The last 200 miles are the hottest

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We are back from our latest Rivoli family road trip, some 1680 miles of adventure from the San Francisco Bay Area into and around the state of Oregon. Along the way we swam in a lake, an above-ground pool, an in-ground pool, an indoor pool, and a geothermal hot mineral pool. We slept in a tent, a cabin, a resort, a riverside inn, and a grandmother’s house. We ate roasted wieners, vegan cuisine, steak, chowder, and “cowboy caviar.” We watched a small-town parade, a magic water show, a magical sunset, and a high Cascades lightening storm. We made friends with shirttail cousins and loads of kids we met along the way; we made the acquaintance of some frogs, crawdads, mosquitoes, seagulls, and polar bears.

Suffice to say, it was a busy, full, and wonderful road trip. I couldn’t be more proud of my three kids traveling in their three car seats—without a doubt three of the best little travelers I know. Even as we hightailed it home on our final day, through California’s Central Valley, where temperatures never dropped below 96 degrees F and our car’s thermostat for some reason decided to ride the fine line close to overheating, they sweat stoically in the back seat, even the baby guzzling water from the 3-gallon water tap we were so thankful to have along (as Travels with Baby readers may recall), accepting that we would have to make it home without the AC.

Sure, we had more than a few rounds of “Are we almost there yet?” (A few of them came from Tim and I as we nervously watched the temp gauge.) But as we recounted the many adventures we’d had over the past week and a half, and my daughters continued to ask… “Can we do that again sometime?” I had to grin as it became clear that my children are learning one very important lesson in life: While there’s no place like home, there’s nothing like a grand adventure.

I look forward to sharing highlights from our trip and suggestions for your own family’s travels in the posts to come.

Safe journey,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guide Travels with Baby

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