This summer we took a trip to San Antonio...inspired by the fact I had to go there for work so the gas and hotel room would be paid for. The kids were excited to get out of dodge and we decided to leave a few days early to hit a water park resort on the way. While we were there I worked during the day while Jon and the kids had big fun and then I would join them each afternoon to take in sites like the Alamo (pictured below) or some shopping.
Interesting fact- I get motion sickness...bad. I'm talking car, plane, train, boat, bus, even sitting on a swing sick. That's the primary reason why my kiddos have never been on a car ride for more than 6 hours. If we traveled far...we flew. So, the 12 hour drive to Texas sounded like an adventure. A few days before we left, my Caroline was talking about how she wanted to go to Universal Studios again. She asked with a straight face, "Is Orlando on the way to Texas?" I about ran off the road laughing. I guess you would need two key pieces of information to get why this was funny. First, we live in North Florida...very north of Orlando. And second, she is almost 16 years old so she should have a little more geographical common sense. When I replied, "Caroline, are you serious," she figured out quickly why her questions was so silly.
Another reason why I would think she'd have a clue is that a major focal point in our last dining room was a huge vintage school map. This map makes me happy in a way that is just not right. I have had my eye out for a large map for some time, but the usual price tag of $150-500 was a deterrence. You can imagine my happiness when I stumbled upon a few at my local Habitat ReStore...score!! The maps were priced at $20 each and so I think I scooped up four...don't judge. If you have a Habitat ReStore in your community and you are not making regular visits than you are really missing out. Every time you visit there will be new stuff. You might not always find something that has to come home with you, but when you do it is huge happiness.
Our map has three parts: a world view, a US view, and the third is something random like a topographical map of Kansas or something like that. Most of the time the map stayed on the US view and I can't begin to describe how much chit chat it encouraged. Everything from the kids singing songs they learned in elementary school to learn the states, to quizzing each other on capitals, to friends describing where they have traveled. I'm telling you, with this map there was never a dull moment.
Now our map probably isn't very old. There was no date on it anywhere...I searched. But, my dad was able to do a little review of Middle Eastern countries and according to which ones existed and didn't exists, we think it is probably from the late 80's. So, it's definitely not a historical treasure or collector's item, but the fun color and conversation it added to our dinners was well worth the $20...and probably much more.