Saturday, March 6, 2010

Return of the Road Trip


By Kirsten Scott

When I was a kid, we drove everywhere. Grandparent's house, vacations, thirteen hours, three days...we did it all. My sister and I wrestled in the back-back of the station wagon. No seat belts, no car seats. We made a nest of blankets, had our tape recorder, played some games. We fought. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The memories are good. My mom suffered, but we did just fine.

Now that I've got kids of my own, we live too far away to drive home for visits. My kids have been riding in planes since they were six months old. We've traveled across the country for years, but our longest car rides number two or three hours, not thirteen.

This year, everything changes.

This year, our family does its first road trip.

It's time. The kids are nine and seven -- old enough to entertain themselves, or at least sit still for several hours at a time. Flying sucks. The airlines have made air travel so unpleasant, it's worth sitting in a car for thirteen hours to avoid it. We're trying to save a little money, and spring break is coming up. We wanted to go to San Francisco to visit friends and family, but can't afford to fly. I haven't been to Yosemite for many years, and if we drive, we could stop there on our way.
So we're off. In three weeks, we begin the road trip to San Francisco via Sacramento and Yosemite National Park. And I'm starting to panic.


What will we do for ten hours in the car? How will we survive? I'm thinking a great book on tape, like Harry Potter, and some of those magnetic travel games, like Connect Four and Othello. But it's going to be tense. I predict the time space continuum will close in around us and ten hours will turn into twenty.

So I'm coming to you, Banditas and Buddies, for help. Remind me how to survive a road trip. Tell me about the trips you took as a child. Did you camp out in the back of the station wagon, like my sister and I did? Did you fight? Did your parents threaten to "stop this car!" if you didn't behave? Any tricks I can use to prevent the black hole where time does not pass?

HELP!!

49 comments:

flchen1 said...

Hitting the road? We took very few road trips as children. The one I remember was in the middle of summer, in a dark brown car with tan vinyl seats; no air conditioning. We kids read and fought, and sometime during the trip, my brother drew on the back of the front seat with pen. Yikes!

flchen1 said...

BTW, we recently bought our first mini-van, complete with DVD player. While we don't use it all the time, it does help on the long trips :) Also, before a trip, I spend a few weeks picking up little things--used books, little toys, treats they don't normally get, etc--and save those up for the trip.

One suggestion I recall reading was to give each child a roll of quarters. Each time they fight or commit an offense, they pay up. Whatever they have left when you reach your destination is theirs to keep. I haven't tried this, but I imagine the effectiveness varies with the child :)

Hope you have a great time! (My two older ones are roughly the same age as yours and they tend to travel pretty well--maybe you could use some of the time in the car for them to investigate your destination or the route or something, too. They'd probably enjoy knowing something about where you'll be exploring :D)

jo robertson said...

Hi, Kirsten, great topic! When our kids were little we made the 12 hour trip to visit their grandparents several times a year. The kids loved it. We hated it, but did pick up a few pointers along the way.

1. Plan for breaks every two hours or so. Hubby will NOT want to do this, if he's like most men (Dr. Big would pee in a bottle just to keep driving, and what's with THAT anyway???). But kids and women need those designated stops. It's about more than potty breaks.

2. Play competitive games like who sees the most yellow cars first or Twenty Questions inside the car. Give prizes. Games are nothing without a reward. Skittles will do. Be sure it's NOT something you've already been giving them though. No fair.

3. Have designated quiet time, which means headphones for them or a DVD, but it also means mom and dad relaxing time.

Have fun and as you're passing by my town, wave!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, he's back with you! It's been a little while, hasn't it?

