Thursday, July 28, 2016

30 Days of Mayhem: Retrospective

So we've had a bit of time to get away from each other.  Yes, we have spent a lot of time in our own rooms or at least in different rooms.  I, for one, have spent more time than usual in my room with the door closed.  I'll blame the door being closed on Ramona. She likes to chase the cats.  Its just easier to keep them separated.

My house is a disaster, still.  I think most of the suitcases have been unpacked.  They might have all been unpacked at this point, I honestly don't know.  The cooking box is still sitting on the dining room table as I haven't wanted to tackle it.  I really just don't know where many of those items are going to go and have not wanted to figure it out yet.  And then there is the stack of mail.  I have not been through all of it yet.  Bad, I know.  Good thing all the bills are paid electronically.

Now for the fun stuff.

1. What was your favorite place we visited?
Michael: Niagara Falls, Ellis Island and the Smithsonian American History Museum.  Niagara Falls was just cool with the volume and power.  Ellis Island because of the stories from the immigrants and thinking about grandparents coming through those very buildings.  American History Museum because it was full of cool stuff.
Rehm: NYC and DC.  I just kind of liked seeing places I had heard of before and seeing them in person was kind of cool.  And just getting to see some of the places where some of the most important decisions in the world are made and where some of the best television is made I though was really cool.
Charlotte: NYC.  (She didn't tell me more because she is telling me by text but she liked it best because there is so much Alexander Hamilton history there and because she got to see the theater where it is playing.) 
Ruby: Niagara Falls because it was beautiful
Eliza Claire: Niagara Falls and the Beach.  They felt the calmest to me.
Jenn: Connecticut.  I would love to go back there and spend a couple of weeks.  What a lovely state with beautiful scenery.  And our hosts, were the best!  Thanks Beth, Chuck and Andy. If I went back, I would want to do some day trips or mini trips to Boston, Vermont and Maine.  Niagara Falls, again gorgeous.  I love nature.  It was just mind boggling to watch. Pine Knoll Shores.  Nature again.  My most favorite place on earth.  If I could live anywhere, it would be PKS.

2. What was your least favorite place?
Michael: Times Square because we were tired and it was so crowded.
Rehm: Nashville.  I didn't think it was as interesting as everywhere else. 
Charlotte: The Crater of the Diamonds in Arkansas (Did you read that as Ar- Kansas?)
Ruby: New York City because it was crowded. It was cool.  I might want to go back eventually?
Eliza Claire: The Van.
Jenn: I think Arkansas. Maybe its because we lost the piece to the Instant Pot there.  Or maybe its because it was 10 million degrees when we were mining for diamonds and we didn't find any diamonds.  I don't know.  I would go back in the fall or spring, given the opportunity and try again.  I feel bad saying I didn't like it and I think it really was the weather more than anything.

3. What is something unexpected you liked about the trip?
Michael: How well the Roku worked. How much fun it was to cook in hotel rooms.  (He didn't do any of the actual cooking)
Rehm: I didn't think I'd like Connecticut as much as I did but I liked it a lot, especially all the nuclear submarine stuff.
Charlotte: Family time.  (I honestly don't know if this is Charlotte's answer to this question or the next.  She is answering via text.  I sent her three questions, she sent back two responses.  I'm guessing this is where this response goes.  It was either here or her favorite thing about the trip. I'll insert another answer here for Charlotte as well - Dramamine.  She loved being able to sleep in the van, not getting car sick, and not getting bored.  She probably loved the lack of boredom the most.)
Ruby: The fireworks in DC.  I kind of liked it with the cloud.  It was neat to get a different experience.
Eliza Claire: I didn't realized that we were as busy as we are when we are home - I liked that we got to spend a lot of time together.  
Jenn: I had really low expectations for the trip.  I really thought there would be more fighting and complaining than there was.  I also thought I would go crazy not having any alone time.  I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly things went and how much we all enjoyed it.  It was not nearly as stressful as I anticipated. Wow, don't I sound like the most pessimistic person ever? I liked how well everyone adapted and did what was needed to make the trip a success.

