Road Trippin’

February 28, 2011

Road trips are fun, but fun is exhausting

Ahh, the school vacation road trip:  this poor mom’s attempt at evading the winter break blues even though she can’t pack up her family and jet off to Fiji, like she wishes she could.  So, I packed three boys and two suitcases into my pick-up truck, and we hit I-81.

Now, I love a road trip.  Instead of a traditional honeymoon, Bailey (Mr. Blogling) and I packed all of our necessary worldly possessions into a Honda Element and drove around the country for four months.  Life is a highway; I want to drive it all night long.  But this road trip was a first: I was the only parent present and outnumbered by kids 3:1, and that off-kilter ratio led to a bunch of rookie road trip mistakes:

1)  Poorly-timed Potty Breaks.

As someone who has spent the lifetime with a love of water and a tiny bladder, I refuse to deny anyone the chance to visit a restroom.  However, after forgetting to monitor the liquid intake of my passengers, I found myself stopping at almost every rest stop we passed.  With so many stops, it took an extra hour to get to and from our destination, providing extra time for:

2) Serious Sibling Spats

Nothing like the close quarters of a car for your kids to start driving each other (and you) totally nuts.  The particular trouble in my vehicle was an inability to get on the same page:  the big boys tease the little one, rile him up, and then decide they don’t want to play anymore, leaving me with a hyper hyperactive 4-year-old strapped into his car seat wondering why no one will tickle him back like they would three minutes ago and then wondering leads to shrieking and then I want to pull my hair out.  Awesome.

3)  Sad food choices.

Ideally, I like to load up the car with a wide variety of healthy snacks designed to last the entire ride and packed neatly in a cooler. This satisfies dual aims:  it eliminates the need to address hunger with fast food or convenience store fare, and it ensures that all parties involved will travel in nutritional comfort rather than swollen with sodium.  Unfortunately, this was a hasty departure led to a failure to pack anything edible, and the collection of empty potato chip bags and Oreo packages on the floor of my truck is a shameful reminder of that failure.

That’s just the shortlist of my most recent traveling trials, and while there were tribulations as well, I want to hear about you.  Where have you been this week?  How’d it go?  How many miles did you end up out of the way when you missed your exit and realized there wasn’t another one for what seemed like hours and it was snowing and you ended up crying to a toll booth operator because you didn’t have 35 cents?  (Or was that just me?)

-Meryl at the Goose


One Response to “Road Trippin’”

  1. We went to NYC this week with the kiddo. We packed up plenty of treats, which turned out not to be needed because we left at 4 a.m to get there and were within city limits before she ever woke up. But man!!! We are a little over-stimulated and all have taken to our separate corners of the house for some decompression time.

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