Goodness, after yesterday's fishing nostalgia, your post really took me back to my childhood, Kirsten. Air travel when I was a child was prohibitively expensive in Australia and we're a country of vast distances, like America. So the net result was lots of lots of road trips when I was a kid. Especially as both Mum and Dad came from families way out in the remote country, Dad in particular who was a Cunnamulla Fulla. By the way, poor Cunnamulla is under feet of water as we speak - the state has been inundated with floods. Yes, my brother, three years younger, and I used to fight like cats and dogs. Added to which, sadly, I have a bladder the size of a walnut. Which meant LOTS of toilet stops. And lots of teasing. And of course if you talk about toilet stops to a girl with a bladder the size of a walnut, obviously her mind starts to think about needing to go and then you have even more toilet stops. Oh, the joy of the family holidays ;-)

jo robertson said...

Fedora, congrats on getting the rooster. Actually, I think we had a little flash sideways here in the Lair. In the first parallel universe Lime got the rooster.

Helen said...

Congrats Fedora have fun with him

Kirsten

I love road trips but as a child my parents didn't have a car or a drivers license so we went by train.

But I have taken my children on road trips for holidays the shortests ones are about 1 1/2 hours to the longest was about 14 hours. The short ones were OK I have 4 children but on the longest trip my Mum and one of my sisters came as well so there were 8 of us in a mini van we took frequent stops so as everyone could stretch their legs lots of snacks they had books to read puzzles to do and we played lots of I spy games along the way.
I love them

Have Fun
Helen

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

So I'm up waaaaay too late and just popped over and there, Fedora's beat me to the chook. Sigh.

Kirsten, I just have two words to say:

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!

I love them. Road games - name the state, read the license plate, make up words from the plates; name and spell a word for each letter of the alphabet and two for the one that your name starts with; everything we did when we were kids, and as much more as I can come up with. Grins.

I like that quarter idea, Fedora. I'm doing that one. Ha!

Kirsten, you reminded me of so many things from childhood with this post. :> Fighting with my three sibs. Riding in the back window of the old Impala. Picnics along the way...sigh.

Too fun. And now, I'm off to bed.

PinkPeony said...

Hi Kirsten!

Boy, do I remember road trips as a kid. We used to call the back of the Chrysler Town & Country the back-back too!

The words..."I'll really give you something to cry about!"...come rushing back to me. :o)

I always had my nose in a book. My mom would reach back and slap us if we misbehaved. I was a neurotic child. I'd always be asking my dad if we were going to run out of gas or what we would do if the car broke down. I made him insane. On one trip, we were going to Sea World. It's a straight shot down I-5. We were staying at the Ramada in La Jolla, near San Diego. I kept telling my dad he passed the exit. He argued that La Jolla was spelled with an "H". I tried to tell him that the "J" in Spanish sounds like an "H". Being a man, he didn't stop to ask for directions. He drove up and down I-5 looking for signs for "La HOYA". Then my sister had to use the facilities. My mom was steamed cause he refused to stop and ask. She started yelling. He sheepishly asked for directions. He'd only passed the exit five times. :)

Like Jo says...take lots of breaks! And if there's no bathroom in sight, you might consider getting a "Go Girl" which is available on Amazon. :)

I read a book, "One Year Off" in which the author takes his young family around the world. He gave his son a "checkbook" and would debit it if he misbehaved. The roll of quarters is a great idea.

You could offer prizes for the first person who spots El Capitan, The Golden Gate Bridge, the giant crab sign on Fisherman's wharf, or the giant water tower with the Sacramento Tomato logo on it. (I think it's still there) And there's always license plate Bingo!

I hope the car time flies by without a hitch. Have a great time!

Congrats on the GR, Fedora.

Donna MacMeans said...

Oh Kirsten - This takes me back!

I remember road trips. At that time my parents had four children (littlest sister came along a decade later). Only businessmen and rich people flew back then, so we piled into the station wagon and I usually ended up in the far back which was great. Not only was there freedom and room - it was also too far removed from the front seat for my parents to reach with a swat. (I do remember once when my brother and I were sitting right behind the front seat. My brother was acting up. My father swung his arm out to in ritualistic parental discipline and my brother ducked. I got the swat instead. Total injustice!)

