MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A family from Florida is taking the kind of family vacation that would make the Griswold’s jealous — and a bit crazy too.

The Belcher family from Fort Lauderdale is taking a year long road trip visiting all 50 states, national parks, monuments, the mountains — all for the ultimate family vacation.

“It was way better than what we expected,” says Kathi Belcher.

She and her husband John Belcher and their four kids left home in their RV 11 months ago.

Olivia, 9, said they’ve had a lot of family bonding time.  Sometimes with her two younger brothers – it’s a bit too much.

“They get fun to play with once you’re with em’ a long time, but then sometimes you’re like, ‘Ah, it’s time to go back and get rid of them,'” said Olivia.

The Belchers wanted to escape the busyness of life — the birthday parties, the sports practices, and the schedules.

They also liked the idea of getting the kids away from the TV and video games.

“Getting out having them be outside and play with sticks and rocks — being in nature is one of the best parts of this trip,” says John.

Kathi is home schooling the kids while they’re on the road and they’re experiencing things you can’t in a classroom.

Hanna, 11, said the National Parks have been her favorite part.

“Glacier National Park in Montana and Yellowstone. We saw a lot of bears — grizzly bears,” said Olivia.

As for the geography lesson, no textbook needed.

“My 9-year-old can — on a blank map —  write in every single state.  I don’t think before this trip I could have done that,” said John.

The Belchers spent Thursday and Friday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes — their last state to visit on their 50 state tour.

“We love it,” said Kathi about Minnesota. “It’s our favorite.”

“We’re going to the Mall (of America) of course, and I’m just really excited to do that,” said Hanna.

She said it has been a while since she’s been to a mall, so they spent nearly 11 hours there.

Soon they’ll be heading home with a new appreciation for our country and most of all each other.

“I think we’re really lucky,” said Hanna.

“This whole year together, I mean, it’s something all of us will remember forever,” said Kathi.

The family has been documenting their journey on the road, you can check out their website.

Comments (19)
  1. Ronald Raygun says:

    Oh, how special.

  2. hdmc says:

    So, anyone want to sponcer my 50-state road trip by motorcycle?
    good for this guy though, for being able to afford a trip like that and to provide an ultamate experience for his kids. more dads should be like that.

  3. BB says:

    This would be awesome! Good for them for doing it! My family did just a 4 week trip when I was young and it was a fantastic time!
    I think more people need to do road trips (obviously not many could do it to the extent above-I would never be able to afford that!) to experience different parts of this country! We hear so much whining and bashing of these fine states in the news, it is important to get out and experience and see how great they actually are! 🙂 Kuddos to the Belcher family for doing it!
    p.s. Fantastic last name! 🙂

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Dumb grits. If Minnesota was thier favorite why did they come here last? Heck we beat them in the war.

    1. bb says:

      Ever heard of “saving the best for last”?

      1. Mad Dog says:

        Yea but grits aren’t that smart. That’s why we beat the idiots in the war.

  5. mom says:

    wow what an experience and good for them. I keep telling my husband that before I die I want to go to every state and now I will be sure to show him this article and prove to him it can be done. How fun to spend that much time with your spouse and kids, wish more families would make the effort to spend a fraction of that time together, maybe then we wouldn’t have such a crazy world and maybe have less violence against each other!

  6. dad says:

    Heck of a road trip. I need their RV as I am not sure which road they took to Hawaii but it must be waterproof.

  7. Drunken Dissed Orderly says:

    I’m a little disappointed at Holly’s writing in this article.

    The Griswold?


    Come on, Holly. Disgraceful…

  8. Ronald Raygun says:

    What about school? Or are they republican filth who think school is unneccessary.

  9. mn mom says:

    The mother was home schooling during their trip. Many parents chose to home school their children, even if not on the road. It sounds as though the whole family learned a lot during the year!

  10. Ryan K says:

    That cool. I have my self drove in 29 of the 50 states and hope to drive in all 50. Utah and Nevada are some really beautiful states. I love the Great Basin in central Nevada. Was very surprise on how beautiful the Ozarks look in Arkansas. Like I always say take the US highways or state highways if you can more scenery then the Interstate.

  11. urdumb says:

    “I have myself drove”. Try this: I have driven. “Was very suprise on how beautiful”. Try this: I was suprised how beautiful.

    1. Drunken Dissed Orderly says:

      Grow up.

  12. Let's go to DAYTON MN says:

    I bet they came here last as Dayton was proposing a tax that would tax people who traveled all 50 states and came here LAST!

    I guess they used to live in MN, but moved as the tax rate was too high……

    Wait…….maybe I have this confused with large corporations……

    1. urdumb says:

      Too stupid to know that small business, not large corporations, provde the vast majority of jobs in the US.

      1. urdummer Yes I spelled that wrong says:

        OK DUMB…..let’s just add them as well…..

        WOW! can you say “nit-picker”

  13. Mad Dog says:

    Probably a grit.