you Daddy!" Several of the other passengers commented on how precious that was. We made it safe and sound to Disney and had the most wonderful time. Except for the morning we did breakfast with Mickey....our 9 month old would cry every time one of the characters would come to our table. We had so much fun!

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  33. My most memorable vacation was a trip to Rome. We stayed in a bed and breakfast two blocks from the Colosseum !
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  34. Mine was probably when I was a kid and fell down a really large hill face first. Och!
    Theresa N
    weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  35. Hmmm, Disneyland with my girls or camping with my dad when I was little

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  36. We went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons a couple of years ago - beautiful country. Had my first ever horseback ride (only an hour ride, which was just right).
    Thanks,
    Peggy
    peggy_verdongibbs@att.net

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  37. Six years ago, when my daughter was 3, we took a trip tomGermany to visit my mothers side of the family. Such a memorable experience!!!

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  38. Williamsburg Virginia with my husband and 2 sons. We had a blast and learned a lot. Best vacation.

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  39. We tented in Yellowstone Park with our 3 daughters and a dog. We had a wonderful time even as the bears wandered around the outside our tent at night.

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  40. Most memorable vacation was going to spend Christmas with my grandmother while she was still with us. Brought the whole family together.

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  41. Oh my goodness, your blocks are adorable! Memorable vacations...Bath with my mom and sister. We ended up dancing with a RAF Rugby squad 1/2 our age! lol pbstrand@msn.com

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  42. Most memorable vacation -- will probably be the one we are on right now. Our kids are finally old enough to enjoy road trips, and we've just driven from PA across to MN, and then flown to Alaska for 2 weeks. We are seeing lots of family and lots of new sights and have been doing some really incredible things! sarah@forrussia.org

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  43. Have loved traveling, living and working internationally and throughout the US. But some of my favorite trips have been to my parent's lake place in east Texas. Family, feasts, water skiing. Wind in my hair gliding across the water. Hugs, laughter, time together. Cherished memories!

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  44. So far my most memorable vacation would be driving from Ohio to Massachusetts and visiting the Salem witch museum and I think there was a Anne of Greene Gables museum. Then a lobster dinner on the ocean! Loved it but didn't have much time to do more. Thanks for the giveaway I love those campers and I like your bunting better!

    tdkcarpenoctem@hotmail.com


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  45. My most memorable vacation was when we went on Honeymoon. We went on a mini cruise and visited five different European cities. The best thing about it though was that we actually got to spend five whole kid free days together!

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  46. My favourite vacation was a golfing trip. My husband and I just went where ever the wind blew us and we golfed all of the small courses along the way. Very unstructured and very relaxing. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  47. most memorable vacation was my honeymoon in Santorini. When we went, there was little to no cell service, not much to do but watch the sunset on the patio with a bottle of wine. felt like the middle of nowhere with the most beautiful views ever!
    allisonpogany@gmail.com

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  48. I LOVE your camper!!! I have to say the bunting on both looks great, and this is a block I will love trying out! Also when I was younger I used to love going to Big Bend...way before the internet....
    ruth.griffeth@att.net

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  49. We loved our 2 week trip to Alaska and would love to go back:)

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  50. My most memorable was just last year as we drove across Saskatchewan to Manitoba! I never had been across the "prairies" and apparently it was supposed to be horribly flat...... well, I found the trip most beautiful with a "few" rolling hills. On the way back we decided to take North Dakota...now THAT is FLAT!....that is until we entered a little valley in the middle of nowhere and discovered a little jewel called Medora! Absolutely the BEST! We are planning our next drive to purposely get to Medora! You never know where your travels take you or what jewels you will find in the world! Wonder if they have a quilt shop? PS...thanks for the giveaway!

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  51. Mine was when I was 12. We drove from the Midwest to the west coast and even visited Mexico. It was a four week vacation and we hit all the national parks. I loved the ocean, we spent a week on the ocean and I just loved it. It was the best summer of my life. natalie.k711(at)gmail(dot)com

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  52. Hey Cristina: Great story! As Bill Cosby says, you're not a parent until you have two kids... and one says he's looking at me! So funny. As for Big Bend and Terlingua - there is in fact a quilt store there!!! Its called Quilts Etc by Margaruite. Beautiful little shop that sells lots of finished quilts from quilters in the region, plus fabrics, baskets and gifts! My husband I made the trip from Houston late last year... Big Bend is always beautiful. That camping trip awaits you! (By the way, please remove me from the drawing).

