Tag Archives: Travel

RV Christmas

You can find out more about Todd, Debbie, his eight children, their RV, and ministry at www.familymanweb.com

Hey Christmas Travelers,

It’s chilly out there! Which can only mean Christmas is right around the corner. Shhh… my wife starts to freak out when someone says that. She has a ton of responsibility to make it all happen. I on the other hand… get to have fun the whole month.

It’s all just so Christmassy. My Christmas mindset has been formed by all the holiday specials that I’ve watched over the last five decades. It all started with Rudolph, Charlie Brown, The Little Drummer Boy, the Walton’s-The Homecoming, and Frosty.

Of course the Christmas classic that kicks off the season is Miracle on 34th Street… the old one… with Natalie Wood as the little girl who learns to believe. The cool thing about the movie is that it involved real places… places you can visit… and I like that.

I’ve never been to the actual house that little Natalie gets in the end, but you can visit the home used in the movie.

I have been to other Christmas movie homes. I visited Ralphie’s home in A Christmas Story (“You’ll shoot your eye out”). It’s in Cleveland, and it has a cool little museum attached. Just north of Chicago I visited Kevin McAllister’s home in the Christmas classic Home Alone. And I’ve even visited Lucy’s apartment in the couples’ chick flick While You Were Sleeping (also in Chicago).

There’s just something fascinating to me about seeing the actual places in the movies. That’s why I’ve made a special effort to see the Banks’ House in Father of the Bride (Pascedena, CA), The Brady Bunch House (In Los Angeles), and even the parking lot where Marty McFly blasted into the future.

Did I mention I grew up in the town where part of Hoosiers was filmed?

The cool thing is that you can find the address to about any favorite movie location you can think of on the Internet. So if you want a fun little side trip, Google your favorite Christmas movie (or any movie for that fact). You just might be surprised that it’s not far from you.

I still have a few Christmas movie spots on my bucket list: Duncan’s Toy Store from Home Alone (Chicago) and Ernest’s gaudily decorated home in Ernest Saves Christmas (Orlando).

Swing wide and keep your eye on Christmas!


PS – Even if you don’t visit your favorite movie spot, you can use Google street view to see it up close.

Travel Learning

Are you traveling for the holidays? A long car trip can become a fun, active learning event. Ask your children to participate in the preparation for the trip. There are more things to consider – they will learn from some you take for granted.

Ask them to do a little research about where you are going. Consider questions like these:

  • How many miles will the total trip take? How much time will the driving take at the speed limit?
  • How many gallons of fuel will be needed?
  • What is the estimated fuel cost of the trip? Have they considered round trip cost?
  • Allow them to map the route and project good stop and fuel locations. Are overnight stops necessary?
  • There’s climate and weather to consider while deciding what supplies are needed.
  • How many changes of clothing are needed?

There are so many more things you can include. It really depends on the ages of your children.

Once you are on the road, allow your children to map the route as you go. There are certainly easier ways with GPS nowadays, but this is a way for your children to engage in good, old-fashioned map reading which could save them from a predicament someday.

You may decide to give each of them a journal and ask them to draw pictures and write about points of interest along the way. They can also document the results of their preparation. Were their estimates and planning arrangements correct or were corrections needed along the way? These are excellent learning experiences.

There are some fun car games that everyone can play such as “I Spy”. Sometimes these games can sound “stupid” but if you play too, then they’ll enjoy playing and feeling silly with you – time flies. The ultimate outcome is that the long, dreaded trip becomes something everyone is looking forward to, and great memories are made.