Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thoughts on the Vacation Drive

One of my favorite things to do when we go on vacation is to recap our trip through words, pictures, and video. We only video a few times a year, take real pictures maybe once a month, and write down the events of our lives not nearly enough, so by doing this once a year, at least I know that we will have something to look back and watch as we all grew. Something that is consistent.

To start with, we went on vacation much later than we normally do. Instead of the beginning of July, we were going toward the end, and therefore all of us were more than ready one the time came. Something else important to note about the trip this year is that it was my birthday the day before we left, so while I should have been packing and cleaning, instead, I was out and about with the kids going shopping, dining out, and playing. And rightfully so. Except by the time Andrew came home, he was scrubbing toilets and bathtubs, vacuuming, and making me steak. And if I should feel an ounce of guilt about that, I'll tell you now that I don't. My birthday happens one time a year, and well I was determined to not let it slide by. 

So yes, I was packing at 9pm at night. And proud to say not a single thing was forgotten.

Thankfully I did all my "pre-vacation" shopping two days before after working all night. Four stops with two kids and no complaints was a definite big fat win for me.  Part of the reason for this is because my birthday was the next day. The day before we left for vacation. If that wasn't bad planning on my part, I don't know what is. I spent the day with the kids determined to not do a single piece of "work," but that seemed nearly impossible when I thought of everything that still needed to be done before we left--- i.e. pack everything.

I'll save the birthday details for another day {if that day ever comes}, but let us fast forward to the morning that we left. I snoozed through the initial alarm that was supposed to get me up to shower and have plenty of time to get ready. Surprisingly, I was able to get the kids dressed, myself showered and dressed, and out the door just 5 minutes after anticipated. We were out the door at 3:45.

Things I jotted down while driving:

Graham passed out right away, and barely cried during the trip except for a couple times lasting maybe 5 minutes. He did well with just playing, taking good naps, snacking a good amount, and played on the i-pad once. I consider that a win.

Elliana was a complete trooper and played games with me on the road, read books, snacked, and also played on the i-pad only once.

A total of 3 stops on the way down {14+ hour drive) and a total of only 2 stops on the way back home {12+ hours}.

Our drive was extended by about an hour and a half there simply due to traffic and a minor accident. Everyone was pretty antsy in their pants though. 

One thing I'm going to remember not to do is stuff my children with tons of fruit, because then you find yourself having to unexpectedly stop at a rest area and spend the next 20 minutes listening to your toddlers say "Not done yet, oh there's more, yes still going, here it comes…." You can only imagine the giggles that were heard outside our stall.

Elliana asked for a spoon to use as her "microphone" and jammed out to the music. We got a pretty good {and free} concert out of this. She's really been into singing lately.

We screamed the numbers we would see while we were driving and seeing who would get them first. The excitement out of a 3 year old when she says "59!" before mama is quite interesting {and loud}.

The kids favorite thing to do during the stops was to see their grandma, det, and aunty Dhasha. It was like Christmas, every time.

Elliana, the only potty trained child {so far}, did really great about only going when we stopped {every 4 hours}, however, we had one episode where a couple hours after a stop she started screaming that "Uh oh, I have to go, I have to go mama." Number two. And she had to go now. {see point above}.

I discovered a new love for card games on the way home. Actually, I have always loved card games, but the two that I love the most {Euchre and Spades} require four people, and until I can teach my two little ones how to play, we are pretty limited as to when we can. So when we played it a lot during the vacation, on the way home I decided to download the apps to my phone and go to town. Let me tell you: time went by fast.

Andrew drove the whole time. There and back. So when I say the drives were not that bad.... I'm saying....I got some good naps in.

Aside from the fact that the trip down always takes a little longer time ways, it just seems that the drive home is about half the time. Seems that way at least. I'm sure my husband would say otherwise.

I know this may sound crazy, but I think I love road trips and traveling with my family per car. I know flying would be easier and quicker {sometimes}, but there's something fun about getting a car full of stuff, be completely uncomfortable, and have to use those dirty old gas stations restrooms. I mean... may not be glamorous, but a fun adventure that's for sure.

Up next.... the week where we threw 18 people together and sent them to Hilton Head.

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