July 2, 2012

Unplugged Family Vacation, The Beginning

Our recent road trip to visit good, good friends who live several states away was everything I could have wished for and more.  The days were full and rich--I cannot possibly capture it all in one post.  Add to that, we have been going nonstop since we arrived home (birthday parties, grandpa's house and now, July 4th preparations), I almost didn't start this post at all tonight.  I do want to caption a few photos before I start to forget the details....
Although the distance between our homes can be covered in 9 hours and many people would drive straight through, I chose to drive for two 1/2 days.  Liam is just potty trained and neither boy is used to being in the car for long stretches of time.  I figured we'd stop as needed and spend one night at a hotel near our halfway point.  We spotted this McDonald's with a Playplace about 2 hours from home.  Just as we got out of our car, a pickup truck pulled into the parking lot.  It sounded awful, like the engine was about to fall out.  Then Henry and I noticed that there was a huge sheep in the covered cargo bed, bleating loudly and clearly not wanting any fries.  The boys did want Happy Meals and I gave in while they worked up an appetite.   The photo only shows half of the fun equipment and, of course, our quick stop stretched to almost an hour. 

Although I made sure both boys took care of business before we left McDonalds, Henry said he needed a restroom break 20 minutes later.  I found a rest stop and as luck would have it,  there was a playground.  The boys played for about 15 minutes and just as I got them ready to leave,  they were joined by a girl their age.  I pushed all three on a tire swing.  At this rate, we were never going to reach our hotel.

Back in the car, I kept the boys busy with low tech toys.  Each had a cookie sheet and magnetic shapes.  They designed robots, trees and houses.  When they tired of this activity, I gave them each a handful of  colorful pipe cleaners; they were absolutely mesmerized.  They quietly shaped and combined those fuzzy wires for at least a half hour!  About this time I also started our books on CD.  I brought about eight of them from our library.  Marc Brown's Arthur, DW and Francine helped us make it through the last leg of the first day's ride.
When we finally reached our hotel, I just wanted to take the elevator to our 3rd floor room and go to sleep but Henry decided that he had a sudden fear of elevators and insisted on taking the un-airconditioned stairs.  I dragged three suitcases up wondering why I hadn't packed just one bag for this overnight stay.

Before getting back on the road the next morning, I let the boys go for a quick swim.  They actually enjoyed the shower more than the pool.

We didn't stay too long as the day and excitement were just beginning.  We still had 250 miles to go (and not a great understanding of fuel tank capacity).  See I told you there was too much to put in one post...


  1. Welcome home. I missed your posts. Looking forward to reading the rest of your story.

  2. So glad to hear it was such a wonderful trip! Can't wait to read more!

  3. What a great start! More More More!