This is it, the final summer road trip post. Praise the Lord. This took a whole lot longer to share than I planned and I’m ready to write about other things. I know you’re ready to read about other things.
Our final stop before heading back to Indianapolis was Nebraska. We camped at the West Omaha/NE Lincoln KOA in Greta, Nebraska. We were finally heading back to the Midwest and ran full force into a nasty heat wave that had temps in the 101-105 degree range. So the heat left two things for us to do: hide in the camper cranking the A/C while watching Netflix (this KOA had the BEST wifi of our whole trip, no joke) and swim in the pool. So that’s what we did. It was a great last stop, relaxing and quiet.
Originally, I had planned some stops from recommendations my friend Brin made. She lives nearby and told me some good kid-friendly places to visit (The Omaha Zoo and the drive-thru Wildlife Safari Park to name a few), but once we got there, we were too tired and pretty much done adventuring.
I know that sounds lame, but it’s true. We were done seeing new things, our new-things buckets were full, and we were ready to head home.
But don’t worry, we stopped at an amazing outlet mall right our down the road from our campground and did a few hours worth of damage there. Sure, we were tired and worn out, but what I mean is we were tired and worn out of nature. I was energized and READY TO GO with the outlet mall and my debit card.
While we were burning through our life savings at the mall, we met up with Brin and her family for some delicious Voodoo Tacos.
Brin is an internet-friend turned real-life-friend. Those are fun. And also weird because what if you don’t like them in real life? It’s a lot of pressure.
To lessen the pressure, I dropped my yummy avocado taco on Brin’s shoe and literally got lettuce in between her toes. I think that was the moment she wanted to flee, but I was like, “You have to stay here and also, give me my taco back.”
Just kidding. Brin got to keep the taco. I’m generous like that.
After Nebraska, we had planned to stop over and spend the night somewhere between Nebraska and home, but Chris Graham, lots of coffee, and my sweet vocals encouraged us to drive on through the night. The girls slept, Blue filled the car with dog farts, and we rolled into Indianapolis around 4 AM on Sunday morning.
I’ve never been so happy to arrive home while pulling my other home behind me than I was at that moment. Home sweet home.
Our trip. Whew. Our trip was good. So good. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’d do some things differently, but I’d also load up Betsy Ross and hit the road again without a second thought.
Here’s one thing I’ll leave you with: money.
This trip was so over budget, it’s not even funny. Not counting lodging, I thought $125 a day was a good amount to expect to spend. Sure, some days we’d spend more (travel days) and other days we’d spend less (days spent at the campground or in a park), but I thought we’d average about $125 a day.
I kept track of all our spending because I’m overly organized and when we coasted into the driveway in the early morning hours of July 24th, we were averaging $192 a day. We spend over a $1,000 more than I had planned. There were times this caused me some anxiety, because I was tracking daily how much we spent and I knew things were going out faster than they should have. But I just kept thinking how we’d never be doing this exact trip again, we were learning how to do it better next time, and it’s just money, we’ll be fine.
Those are partly true and partly lies we tell ourselves to be okay with spending money we shouldn’t, but I’m over it now and we’re moving on with life. Of that total money we spent, a little over $1,400 was on gas. We burned through gas like it was going out of style. (Actually, maybe it is? #electriccars) Pulling a camper with a truck-like SUV is not for the faint of heart or the small of pocketbook.
Bottom line: you need to do a trip like this. Save a lot more money than you think you’ll need, lower your expectations about twelve notches, and then hit the road with lots of snacks, books, and really great music to listen to and you will have the time of your life. I promise.