We just returned from an eight-day road trip that took us through Massachusetts (of course), New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware. The trip was half for Mike (business in Atlantic City) and half for me (weekend wedding in Philadelphia). We spent the work portion in a hotel, and the wedding portion with Mike’s mom’s wonderfully accommodating cousin. Here are a few highs and lows from our road trip with a one-year-old, two-year-old, and four-year-old:
Things that worked well:
- Packing with backpacks when taking luggage for five in a sedan. Mike had a suitcase for this trip (he had to pack fancy work clothes), but the rest of us packed our clothes in backpacks – much easier to fit in small spaces!
- Taking a few small toys from home. My kids picked their owie dolls and bears, as well as three books each. Apparently they like handmade toys when they are away from home.
- Stopping at children’s museums along the way. We stopped at The Children’s Museum in West Hartford, CT on the way out, and Kidcity in Middletown, CT on the way home. Mike also took the kids to Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum the day I spent in wedding rehearsals (I was matron of honor). All three museums were free thanks to a reciprocal relationship with our local children’s museum, which we have a membership to.
- Alternating busy and down days. It rained one day in Atlantic City, and I think the kids benefitted from the resulting down time.
- Staying with fantastic relatives. The kids were thrilled to be in a house, and they LOVED (understatement) playing with the resident 19-year-old. We think she should move to our house!
Things I want to figure out:
- How to keep Emma and Johnny from taking their tiredness out on each other at the end of a long drive.
- What to do when there isn’t time to allow down time. The last three days of our trip were very intense – driving to meet up with family (who were in DC and flying home the next day), then a wedding rehearsal, and finally the actual wedding. Understandably, none of our children were very happy when we put an end to their puddle jumping at the wedding.
- Helping kids survive the end of long drives. At the end of one day, we had Lily screaming “Mama, Dada, Baba!”; Johnny crying, “I want my moon!” (he couldn’t see it in the sky because of the direction we were driving and so was very sad), and Emma yelling, “Stop! Too loud!” for the final hour of Philly traffic. It would have made a good tragic opera finale, and that is part of why I’m not a huge fan of tragic operas.
And now I’m off to unpack, and eventually drop by to visit the lovely people who left comments here the past week and a bit!