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Road Trippin' with the Family

Posted by Cheryl Yul-Behrenwaldt on
Road Trippin' with the Family
          It's that time of year ... the air is crisp and the leaves are starting to change into their autumn brilliance.  For some, this means it's PSL season (uh, my hubby would say so ) and the scavenging for this year's epic Halloween costumes are in full force. It also means that we have been in school long enough for our Fall Break and this year ... we went on a road trip!  I just loved our family fun week so much that I thought I would share some details and favorite moments on the trip because we made those memories, yes we did.   Although we have driven long distances in the past, just to give you an example, it's about 7.5 hours from Atlanta to Orlando and 5 hours from Atlanta to Charleston, we have never taken an actual "Road Trippin' road trip" as a family vacation before.   You know, where we pack all the kids in with their snacks and car entertainment and we stay at a new place every couple of nights and THAT is actually part of the adventure. Yeah, we did that and it was awesome. Maybe it's a function of finding the perfect age to do this with kids, not too small where you constantly have to change diapers and they can't entertain themselves, yet not too big where the kids are basically adult size and therefore the car just seems so tight. Our kids can still lounge in the car and are somewhat comfortable, which is a major bonus.
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        Before I dive into our journey, I have a couple of road trip tips. First, take out any bits of trash you may have every time you get out of the car. Whether it's for a pee break or getting gas, when we got out of the car, we would straighten up a bit. This may sound tedious ( or maybe some of you are like, "Duh"), but it helped keep the car manageable and it prevented us from finding stinky food hidden in there from the days before. Second, plan your accommodations so you have a washer and dryer accessible about halfway through your trip; this way, you only have to bring half the amount of clothes.
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         Our road trip journey: Atlanta  - Asheville - Shenandoah National Park - Washington DC - Richmond - back to Atlanta. We were at each location for 2 nights each, except for Asheville  where we stayed for one night because that was just a pitstop on the way to Shenandoah's (which is about 9 hours from Atlanta).
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Here are some of the highlights:
ASHEVILLE:  We have been several times and are pretty familiar with this quaint town, so we just made a beeline for our favorite brewery, New Belgium Brewery. The beer is great but the location is fantastic, right by the French Broad River with a large outdoor area and the best is that it's super duper family friendly.   On the way out in the morning, we stopped by our favorite doughnut shop of all times ( and I know donuts ). Donuts and craft beer, that's my jam.
Family time at New Belgium Brewery in Asheville
Family friendly New Belgium Brewery 
Beer time at New Belgium Brewery
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SHENANDOAH:  I've always wanted to explore the Shenandoahs because I love nature and hiking, so I was thrilled that the weather cooperated with us and we did an amazing hike where we felt like we were on top of world. Our favorite part is that we stayed in a Getaway House ( aka, Tiny Cabin ) which I've been following on IG for years now and this was our first chance to try them out.  These tiny cabins were so cute and perfect, for campers and non-campers alike.  Also, take it from an interiors person, it was aces. 
Hiking at Shenandoah National Park
Our hike was part of the Appalachian Trail 
Staying at Getaway in the Shenandoahs
Chilling at our beloved Tiny Cabin
WASHINGTON DC:
Oh my gosh, I love DC! We had exactly 48 hours in DC and we definitely made the most out of it. We stayed in an Airbnb and were able to do laundry and just chill out and watch a movie after a long day wondering around The Mall. DC is such a great place for kids and one of the highlights is that the kids were able to get so many stamps in their National Parks Passport book (we also got a stamp in the Shenandoahs).  If you are a national park / history buff, you have to get this passport! Although you pay for the passport ( around $12 ), getting the stamps are free and it's like a super addictive scavenger hunt.  You will want to collect them all! 
At the Capitol in DC
Start of our day at The Mall 
COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG: 
The last leg of our trip was going to Colonial Williamsburg ( we stayed in Richmond ) and it was a great way to end what turned out be quite a Revolutionary history road trip.  We were rockin' to the Hamilton soundtrack the entire trip and for instance, when we stopped by Yorktown, the kids were well versed in the battle that took place there oh so long ago.
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           All in all, it was a mega-fantastic Fall Break. Not only did we survive the journey without any big fights or hiccups, we super duper enjoyed the trip and each other's company. This makes me wonder ... can I actually hangout with my family? Hmmmm.

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