From road trips with my kids, books on tape are wonderful - DVD players even more so. Thank heavens for earphones! I used to give the kids maps of our route so they could keep track of our progress. I don't think it worked all that well, but hope springs eternal. Be sure to keep some handi wipes in a convenient location. Frequent stops are critical.

One nice thing - you'll be driving through some of the countries best scenery. Driving through flat Ohio cornfields and hog farms means all the attention is inside the car - not the outside the windows (grin). Have fun! (and come back in one piece.)

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, I hope you have a fabulous time, Kirsten!

Books, DVD player with at least one 'new' movie, gameboys, ipods. This is where all those electronic gadgets come in handy!

We also play punchbuggy and license plate games. Oh, and bring snacks!

Our kidlets are seasoned car travelers now--you guys will do fine!

Minna said...

We always took the train, but then again, my parents didn't have a car, anyway. And I still prefer trains.

Drive (The Cars)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbTjzZzfR7w

A bit heavier version of Madonna's song:
Kuorosota 2010 [3]// Kuopio - Like A Virgin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWmxbekjtRE

Kuorosota 2010 [2]// Kuopio - Paradise City
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DVsF6JFIJ0

Buffie said...

Greg blog Kirsten!! We drive on many of our family trips. I remember when my kids were 3 and 7, the four of us plus my inlaws all traveled in our mini van for my MIL's mother's 80th birthday celebration. A 12-hour drive. I kid you not, but my 3 year old talking the whole time. THE. WHOLE. TIME. There was no nap, there was no quiet minutes inbetween. Nope, it was constant. And probably 2 or 3 hours of it was knock-knock jokes. I never want to hear another knock-knock joke. The constant chattered even got to my MIL, who adores her only grandchildren, but by hour 11 she was ready for the kid to be quiet! LOL!

Other than that particular trip, we have always had a great drive. I make sure each child has a backpack full of stuff to do -- movies, games, coloring books, word puzzles, stickers, whatever. We always play the license plate game and see if we can get all 50 states during the trip.

I'm sure you will have a wonderful time! Can't wait to hear about it.

Gillian Layne said...

You've got great suggestions here. Hard to advise, because all kiddos are different. We tried switching seats around once in a while, but everyone kind of liked their 'nest', all piled with books, cd/ipod, etc. We had a small tv that sat in our Suburban but it's broken now. Headphones are a good thing. The stops are essential. You can make a game of giving them a price limit for treats at each stop and see what they come up with.

Make sure you have 7 up and any car sickness meds you need way before the trip.

Christie Kelley said...

Kirsten, repeat the mantra, "I will survive". Maybe even pull out the old Gloria Gaynor song and put it on during the trip.

We have taken our kids on 4-5 hour trips since they were infants. And even a trip to Maine and South Carolina. My kids are so used to long drives now that it's not a problem.

My oldest never had a problem with car travel even as a baby, but my youngest was a screamer. So, when my youngest was two, we bought a portable TV with a VCR built in. The TV plugged into one of the car outlets. It was heaven! Now that the kids are older, they have books and their handheld gaming systems to keep them busy.

And like you, I used to love to fly, now I hate it. The airlines and TSA have made the process miserable.

Gannon Carr said...

Thanks for bringing back the memories of family road trips, Kirsten! My sisters and I used to fight over who would lay claim to the rear seat in the station wagon. LOL We used to frequently drive 12 hours to my grandparents' house (before they moved closer to us) or to see friends. The license plate game, the alphabet game, I-spy, etc., helped pass the time. And we definitely heard the "do you want me to stop this car?" speech. *g*

My kids have done equal time on long plane rides and long road trips. When we moved from San Diego to NC, we drove cross country (with a side trip to Yosemite--it's absolutely stunning) and we played many of the same games with our kids, plus listened to a lot of music. My kids dig the 80's! When we wanted silence, we told them that the one who could be quiet the longest would get $$$. Works wonders!!

Nancy said...

