Levi and Hali Do America
Salam, guys! God willing, everyone is doing well!
This summer has been pretty good to my son and I. We have gone to the beach a few times, gone to the park, went on bike rides through the neighborhood and take the dog on long walks. Despite the Humidity that South Florida has to offer, we try to do an outdoor activity every week. To most, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I share 50\50 custody of my son with his father, so, we each have 3.5 days with him, and only one of them falls on a weekend. I was talking to one of my closest friends on the phone on a Monday, and we decided there and then that Levi and I would come for a visit. He and his wife live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a single parent, driving isn’t easier, but it is the cheaper option. By hundreds of dollars! I spoke with Levi’s dad, got an oil change on my car, bought a small cooler and Wednesday morning Levi, and I were off for our first real adventure together. Here are some tips!! I hope you enjoy!
Visit as many people as you can along the way!
My family is huge. My friend base is huge. I was in the Military for six years, and I am pretty close with even the third cousins in my family. Close enough to call them the day before the trip and say ‘Hey, Levi and I are going on a road trip, can we visit?’ And it is not a big deal. We have loved ones all across the US and it was such a blessing to be able to see most of them. I hope to see the rest on our next big adventure! Levi got to hang with cousins he’s never met, meet aunties and uncles he’s never seen and visit two of my closest friends with whom I have been friends with for ten years or more. It’s also fun to see cities you would have never considered visiting. I (and a country singer I can’t remember the name of) call those ‘Fly over states.’ Had I never driven to Colorado, I would have never gone to Junction City, Kansas, I would have never stopped and spent so much time in Tennessee with family, and I wouldn’t have swooped over and visited friends near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I wouldn’t have eaten cheese Kurds in some random city in Kansas; I wouldn’t have realized exactly how crappy of a state Missouri is (there were a lot of Trump stickers, Southern pride flags and the abundance of anti-abortion signs was kind of a huge bummer).
Take as many pictures as possible
Self-explanatory, but just in case, it’s because #memories.
Pack a cooler (I have no pictures of the cooler)
Eating healthy is kind of difficult, especially if you are on a time crunch. I packed a cooler with fruits and healthy snacks, along with water bottles and cold brews (coffee, not beer, for me). It kept me from having to stop at the gas station every time the little man wanted to snack on something, which saved money and time. We only stopped for actual meals, potty breaks, and photo-ops.
Don’t let the long drive make you grumpy!!
I chose to look ugly instead of being grumpy, instead of doing makeup I slept the extra 30 minutes. Also, I chose to drive, no one made me, so don’t be a dick! They all know you’re tired.
Be in the moment.
I have never had so much one on one time with my son. We talked a lot. We argued a lot. We saw a lot of spectacular views. I told him as many times as I could to enjoy this. Enjoy the moment because you never know what tomorrow will bring and next summer we might not make it to the Rocky mountains or the Smokey mountains. We held hands as much as possible, I explained as much about what we were looking at as I could, and we really just connected. He was such a champ that I have dubbed him ‘Road trip buddy.’ He hardly complained. By the end of the trip, he knew what getting in my car meant and would ask for his Tablet and water bottle as soon as he buckled himself into his seat.
I wouldn’t trade that trip for the world. The look on my son’s face when he saw his first mountain is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Hali and Levi #LeviandHalidoamerica (Instagram).