That was a seriously long ride to Michigan. Google doesn't figure in multiple stops with kids, so the 12-hour ride to my parents' house turned into 14.5 hours. It was basically an entire day as a court jester.
If for no other reason other than to remind myself what worked and didn't, here's what I learned:
- A few weeks before the trip hide the toys you'll be offering en route.
- Eat while you drive, move at every stop. We bring a cooler and feed kids (entertainment!) while we drive, and then find parks and open spaces to take our breaks. We even do this in the winter.
- On that same note, longer stops seem like a waste of time, but they do a better job of tiring out busy boys.
- Don't try to feed Subway to kids in the car. And if you dare, be sure to get a knife with which to cut the subs. Forks are not made for this purpose.
- Don't bring so many toys into the van that you can't even find the ones you're looking for.
- Take a preventative Tylenol before you even leave your driveway. Road trip + young kids = headache
What is even more difficult is a smooth reentry. I am shaken for days after a long trip, with unpacked bags and a house that is suddenly nonfunctional and completely disgusting to me even though it's been cleaned by the lovely housesitter. My wish list:
- Give housesitter a "family's coming home" grocery list so you don't have to feed the kids water and cheeze-its for breakfast on the first day back.
- Hire a cleaning service to make the house itself feel like a vacation getaway.
- Hire a babysitter for the first day back so you can unpack and get organized in peace. (Maybe she could bring the groceries? Hey, I'm even practical in my rich-girl dreams!)
While I'm at it, I might as well wish for a court jester for the road trip. But then how would these crazy memories be made?
I totally feel for you. I remember last April just before I was pregnant with Ada we drove 2000 miles with the girls and then I took the girls by myself to New Mexico on a plane. This is when I learned Catina gets air sick and now car sick. We are going to try sea sickness bands soon to see if that helps. We've also moved Catina's seat to the middle rather than the far back. It makes it much harder on me to get June back there but Catina isn't complaining of being sick so it's worth it!
I am actually collecting new dollar store items and toys now for our trip in July to the Upper Peninsula. This will be our ten hour drive this year. Hmmm...I wonder how long it will really be.
I bought this handy dandy bag thinking somehow it will make the trip better because I will be oh so organized. I'll let you know how that works out. Heh!
Also, I fortunately have a Mom who lives close by who leaves milk in the fridge and some bananas. You should get one of those to move close to you or maybe just maybe you can move closer to her?
So happy you made the effort to come see us even though you were busy with family!