Family's 'epic' roadtrip to cover 48 states in 20 days

Family's 'epic' roadtrip to cover 48 states in 20 days
The Defreece family of 8 are traveling across the country in an 'epic' roadtrip that will take them to 48 states in just 20 days (Source: KLTV staff)
Jennifer Defreece took this video during the family's recent stop at the Grand Canyon; one of many stops in their cross-country trip (Source: Defreece Family, YouTube)
Jennifer Defreece took this video during the family's recent stop at the Grand Canyon; one of many stops in their cross-country trip (Source: Defreece Family, YouTube)
One of the Defreece family's favorite stops on their 'epic' vacation was the Las Vegas strip, where they took this video at the Bellagio Hotel (Source: Defreece family, YouTube)
One of the Defreece family's favorite stops on their 'epic' vacation was the Las Vegas strip, where they took this video at the Bellagio Hotel (Source: Defreece family, YouTube)

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - In terms of places they'll travel this summer, it's faster for a Palestine family to explain which states they have not been to.

The Defreece Family is made up of father, R.J., mother, Jenifer, and their six kids. They call Palestine home, but their summer vacation will take them to 48 states in just 20 days. Just five days into their cross-country trip and dad said the trip is already living up to its name. 

"The first night we stopped in Roswell, NM and went alien hunting, but unfortunately we didn't see anything," R.J. Defreece said. "Today, we did the Four Corners monument; we've been to the Grand Canyon, that was an amazing experience."

The family of eight planned to drive the family mini-van for the entire trip and would make at least one stop in each of the 48 different states through mid-July. Jenifer said the family planned to return to East Texas by July 17.

It may not sound like the best way to tour an entire country, but mom and dad said they wouldn't have it any other way.

"I think about a year ago, the beginning of August of last year, we were just kinda like 'we wish we had done more," Jenifer Defreece said. "We have a child that's graduating high school next year, and we wish we could've taken 'em to see more."

"And we were just like, why don't we do it all?" Jenifer added. 

"It was sort of my idea initially," R.J. said. "I saw a post on Facebook, somebody was like 'the United States ultimate road trip, and I was just joking around 'Jennifer, we should do this.'"

But the idea blossomed into reality, and the couple began planning the trip, with plenty of stops of plenty to see along the way.

"We were really just surprised with how beautiful New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada were," Jenifer said. "We've actually really enjoyed the scenery.... the different things we haven't seen before."

But, even with major landmarks and tourist hotspots waiting along the long road ahead of them, mom and dad said their favorite part of their epic road trip would always be what was happening inside their van.

"We feel like this is the last chance we're all going to be able to be together as a family unit, to be able to travel together," R.J. Defreece said. "I mean, we've done small vacations before, but like Jennifer said before, this is a good opportunity to spend time together, to just talk with each other."

During the Defreece family's trip around the U.S., they'll check in daily with East Texas Now, powered by KLTV. Stay tuned for regular updates! If you'd like to watch videos the family has already uploaded of their journey, you can visit the family's YouTube page, or keep up with them on their social media accounts by following the hashtag, #yoursmineourstheirs.

Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.