Day One Chevy Road Trip Challenge: Celebrations, Classroom, and Clark Griswold

After a killer send-off at Dominion Auto Group today (thank you family and friends–your presence was a real gift!) it’s fun to reflect upon all the amazing events in the last twelve hours. Let’s recap:

8:30 am: big hugs for kiddos, drop ‘em off at school with reassurance they’ll be picked up early for the big send-off this afternoon. First tweet I saw of the day, @Richmond.com “#RVA‘s @Richmondmom Hitting the Road for SXSWwww2.richmond.com/news/2012/mar/… (follow @rvaepictales)”

9:15 am: Kelly Vance calls panicked, her laptop crashed, she’s practically in tears and says she can’t go on the trip without it. I calmly reassure her that she CAN AND WILL GO ON THE TRIP WE’VE PLANNED FOR WEEKS sweetie please take a chill-pill, get your laptop fixed and we’ll handle our Adopt-a-Classroom visit.

Our Richmond Adopt-a-Classroom Teacher Mr. Mustico with adorbs students, Kate Semp and Kate Hall

10:30 am: Arrive at Carver Elementary school with the adorbs Mr. Alex Mustico, our Richmond AAC Teacher and his equally-adorbs class of third-graders. Monica Horsley, Kate Semp and I ask them to route out our trip on the U.S. map to which one sweet little girl had us traveling by boat through the Gulf of Mexico. AWESOME IDEA I think and secretly plan our next blogging trip via yacht.

We told them about the students we’d visit in Tuscaloosa whose school was devasted by a tornado, and even though they’d listed new lights and a painted ceiling on the list of needed items for their classroom, most students said, “They need help more than we do!” These kids have heart and we’re thrilled to have gotten to hang with ‘em.

11:45 am I am en route to my corporate job at Capital One to arrive just in time (or so I thought) for a meeting with my boss only to receive a call from her asking if I was coming in because our meeting was at 11:30?

I burn rubber to get into our offices in Goochland only to find an amazing cake waiting for me and realizing they’d planned a little send-off party that I missed having overstayed our classroom visit. DOH! At least they took a picture to prove that it happened!

How cute is this cake my team gave me? I hope we look this cool in the Traverse.

My awesome Capital One team.

 4:00pm We are bowled over by the crowd that arrives to wish us well and that Richmond’s ABC affiliate, Channel 8, came to cover us. We have the honor of presenting our Richmond AAC Teacher Mr. Mustico with a check for what we’ve raised thus far and the clapping roars like thunder (okay I exaggerate but everyone was excited.)

There are cameras flashing everywhere, we feel like rock stars and consider puckering our lips and going on a binge diet until Monica says she’s tired of smiling and we need to roll.

Coolest part of our day: presenting our Richmond Adopt-a-Classroom with $1100 (and we expect this to grow)

4:30pm:We depart our party to the smiles of family and friends after giving our kiddos one last hug (the two of us that are moms, that is :-) The Traverse makes it’s first stop in downtown

5:30pm:Richmond with Kelly’s laptop repair team, happy to be part of our journey and stops to take a picture with our sweet Kelly with her newly-repaired laptop, she breathes a sigh of

Thanks First & Main crew for fixing up Kelly's laptop!

relief and we’re REALLY off.

7:30pm: Our driver, Kate Semp allows us a four-minute potty break and we hook up our CarFi (that’s car wi-fi, ya’ll). Yippee!
9:30pm:Monica plugs in her power strip (the Traverse actually has an electrical outlet, how cool is that?!) and we plug all of our laptops, iPads and iPhone into it and promptly blow a fuse. Our OnStar team isn’t able to locate us on the map which is weird because we’re tracking ourselves along with the other teams on the Chevy SXSW Road

We've got the power. . .well, we did.

Trip Challenge Map, but they do find us, but aren’t able to tell us where the fuse box is. First-world problems.

11:00pm: I’m driving, and still determined to find the fuse box, I reach to the left of the steering wheel, pulling open a latch which happens to be connected to. . .the hood. Luckily it doesn’t fly up so it’s all good. We are punchy and busting-out laughing at anything and everything as our RVA friends tweet us with fuse ideas and we determine that due to our electrical needs, a camping blogging tour will likely not be in our future.
11:15pm: We determine that our next entrepreneurial venture is writing “Social Media in a Car for Dummies”

Clark, we'd let you carry our luggage anytime. Like now. Really.

11:30pm:We fancy ourselves modern-day Griswolds and wonder why we didn’t put a car-carrier on top of our car and while talking to OnStar (and we think we’re on hold) we talk about Aunt Edna and how we’re glad we didn’t bring her. She was listening the whole time and busts out laughing, too.

Clark, you're our hero.

1:00am: The Traverse pulls into the Hampton Inn parking lot in Knoxville where we schlep our (ridiculous amount of) luggage into our room only to emerge a few hours later. We learn that we made the lead story on Channel 8, and moms, it wasn’t even because we were arrested!
More soon from the road. . .
Thanks Dominion for sponsoring our team! Ted & Co–you’re a blast to work with.

Kate Hall

Kate Hall is the Founder of RichmondMom.com and author of Richmond Rocks and Richmond Rocks Spooky Sequel, two fun history books for kids. She has three children ages eleven to six and is truly appreciative of the 185,000 + visitors who visit the blog every year, and for the amazing team of writers who create unique, valuable content. Kate is thrilled to have created a cool place for Richmond, VA parents to learn, grow, and share while supporting local charities.

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