4. What was your favorite thing about the trip?
Michael: Getting to see so many cool things all together with all six of us.
Rehm: Seeing all the places I'd like to work or intern later in life, or possibly go to college.
Charlotte: See Charlotte's #3 answer.  She would not go back and answer more.  I said I would make up her answers for the ones she did not answer.  I'm going with her Hamilton shirt.  Seeing the Theater where it is playing.  She would be very annoyed that I do not know the name of the theater.  I could look it up.  But if she would have answered the question this would not be an issue.  Oh well.  And in general all things realating to Alexander Hamilton and the Revolution in any way shape or form were her favorites, made her light up, and start talking 90 miles an hour.
Ruby: Riding the boat into the Falls
Eliza Claire:  I liked playing dominoes in NC at the beach even though it was very loud and crazy because it was fun.
Jenn: Visiting with friends and family. It was so great to get to see friends and family we don't get to see frequently and to meet friends that I have known for 17+ years but never met in person. Relationships are so important to me and this was the highlight of my trip. The other thing that I loved and truly humbled me was the hospitality shown to our family by our friends and family. It is no small task to host a family of six and some many people went out of their way to do just that!  It left me complete speechless, grateful and awed.  The other thing that stands out as a favorite was sitting around the table having dinner and playing dominoes in our apartment on Staten Island.  It is such a treat to spend time all of us in one place that doing so while doing something so typical was just pure joy and a real highlight of the trip.

5. What is something you learned about yourself on the trip?
Michael: How nice it is to be unplugged from all work stuff. 
Rehm: I don't do well being with my family for 30 days straight, in close proximity. (He did great, he just didn't like it)
Charlotte: I need some wind down time
Ruby: I can't eat hotel biscuits and gravy for breakfast or I get car sick.  And I like marshmallows in my yogurt. (Breakfast in Niagara Falls had yogurt with lots of toppings)
Eliza Claire: I learned that I can get homesick.
Jenn: I really can spend this much time in small places with people and not explode.  It was close,but I did it.

6. Would you want to do a trip like this again?
Michael: Hesitant Yes - but it is a really long time to be away from the house.  Might prefer one or two smaller trips over the same time frame.
Rehm: possibly.  In five years? Yeah, sure.
Charlotte: Yes, I would think you were insane if you asked me this for real but eventually I would decided I wanted to go
Ruby: How soon? Not as big.  
Eliza Claire: Yes!
Jenn: Absolutely, with out a doubt, in a heartbeat! But please not this summer.

7. If, so where would you want to go next time?
Michael: I guess the Rocky Mountains or Europe
Rehm: More big cities - LA, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas
Charlotte: The west half of the country
Ruby: I don't care.  Anywhere.
Eliza Claire: Chicago, Oregon 
Jenn: Great Britain and Europe or Australia - so not happening but a girl can dream.

8. Is there anything else you want to say about the experience?
Michael: I was impressed overall with how well everyone coped with stuff. And all the cool things Jennifer could do to keep it running smooth (I'm just typing - he really did say that).
Rehm: America is pretty big and pretty diverse.
Charlotte: Next time we need to be better prepared for problems with the cooking and bring extra parts for anything that can break or come off of the Instant Pot.  I liked the way this trip was planned.  I liked that we had a plan of places to go but that there was flexibility in the plan as well.  
Ruby: It was really fun.   
Eliza Claire: I was very lucky to get to do this with my family.  
Jenn: I am so very glad we did this.  It was crazy and daunting to think about and plan.  We all went into it with a bit of trepidation, though I do think Michael and I did a good job of selling it to the kids.  My goal for this trip was to create lifelong family memories for us and we definitely did that.  The other goal was to give the kids a taste of many different places and experiences.  There is so much more we could have done in each and every location but that was not the goal.  The goal was to whet their appetite for travel and adventure and doing things that seem a bit crazy and impossible and that sometimes feel a bit scary (but not left on the subway scary).  I'd say we succeed on all counts.  

And that friends concludes 30 Days of Mayhem,
Reveille Rider over and out


Lacey Bayreuther said...

Your sentiments in #3. And Eliza's in #2, LOL.

Unknown said...

How fun!!!!! Growing up my parents took us on the same kind of trips ever summer... Hit all the national parks and then some ;) So so many great memories and life lessons.
If your next trip takes you West let us know!! XO

Unknown said...

--Sarah Breiner :)