Claremore family takes the trip of a lifetime

Wednesday, September 1st 2004, 5:27 am
By: News On 6

Now that school is here, most families have completed their summer vacations. One Rogers County couple is back from their road trip that they say was the trip of a lifetime.

They lived the American dream, and took a ‘long’ vacation crisscrossing the country. News on 6 anchor Craig Day has details about their year on the road.

The road is a friend to the Lillie family of Claremore. Just check the miles on their RV and listen to the stories they tell.

Ron Lillie: "It was incredible. It's something I've always dreamed about doing. And have wanted to do for probably 15 or 20 years." Marla Lillie: "I say do it. If you have a passion for it, do it."

For Ron and Marla Lillie and their daughter Ellie and son Sam, their vacation wasn't just an ordinary trip. They took a year off and set out on a journey to all 48 states in the continental US.

Ellie Lillie: "I liked the big cities and all the land that you can run free on and stuff." There was Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and places like the Kellogg cereal museum and the corn palace in South Dakota. Sam Lillie: "I like Wrigley Field because I like baseball a lot and I love the Cubs."

The family traveled 30,000 miles. Marla Lillie: "It's really special when all you have is each other." As the Lillies traveled down the highways and back roads of America they say it gave them a greater appreciation of our great country. Ron Lillie: "It is fantastic. America is just a wonderful place. And it was tremendous opportunity to be able to experience that first hand."

The couples' oldest son ran their property appraisal business while they were away. Ellie Lillie: "Just being able to say I've been to all 48 states. That's pretty cool." Ron Lillie: "we just decided to take some of our retirement now and take our retirement early.”

It’s a trip designed to rack up memories along with the mileage. They'll never forget the things they've seen, people they've met, or the experiences they've had, on their trip of a lifetime. He says the Lillie's stayed at each stop for a couple of days. They were joined at times by their two oldest children.

Marla Lillie home schooled the kids; there were plenty of geography and history lessons. In fact, the Lillie's 8 year old son Sam wants to take the exact route again. First he wants to do it with a dog. Then, when he has kids of his own.