Hi, Kirsten--

There's License Plate Alphabet--you have to find, in order, the letters of the alphabet off license plates of other cars on the road. A variation is finding all the states, but that one can quickly become frustrating.

There's Going to Grandmother's House, where you take turns naming things you're taking to Grandmother's house, starting with A, then B, then C, but the catch is that each person has to repeat the entire list that came before. Miss, and you're out.

We used to drive to Florida to see my dad's brother and his family every summer. We stopped overnight on the way, usually in Statesboro, GA. The interstate highways weren't finished, so a lot of the trip was back roads. My parents had a VW bus, amd they turned the middle seat around, put a stocked ice chest in between the seats, and let us buy a board game to play on top of the ice chest. We weren't allowed to open the game until we were outside our town.

I can read in the car, as can the boy, and passed lots of trips that way.

Coloring books and etch-a-sketch are possibilities.

If your kids are in to make-believe, let them buy hand puppets especially for the trip and make up stories in the car. I used to tell the boy stories about the mischievious adventures of our two goldens whenever we had a long wait in a restaurant or, in one case, in the emergency room after a Go-Kart accident (his, not mine *g*).

Then he got a Gameboy, and later an iPod, and our work was done. I sort of miss those earlier days, though.

Fedora, congrats on the rooster!

Kirsten said...

Hey Fedora! Congratulations for nabbing the chook! Maybe I'll have to be quicker on the take so I can get him next time. He can entertain the kids on the road trip. :-)

Kirsten said...

Fedora, we didn't have air conditioning either, and I remember rolling out of the car at rest stops and glaring at the people with their perfectly-combed hair. This was a sure sign, to us, that they had an air conditioned car. Our hair, naturally, was a tangled mess!

I love the roll of quarters idea! The lodge we reserved near Yosemite has an arcade, too. My son will be VERY motivated to keep his quarters. *VBG*

Kirsten said...

Oh, and Fedora I love the idea of having them investigate part of the route in the car. I got a book about Yosemite and I'll have to be creative about printing out maps and booklets and things about the park. They would love that! Thanks!!

Kirsten said...

Hey Jo! Thanks for the tips! My dad was a bit of a workaholic, so we did more road trips with my mom than with both parents. She understood the bladder problem (which I've got in spades, by the way!). So no peeing in bottles for us! But I remember my grandparents would drive from Florida to New Hampshire every year when moving from their winter to summer place, and my grandfather would refuse to stop the car. I mean, the whole way. (Except for gas, of course.) He was insane -- but my grandmother apparently learned to pee in some sort of bottle right along with him!

EWWWW!!

Kirsten said...

Jo said, "Games are nothing without a reward..."

I love this! Sooo true for my kids! :-)

Kirsten said...

Oh Anna, I so related to your bladder problem. I've never compared mine to a walnut, though. I'm more like the size of a pea. This is still the case, BTW, which makes a two hour meeting very difficult for me!

I'm glad to inspire a bit of nostalgia -- I definitely am thinking a lot about my sister and all the bonding we did in the back of the car. It's too bad they have to use car seats now. I know it's safer, and I wouldn't do without, but it was way more fun to be free to roll around and wrestle in the back. :-)

I will say a prayer for the folks in Cunnamulla -- hope the flood waters recede soon.

Kirsten said...

Oh Helen -- eight in one minivan? My heart shudders at the thought! Though I suppose with more adults, you could take turns yelling at the kids and telling them to be quiet.

Or...er...entertaining them. I suppose that's what a parent is supposed to do.

Kirsten said...

Anyone else take a lot of train rides, like Helen? I took one long train ride by myself as a teenager (Buffalo to Florida) and it was really fun. I wish we could do more train travel. I think it's much more fun and great for the kids to be able to get up and walk around. The bummer is that it's slower and more expensive than traveling by car!

Kirsten said...

Hey Jeanne -- your road trips sound like great fun! I want to hang out with you! Or maybe, you could come along with us to Yosemite and think of ways to entertain my kid? What do you say? Intereted? :-)

What was your longest trip? Mine was NY to Florida. I think we did it in two days.

