Here we are, on our way home from our family’s summer adventure and I can’t help but smile at all of the memories we have made in just over a week! My girls have embraced travel blogging this summer and have been documenting their trip on the Traveling Fairy Godmother Instagram and Facebook pages. To see these memories and what it means to them is amazing!
As you know, our family values travel and being together. This was the perfect combination and had been planned for over a year. My nieces were graduating high school and we needed to celebrate them. We usually visit my grandparents in Detroit in the summer so we thought – Let’s take the Manahan’s on the road!
We left REALLY LATE on a Friday night and drove through the night (against my better judgement), our first stop Detroit! We had a lot of plans in the works. There are so many things to see and do and even I haven’t seen it all (and I’m almost – gulp – 40!)
One of our favorite places to eat is Bad Brad’s BBQ. They have amazing food and drinks and the atmosphere is always enjoyable! Did I mention the BBQ?! I always get the BBQ Tacos – again, a favorite.
Sunday we had a family cookout. Invited the usual suspects and had a great time just relaxing at my aunts home.
Monday was a day of shopping. My minis received a charm bracelet from my aunt when they were babies, so every year, for their birthday, they get to choose the charm for their birthday. These special charm bracelets are from none other than…..
It took a lot of deciding on which charm each would get this year, but it came down to Maci getting a Tiffany Blue Ladybug and Madi getting a Tiffany Blue Gift Box. Now to hop up to the 3rd floor to ship them to NYC to have the charms placed.
Tuesday we decided to take on downtown – Greektown to be exact. We rode the People Mover and walked the entire city of Detroit! We visited the Detroit Renaissance Center and my Disney loving girls saw a familiar face.
After we took on the exhaustive walk, we decided to introduce the girls to some authentic Greek food, second to only eating it in Greece! If you are ever in Detroit, we recommend Pegasus. Be sure to order the Flaming Cheese – Opa!
After Pegasus, my girls left for home with my grandparents and we kept exploring but this time in style!
I highly recommend if you have the opportunity to rent scooters and explore an area, it is a blast! Important tip: Be sure to have a fully charged phone because most operate through phone apps and it can get costly if your phone dies. (I speak from experience.)
After our fun scooter experience, we went gambling. You can’t visit Greektown without visiting the Greektown Casino. (We didn’t win this day, but still loads of adult centered fun.)
On to Wednesday – a day of rest, packing and a touch of Disney! Our family as you can tell L-O-V-E-S Disney. We had put off watching Avengers: End Game (insert shocked face) for too long and now that we had settled into vacation, it was past due and time! We took a break and went. All the feels. Sadness, anger, happiness, more sadness but 100% amazing movie.
After packing and getting a good nights rest, it was time to say our goodbyes and begin our final stretch to Wisconsin. We had mapped out our route and we were going to take a lunch time stretch in Chicago. Pizza is always a favorite but you can’t stop in Chicago without eating a deep dish pizza from Giordanos. The infamous cheese pull and flavors are definitely worth the stop but be mindful in your planning – it takes a minimum of 45 minutes to 1 hour to make this delicious dish and is not the same pricing as your local pizzeria but is totally worth it.
After filling our bellies, back on the road and onward to our final destination of Elk Mound, Wisconsin. It was once again time for some family fun – this time with my Disney Dad’s side.
Over the course of 2 days, we enjoyed laughs, a fish fry, BBQ, lots of adult beverages and even more laughs. On our final day, I decided to take my daughters and niece to the Mall of America. It is a little over an hour from where our family lives and I just had to take them. Talk about a blast!
After shopping, dining and fun, it was time to head back to Wisconsin and finish packing for the long journey back to Tennessee.
After twelve amazing days of visiting fun places, making memories and spending time with family, what did I take away from traveling in a car for more than 40 hours?! Here are my tips!
- Car Activities. Have activities in the car for the kids to do. Those that can read, make sure they have reading time (most will have summer reading assignments like my kids do).
- Electronics. Minimize the amount of time spent on iPads, movies, etc but still allow them some time. Being in a car for that length of time, you do need to have some of that time distracted but don’t spend the entire time with their face attached to the screen. If you have DVD players in your car, let each child pick 1-2 movies each, that way, again – keeps it fair.
- Snacks. We like to pack snack bags for our Disney Minis. It can get pricey stopping at convenience stores, not to mention usually not the healthiest choices. We typically allow them to pick a drink when we stop and occasionally a snack, but for the most part, we bring our own. (Also a nice money saver.)
- Pillows and Blankets. Bring a pillow and blanket for each child – this is for the sanity of not only the parents but also to keep the kids from fighting.
If you are looking to make a fun-filled road trip and need help in the planning process, I can help! Be sure to Contact Me!
Until next time friends!
Sybil – Your Traveling Fairy Godmother