Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are We There Yet?!

So I have been prompted by a friend's blog about her summer road trip from Washington to Mississippi (and yes, I did just sing-song "Mississippi" like a child to make sure I spelled it correctly) with three young ones to reflect on my summer plans.

I was born & raised in the O.C. - before it was cool - and like salmon, I seem to return every year. This year I am excited to be attending the fourth Boies family reunion to be held in Newport Beach. Last year we carefully considered the different modes of transportation. After realizing that the most expensive part of flying was a rental car for the week, we decided to bring our car with us (a.k.a. - drive). But how would we spend 24 hrs drive time in the car without anyone (i.e. me) losing her mind?

And that is when I came up with my first rule:

Rule #1: Always travel as much through the night as possible.
Very important! A good friend baby sat the kids the day we left for a few hours in the afternoon so I could take a nap. (I'm the one who can never sleep before a big event, but I figured it was worth a try.) We left home at bed time. We made it from home to mid-Oregon before Matthew even knew we were in the car. We drove until about 4pm and then stopped at a hotel. I went to bed at about 6pm - eyes crossed and deliriously tired. We were back on the road by about 4am.

Rule #2 -Keep them guessing.
For weeks before we left I just kept "road trip" in the back of my mind and whenever I saw a small toy or activity I would buy it and then hide it in a designated box in my closet. I bought a bunch of non-perishable kid-friendly snacks. I packed up three bags for each day of our journey. And yes, I did have them labeled "Thursday bag# 1", mostly because although each child's bag was geared towards the individual child, the items also complimented each other - such as Samantha would have a new Princess coloring book when Christopher opened a new Star Wars coloring book. Instead of hearing "Are we there yet?" I heard "You're the best mommy EVER!" -three times a day. That alone made my vacation!

Yeah, ok, so that's it. I'm out of ideas. And this year the kids will already be expecting activity bags. So friends, I need your ideas, tricks and suggestions. Please - help! :o)


Gina said...

spray painted cookie sheets with magnetic toys. Letters (ABC's) paper dolls put onto magnetic sheets, Action figures printed onto magnetic sheets...
snacks like Cheerios (honey nut, multi grain, or fruity cheerios)and cereal bars go over well in our car.
Oh, and pistachios!

Gina said...

30 dollar MP3 players from Target loaded with 99 cent itunes songs- or from cd's you already own. Even for my boyfriend.
a car DVD player with movies they don't already own.
a trip to the library to check out any books they want- one rule: the books MUST stay in the car!

Moments 2 Treasure said...

Gina - I am loving the cookie sheet idea! Perfect! Thanks! I'm thinking if I print out figures on card stock they can color them and then play with them.