Kirsten said...

Hey Pink, we must have been hanging around in the same car! Hilarious story about your dad and La Jolla! i was always terrified my mom would get lost. I remember staying up late just to watch the map and keep an eye on her.

Grownups. A kid just can't trust 'em.

Love the idea about seeing who can spot the icons first. I am definitely going to put together some kind of book with pictures of the sights of SF and Yosemite. We'll have to give the kids cameras, too, so they can make their own scrapbooks. What fun!

Kirsten said...

Thanks for the great advice Donna! I love the strategically placed handiwipes. Very important!

I think we will bring the computers, which we could use to play videos. We don't let our kids watch a lot of TV, so they will be foaming at the mouth at the prospect of watching videos in the car. *VBG*

And ugg, I know about that dull scenery - I used to drive through Ohio on my way from college (NC) to home (Buffalo NY). There were some beautiful parts on the drive through West Virginia, and some rolling hills in part of Ohio I recall were pretty, but there was a long, flat stretch through Ohio and NY that were deadly dull.

Kirsten said...

Hey Deb, I'm glad to know it's possible to live through all these car trips and come out with sanity intact! We don't actually own a gameboy, but maybe we can borrow one from someone for the trip. My son would be in total heaven!

Did you go for long trips? We've mastered the 1 1/2 hour distance between Portland and the coast, but we're novices when it comes to 2+ hours...

Kirsten said...

Hey Minna -- I wish we could take more train trips. I just love the freedom of it! I think the trains in Europe are much better than here in the States. Here they're expensive, slow, and perpetually late. :-P

Love the Cars song too! :-)

Kirsten said...

Hi Buffie! LOL about the non-stop talking three year old! Oh my gosh that's so funny in retrospect but I imagine was deadly at the time. My 9 year old went through a knock-knock joke stage and I would do anything to avoid them. How do you make yourself laugh at the endless slew of not-very-funny jokes? Gah!

I will definitely have to make up good backpacks of books, games, etc. My kids are lobbying for new toys as well. Hmm...we will have to see about that. VBG!

thanks for the stories -- I will definitely let everyone know how it goes!

Kirsten said...

Hi Gillian! You sound like a road trip pro. I definitely remember loving my nest in the car. Having tons of things to paw through and arrange was oddly soothing. :-)

My daughter gets car sick, so that adds a whole other level of difficulty to the trip that I'm trying not to think about. But I imagine that it will, to put it mildly, suck if she gets sick in the mountains! We will have to make sure we have lots of ginger ale and Dramamine! And some Prozak for me!

Kirsten said...

Hi Christie!! LOL! I will definitely be singing that song all day today! :-)

I do think you're on to something -- the kids have to learn to being in the car for long periods. Repeated exposure to the car is definitely good for them! I will definitely have to load up on electronic methods of distraction. LOL. Can I borrow some of those Gameboys? :-)

Kirsten said...

Okay Gannon, these are AWESOME ideas. Paying the children to be quiet? Brilliant!! Genius!! :-)

And I love the idea about the 80s music. My son is (unfortunately) a fan of heavy metal -- Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath. It's my husband's influence. I just hope we can get him to put in the earphones, so I don't have to listen. LOL.

Man, that license plate game works for everyone! We've never been in the car long enough to get all the states, but we do the alphabet game and pull the letters off signs, license plates, etc.

I'm actually getting excited about the trip -- these are such great ideas!!

Kirsten said...

Hey Nancy -- great game ideas! We will definitely play some "going to grandma's house" on the way. We also do round robin stories in the car when we're doing our (two) hour car trips. That's fun, though it lacks a competitive component. And my son usually makes his stories about bodily functions and creatures that have digestion problems -- if you KWIM. *g*

You know, what you say about the Gameboy is pretty true. Even though I know it will shut them up, I'm a little bit wary of introducing it into our midst. Part of the bonding comes from the utter lack of anything to do, you know?

catslady said...