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  53. Five years ago I visited the Panama Canal and went white water rafting in Costa Rica and had a wonderful time. I love vacations.

    tushay3(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  54. We used to camp a lot until we bought a trailer and some mountain land to put it on. Now I can't get hubby to go anywhere! He loves his mountain. Thanks.

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  55. We used to camp alot in a tent. Haven't done any camping for a few years now though. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  56. Great block!
    We've spent our best family holidays on a tiny island off the west coast of Ireland with no phone signal, internet etc !!

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  57. Such a cute block. I love to camp. In fact my husband and I took our most memorable camping trip ever. A couple years ago we took 21 days to travel to CA from NC. We camped along the way. It was the best time ever. I want to do it again.

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  58. What a fun block!! I can't wait to make this one.

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  59. Just after our son's college graduation in 2012 we took a trip to southern Utah and visited a bunch of National Parks. We wore ourselves out hiking, but the scenery was some of the most amazing we had ever seen.

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  60. I love your vacation story, and your block! Your vacation reminds me of one of my most memorable vacations. My parents loaded all six of us kids (all under 8 years old) into a station wagon to make a 12 hour drive to the Black Hills (in July, before there was air conditioning in cars). I remember some good times picnicking and seeing breathtaking Mt Rushmore, lots of fights and some vomiting in the car, and pushing each other out of bed when we slept 4 to a bed in motels. It's still a wonderful childhood memory. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  61. we love to drive as a family so we embarked from the south east coast to the mid west. My then 9yoa son loved to navigate and did so splendidly from the front seat. As we were about to cross the tri state line of Kentucky/Indiana/ohio, I'm in the far left lane and have 5 lanes to my right. Mind you it's rush hour and we're ontop of a steel bridge over the Ohio River. When suddenly my 9yoa navigator says "mom you need to be over there...5 lanes to my right:)" Well he very patiently and without panic, navigated me across those 5 lanes of rush hour traffic and we arrived at our destination unscathed! We laugh about it now..he's 32yoa!

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  62. We've had many vacation camping trips with 4 children and yes, they do bicker. On one, I gave each child a roll of quarters at the beginning of the trip. I told them that each time they acted up, they had to give me a quarter and whatever they had left when we arrived at our destination, they could spend on whatever they wanted. Eventually, all I had to do was hold out my hand. After losing several quarters, the orneriest of the four just said "Here, take the rest of them. I'll probably lose all of them anyway." Didn't quite make my point, did I?

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  63. A couple of years ago, my husband and I took a roadtrip with my sister, her husband and their 1 year old, from DC up to Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montreal, Vermont, Connecticut, Boston, New York, and back home to Virginia! We did it all in about 10 days - maybe even less! It was crazy, especially with the 1 year old, but it was a great trip, made especially memorable by all the great food we had along the way!

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  64. My most memorable holiday was a few years ago when I went to Barnard Castle (UK), it's only about 4 hours from my home but I've never been there. I've always wanted to though. My parents have been telling me all my life we have a castle. It's "our" castle even if it is in ruins.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

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  65. My most memorable vacation was when we took our boys to Disneyland...they loved it!

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  66. My most memorable holiday was my last trip back to New Zealand valerie.boudier@ntlworld.com

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  67. When my two oldest were still really little we went to the Oregon Coast and spent the nights in Yurt just off the beach. We had so much fun playing on the beach and then visited an aquarium.

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  68. My most memorable trip was to Hawaii and a pre teen. I may have been with my parents but it was a beautiful place!

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  69. My family (my parents, three brothers and I) drove to Florida to visit my fourth brother and his family. Driving from Missouri. We went there twice.

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  70. My most memorable vacation came when I was soooo broke and fed up with just everything and everyone! I told the kids- we're going to the Grand Canyon and we'll camp. We took a cooler,stopped at any Mom and Pop store we could find to get a bag of ice and food for the day, AND TOOK OFF. Stopped wherever we could at day's end and had a wonderful time. All this in a mini truck with a canvas/steel frame camper shell,a camp stove and no experience. Even had to borrow the camp stove!. Best ever. Love your block. rjc2cam(at)gmail(dot)com

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