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Thursday, April 28, 2011

traveling mercies...

So, we are preparing for one of the most ambitious endeavors a young family can undertake...a 16 hour road trip.


I know I have written about road tripping with our kids before, but that was 4 hours up north. This is across multiple states all the way to grandma and grandpa "back east."

I am preparing as if we were a pioneer family embarking upon the Oregon Trail. With every worst case scenario in mind, including blizzards (which reminds me to pack flashlights and an extra blanket!)

As a child my family made an annual pilgramage to my grandparents in Iowa. It was a 12 hour trek and we, frugal as we were, did it in one day. Packing up at 4am, in our pajamas, driving until one of us had to pee, eating a packed lunch at a rest stop, and arriving hungry and tired at my grandparents in the evening, crickets chirping, grandpa ready for a late night game of ping pong. I have fairly pleasant memories of these trips (perhaps I have blocked out the puking in an ice cream bucket, driving through lightning storms and 100 degree heat in our un-air-conditioned VW van which I am sure happened.) It was an adventure. Dad would set up beds for us in the back of the van and we would sprawl out in sleeping bags, watching the sun come up and the trees whiz by. Mom would calmly, without thought, take the nursling baby out of her seat and feed her as we drove. Us big girls would entertain the toddlers (remember there were scads of us kids!) and play "I Spy" and we would drive into the prairie, like Mary and Laura and Pa and Ma themselves.

Maybe I yearn to recreate this for my kids? But of course, they are younger, with no big sisters to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider one million times (and I sure as heck am not doing it!!)

So, we are doing it the easy way. A few hotel stops, a few tourist spots (dada wants to hike, mama wants to stroll picturesque towns, lets see what happens. HA.)

And of course, I am prepared with the following "traveling mercies":

a tupperware full of new (washable) markers,
trinkety toys, silly putty, and coloring books

monster cookies (made with stale trail mix, SO GOOD)
to accompany the $50 worth of snacks and juice boxes
purchased at Target today, a requirement of all road-tripping
American families

GIANT ASS TRAVEL MUGS (next to a regular size mug
for comparison)

for mama, who will inevitably not get a chance to read it due to the
ongoing referee/fetch work required...unless by some miracle
the little darlings both nap at the same time in their seats...
one can hope.

pillow pets. God forbid we forget them.
and, unlike my childhood, we have given in...and
bought an adaptor for the laptop and have packed
a bunch of DVDs.
 I think we are ready. Bring it on!


  1. i loved our road trips. remember when we drove to south dakota and you and anne sat in the back, back seat (the brown one that dad bought and bolted down)? you two were so cool.
    good luck with the travels!

  2. You look incredibly prepared! I think the only other suggestion I could make is children's books on tape. For some reason, my kids will listen to those for HOURS, longer than movies most times.

    I'm sure it will go well. Have fun!!

  3. Have a good time everyone. Please give our love to your folks, Steve....( when you need a break Sara, ask Steve if you can please, please,!) love ya!

  4. beks, i don't think that seat was bolted, it was just sitting there, ha!. :) those were some fun trips, but sara, i do remember the puking one... that was not fun. have a good time, and when are you leaving?

  5. oh so funny! totally remember all of those road trips... hmm, any futher advise? getting to color on the windows is great fun and highly unheard of normally, a good thing to pull out on 2:00pm of the second day when "no, we are not there yet..." enjoy! :)

  6. bek - that was a good one :)
    anne - were you the ice cream bucket puker? i think you were...poor thing.
    stacy - are those markers on the window? just regular ones?
    tracy - havent tried books on tape but maybe we should....hoping to get to see you on our way through!
    mom - hugs. and yes, i am definitely driving some :)

  7. yep... washable ones work easier (in case they "miss" the window) but regular ones work too... comes off with windex or some such thing!!
    have fun!!


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