After researching buying and RV, renting an RV, renting a van and driving the whole distance, taking the Amtrak train for some of the distance, and flyng into several differnt cities, the most cost effectve solution ended up being the last. I checked airline fairs and rental van pricees every other day for four months. When Southwest had a sale to Milwaukee that corresponded to Budget having a sale on 12 seater van rental, we pounced. Several of our kids had never flown, so they were especially excited and nervous about the trip.
We watched the sun come up and it was mesmerizing.
It was a bit of an adventure getting our crowd through the aIrport with all pieces and bits and parts intact, but we did.
I pondered for a long time about whether we should bother hauling around the carseat for this guy. In the end, we decided familiarity was more valuable than convenience. At one point, we went to the airplane lavatory. By the time we got back to our seats, the baby girl was having a small meltdown. I tended to her and let the three year old remain unbuckled for a few minutes. He was up and down and turned around and inside out. I was SO glad we decided to bring that carseat!!
Besides the one hiccop, our little one was happy and well-behaved. It helps that she likes me so much. She would be content if she could be in my arms at all times forever and always.
After waiting in a forever line, we got the rental van, loaded up, checked into our hotel, and landed on our beds in a heap. I did have to rally to go buy groceries (another way we are saving money in order to make this endeaver possible).
Off an exhausted, dreamless sleep. Tomorrow we begin seeing the sites!