Vacation time has come and we have planned for months now to pack 9 of us in our 9 passenger suburban and travel 1500 miles to see our newest grand child, along with our daughter and son in law, of course. At he time we left Idaho, the baby had not been born...that story is for another post.
So, we packed VERY lightly for our two week trek, and hoped for the best. Since we lost our 15 passenger van, this is our first road trip with all of us, everything would be different...no cooking in a crock pot while driving...there just isn't room. No big cooler with lots of homemade yummies for our tummies...there just isn't room. No plethora of games, books, pillows, and blankets...there just isn't room.
So......what we did do is....
1. Pack a small cooler with lunch meat, cheese, mayo and mustard. And another box with bread and store bought snacks to be given out in between rest stops. We choose fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, granola bars, and trail mix. These were all XL boxes, but I filled plastic cups with the snacks and handed them out on the road. For breakfasts on the road, we had granola bars and a banana. After about an hour and a half, we handed our a snack. We stopped briefly for lunch, made sandwiches served with chips, and back on the road a bit later, handed out the cups with another snack, and so it went. For dinner, we located a fast food choice close to our motel, and picked it up in car....after 9 hours in a vehicle we just wanted to get to our motel! We tried to choose a motel with a pool, so that we could get some exercise into our days, the children greatly enjoyed the swim!!
2. To keep the trip fun, we had a list of 100 things to look for as we traveled. Things such as a camel, a circus, a nativity scene, a firetruck, a bicycle with a child seat behind, etc. We also listened to an audio book which we played on daddy's android, The Hobbit on the way down to NM, and The Girl of The Limberlost on the way home. Other games we played were looking for all 50 states license plates, finding the ABC's on signs (the word must begin with the needed letter). And then, the most fun thing we did was bring Rose with us, she is full of fun...when she is not sleeping. We found that Rest Areas can be alot of fun too....
3. After staying in the plainest and cheapest of motel options, we have come to fully appreciate up-scaling to a motel with a full breakfast and a pool. It was a significant cost difference, and it was well worth it. The breakfast was warm and satisfying- getting us off to a good start, and all of us splashing and playing in the pool was also a great reward to a long day packed like sardines in the suburban.
We also stayed with friends along the way, which was a tremendous blessing and added such joy to our trip. I am very glad that we went ahead and made the contacts to meet up with old friends we hadn't seen is such a long time. I was initially thinking we would be a burden..9 of us inviting ourselves over.....but I am so glad we did it---we had SOOO much fun!!
The visit with our family in NM was wonderful...
and then we were on our way home,
another 1500 miles in three days.
It all went pretty much like the trip down.
The children traveled so well!
And, if you are wondering what age little people grow out of falling asleep with gum n their mouths, or silly putty in their hands....it is not 4!!