I wish we had done road trips. The most we've gone with our two girls was 5 or 6 hours. I bought them all kinds of small surprises and they each packed a backpack with books, games, treats etc. With technology as it is now I would think they could be occupied for that amount of time. Plus pit stops of course lol.

Kirsten said...

Hey catslady! thanks for stopping by -- five or six hours definitely counts as a road trip in my book. We've barely cracked 2 hours. :-) the technology makes it easier, but I'm still nervous!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Kristen:

Thanks for a trip down memory lane. I grew up in Miami, so our 5-hour “road trip” took us to Disney World. I attended college in Tampa, so our 3 your “Animal House” road trip took us to Daytona Beach. When I entered the military, I learned about long distance road trips – Biloxi to Boston, DC to St. Louis, Baltimore to Tampa the last one with cats meowing for two days. But I’ve also enjoyed long distance road trips through Europe – Aachen to Prague, Split to Rome, and Maastricht to Killarney. The challenge of these road trips, however, is to make the ferry on time, find Esso stations (which military coupons for cheap gas), keeping change handy (to pay the restroom attendant), and parking monster American cars in tiny European garages.

We now live in Hawaii, which is not conducive to road trips, so we must endure the airlines. Thankfully, my children entertai themselves with their DS games and the meowing cats are stowed under the aircraft.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Kirsten,
That picture of the Chevy Station Wagon sure brought back memories! We had a red and white one just like that. But most of our road trips were done BEFORE we got that car, so it was me and my sister with my brother wedged between us "on the hump" in the Ford Fairlane.

We took several trips from California to Texas that way, and yes, we were on the Old (not so old then) Route 66! We fought constantly. I remember my sister's most famous whine, "Mom! She's looking at me!" We played license plate poker, but mom wouldn't let us bet anything. :-P

We also played the game where your answer must start with the last letter of the previous person's answer. Like states...If I say Florida, then you must name a state that starts with A. I always won those. ;-) I also remember reading Catcher in the Rye on the last road trip I was forced to take with the family. I was 15.

Enjoy Yosemite! It is beautiful but full of snow right now. And I live very close to I-5 so if you are making a potty break on the northern end of Sac, give me a call and I'll meet you!

AC

Kirsten said...

Hey Kim, what an interesting and varied life you've lived! Actually, you took me back down memory lane with mention of a road trip to disney world. My grandparents lived about an hour from daytona, so after our three day drive from buffalo to florida to get there, my mom would gear up for the drive to disney a few days later. I recall one memorable trip with her falling asleep while making the return trip at 11 PM. Poor thing! I can't imagine surviving disney with two kids by myself, let alone after five hours in the car.

Flying is miserable, but I think I would put up with it to live in hawaii!

Thanks for swinging by - I wish you easy flying and no delays!

Minna said...

Believe me, traveling by train is expensive here, too, and they are not always on time either, due to weather (like too much snow on the tracks, or ice on the trains), broken engine or something. Still, I prefer trains.

The word games reminded of something I saw on Amazon. I didn't know Monopoly (and some other games) could be squeezed into such a small size:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Q6V61K/ref=s9_simh_gw_p21_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1K4TZXS3QH3JB14MPZGD&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Nancy said...

Kirsten, I suspect the boy and his electronics are to us what my books were to my parents. I always had one along.

It does decrease interaction--but also boredom!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Give them a journal to write down all the states liscense plates they see. We did this on a family trip from Ohio to Tennessee. By the time we got home, they found somewhere around 45 of the states....including Alaska!

Kirsten said...

AC, you are cracking me up -- my kids do the "she's looking at me" thing too! Man, it's amazing how many ways they can find to irritate each other.

I can't wait to see all the snow up at Yosemite. The lodge we're staying at is outside the south entrance, and has a skating rink and they do horse-drawn sleigh rides through the snow. I'm so excited!

Thanks for the offer of the bathroom! With my pea-sized bladder, I'll probably need it!

Kirsten said...

