Please excuse the lack of posts lately. I feel like I’m still in recovery mode. As mentioned in a previous post, we traveled around 3000 miles this summer. We drove to Idaho (which also included a bit of Montana and Wyoming), to Sacramento, and back home. We had a family reunion in Idaho and another one in Sacramento. From the reunion in Sacramento, we picked up a cousin to bring home with us. Actually, she is the daughter of my cousin who lives in Portland. We spent our fair share of time at their place last summer and we thought it would be fun for The Girl and The Cousin to have some extra play time this summer. They are really similar and love playing together. We did have a great time, but trying to entertain a two-year-old, a five-year-old, and a six-year-old can get exhausting. Especially if you want to show the visitor all that San Diego has to offer.
Anyway, our first destination was The New Children’s Museum. I’ve mentioned before how much we love it there. This day we didn’t make in until lunch time, which was great! Usually we’re there in the morning and some days it can get a little busy. Going on a Monday afternoon (or maybe it was Tuesday. I can’t remember now) was perfect. We stayed until they closed at 4. The destination of the day was the bubbles.
We were the only ones out on the bubble patio for a while and the kids loved it!
They figured out that if their hands were all soapy from the bubbles that they could actually catch bubbles in their hands! Who knew? The girls had fun catching them and The Boy had fun popping the ones that the girls would catch (much to the girls’ dismay). We also spent a bunch of time in the barn room having a barn dance. This room is really only for kids two and under and their families so it probably wasn’t the best place for us to be hanging out, but The Boy (who is 2) loves it and so did the girls. And, as I mentioned before, nobody else was there. The Boy loved the switches.
We tried to figure out what each of them did. He didn’t care so much, though, and really just wanted to turn them on and off. I’m so glad I bought the family membership to the museum because we have definitely taken advantage of it. We love spending time there!
We just returned from an 11 day vacation and I thought I would share some travel tips. I can’t say that I’m an expert or anything, but I do have two kids (and one extra for the week) and we don’t have a mini-van. We drive an Accord wagon. Three kids in the back seat of an Accord can be a tight squeeze, but we managed. Luckily our visitor doesn’t legally have to be in a booster or there’s no way we would have all fit. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to fit all of our stuff for 11 days (plus extra quilts that we came home with) and all of us in our little car. And we arrived sane. Somewhat. So in case you’re wondering, I have a few travel tips. These are just a few things that I did to make our many hours in the car tolerable.
My first idea came from the August issue of Family Fun magazine. I found small toys (most of which I scavenged out of the bottom of the toy box) and wrapped them into foil balls. When the kids would get antsy, I would hand them a foil ball that they could unwrap and enjoy a “new” toy. This worked except for a couple of things. The Boy had a hard time opening them. He’s only 2. And The Girl kept asking for another one as soon as the last one was opened. But it was a good idea. And fun. I also included in the toy bag a few new toys and books, just to keep things exciting.
I have learned that while traveling, you can never have enough snacks. So I stocked up. We had lots and lots of snacks. We even came home with extras. That’s how much I bought. I bought things like crackers and peanut butter filled pretzels. We also had a bit of candy. I bought dried fruit and GoGo Squeeze applesauce (we LOVE these things at our house) to keep things a little healthier. We also packed bread and peanut butter and honey. I planned on picnicking for lunch the first day, but we were in Mesquite, NV at lunch time and it was way too hot so we just ate on the road. Oh, and don’t forget the water. Lots and lots of water. I don’t know if it’s normal the amount of water my kids consume.
I think my best idea of the trip was the purchase or two sets of headphones and a splitter. This allowed the kids to watch movies on our portable DVD player without the parents having to listen. If you’re already all high-tech in your mini-van and have that option, well, pin a rose on your nose. I drive an Accord wagon, remember? BUT, for those of you with your fancy shmancy DVD player/headphones, what happens when your kids want to watch different movies at the same time? Enter my next genius idea. Load up that iPod (or iPad, or whatever) with movies and BAM! you have two kids, two movies, and still nothing bothering your sleep, I mean the conversation you’re having with your spouse.
That’s it! We had a great trip and the screaming was minimal. Let me know if you have any great ideas for traveling long distances with kids. I can always use more help!