Logged: 42 hours on the road.
And not done yet.
Trip 1: May 5 - 9 ~ traveled to Omaha for Dominic's graduation
Trip 2: May 13 - 16 ~ traveled to Denver for friends' wedding
Trip 3: May 20 - 23 (this weekend) ~ traveled to Denver for Michelle's surprise Sweet 16 birthday party
Approximately 100 more hours to travel!
Where to, you ask?
Points east (anniversary trip with Dan the middle of June) -- and points west (Spokane and then California the beginning of July). And then, who knows?
But one thing I do know: by September, I'm so gonna be ready for a rest!
Travel Tips From the Road Weary:
a. Flip Flops or sandals ~ easy to get on and off at gas and potty stops... Cheap and easy to replace if they get lost and replace the need for packing socks.
b. centralize shoe storage in the motel room and the car. Make one spot where everyone leaves their shoes.
a. When working parish-away-from-home arrangements for traveling Sundays, totally call ahead of time for directions and Mass times. NEVER trust the internet information! Updates and changes don't always make it to the computer!
b. Packing clothes ~ It works for the big kids to pack their own Mass clothes in their own bags, but it's especially convenient to pack all the Littles's things together (including shoes) so we're not scrambling on Sunday morning.
c. Packing other important stuff ~ If you don't already have a family missal bag, they're invaluable to have on trips! Make sure to have enough pockets or space for chapel veils, rosaries, and Kleenex!
a. Snacks ~ Stick to the tried and true! Familiar foods that are already known to be "tummy friendly" help keep the Littles happy both for the familiarity and for the lack of digestive issues. Make special treats rare and appreciated.
b. Water ~ You can't bring too many bottled waters. Even if you shy away from them in "normal time" for cost or environmental purposes, trust me -- they're worth the extra pennies and the green-guilt to have on a trip. The half sizes are great for the "under ten" set. Drinks other than water (particularly sugary ones!) are best kept to a minimum -- the exception to the rule, so to speak -- just for happy tummy reasons, if nothing else!
c. Book lights ~ Get one for each child. They're worth their weight in gold for night travel!
1. I imagine DVDs would be awesome for making the time go by on a road trip, but we don't have one in our car, so, um --- well, I can only guess. ;0) If I had one, though, I'd choose my movies carefully to be sure they're not the variety that make the kids hyper. (Y'all will have to let me know if this is really a problem.)
2. Books -- we bring about two per child and make sure they're the variety that are enjoyed by all in the younger set -- like the I Spy series, for instance. The older children bring only two and are allowed a drawing pad, as well. We have too many children in the car for everyone to bring a bookshelf. Mom does bring a good selection of read-out-loud books, though, which can be passed around.
3. Toys -- Two per child and only two per child here, or else the car would become a rolling toy box. Very special toys (those that cannot be lost without emotional distress) are only allowed with very strict admonition.
4. Coloring books -- We bring two or three which are passed around, along with zipper pouches of colored pencils. And only colored pencils. Markers can make a mess of upholstery, clothing, hands and faces; crayons will melt if (when!) left in a hot car.
e. Rest stops ~ at least every two hours even if nobody needs to "go potty," because everyone's back and brain needs a rest. The stop doesn't need to be more than ten minutes, but the Littles benefit greatly from a fun little ten-yard dash in the grass! And, regardless of what the male-on-a-private-quest-for-land-speed record thinks -- the extra half hour or forty-five minutes akdded to the travel day is not going to matter in the long run...
* This is just off the top of my head... :0) I'll let ya know if I think of any more!
** Sorry only the one illustration here. You probably know I'm all about illustrations... But I'm typing this in our hotel room while the kids are all out with Dan and a bunch of the Denver parish church kids playing volleyball -- and I have troubles downloading images on this laptop. (And a nap is calling me, so I must answer... ;0)
Tata for now!