Minna, I think I'd prefer the trains too! I just can't get my head around paying more and having it take longer...I'm just too efficient for that! :-)

There are amazing travel board games now -- though I can't imagine keeping all my monopoly money straight while we are on the road!

Kirsten said...

Nancy, that's a good point. I didn't have a problem with books on tape -- it's the mindlessness of the video games that bums me out. But I guess mindlessness is what we're looking for, right?

Kirsten said...

Suz, I love the journal idea. I will definitely have to do that. It will be perfect if we also get cameras for the kids so they can make their own scrapbooks.

Laurie said...

Kirsten, your blog brought back a lot of memories of our three week family summer trips. I grew up in the DC area but all our relatives lived in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Kansas, and we always drove. We also traveled to Canada and Florida. Dad, Mom, Me (I'm the oldest), my sister, and our three brothers (the youngest, 12 years younger than me) - all in a Kingswood station wagon! I couldn't read - I use to get car sick - and there was no place to get away from the sibs. Every seat and corner I claimed, they'd want to be there too. Screaming, crying, fighting... "Are we there yet?" every five minutes, "If I have to stop this car...", my dad's arm flailing over the seat trying to find a target, my brother getting his fingers caught in the electric window, the same brother trying to climb up the railing at Niagra Falls and on the edge of the Fort at St Augustine. Memories *sigh*

But, I had wonderful times traveling with my daughter. We drive to the beach every year. Also to Wisconsin and Florida. We've flown a lot too. But our best drive was the 10 days we spent driving around Ireland, just the two of us, stopping wherever we wanted, and staying in B&B's. Great times!

Our most successful activities in the car were books on tape (Indian in the Cupboard was one of our favs), lots of music and singing, stickers and activity books, snacks, and finding all 50 states in license plates. Oh, and frequent stops!

Have fun!

Mitzi H. said...

Oh, how I remember those long road trips as a kid. The best seat was the rear one in the station wagon because....my dads arms were long, but not that long...so we knew we couldn't get smacked for causing trouble.

Today, my family travels long trips in our RV....yet the kids still fight as if they were caged in the car??? Go figure???

I've found the DVD player is our best buddy for traveling....and the trilogies are the best!!!

Crossword puzzles are also great fun...and involve the whole family, but don't forget to take along a dictionary/thesaurus.

Board games such as cribbage or the travel version of scrabble are also fun....(They don't fly all over the car when you hit a bump).

Hope you have a fantastic time!!! Enjoy!!!

Louisa Cornell said...

Just got in from another wonderful day at Wally World. DON'T ASK !! I'm just glad to be HOME !!

This post brings back so many memories. Every summer that we were Stateside we traveled to visit my Dad's family in Pennsylvania. It was a 24 hour drive straight through with stops for gas and to eat. If you had to use the facilities you had better do so on one of those stops because the Old Man did NOT stop just for the bathroom. Even, Fritz, our old dachshund knew to get out and go if the car stopped because it could be HOURS before the next stop.

We did camp out in the back of the old Country Squire station wagon - three kids and a flatulent dachshund. Blankets, sleeping bags, coloring books and a HUGE tub of crayolas. Books and card games. And to keep the peace - a LONG switch on the dashboard cut especially for the trip. Mom could whack the right kid and have the switch back on the dash before said kid knew what hit them.

And you NEVER wanted Pops to have to say "Do you want me to pull this car over?" more than once. Because if he said it the second time, he did it and you were in BIG trouble.

My Mom came up with a great game. We were each given a copy of a list of things we had to see on the trip. When you saw it, you called it. She had the master list and the kid who called it out first got their name by that item. At the end of the trip the person with their name on the list next to the most items got a prize.

Of course we still talk about who got to sit by which window and the arguments about "He's touching me." "He's looking at me." "He's breathing on me."

No road trip was complete until the Old Man announced "Don't look at each other, don't touch each other, don't talk to each other and don't breathe on each other ever again for as long as you live!"