Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Vacation, part I: Long Car Rides

What most of the country looks like from major interstates.

Driving long distances with kids. I think it's wise not to live-blog vacations, because every post would be a clever variation on "These kids are driving me crazy!" Whereas in retrospect, we can now say that everything went smoothly. And that we wish we had more days of vacation, which we certainly did not wish as we pulled into our driveway at 11:30 PM two Saturdays ago.

(When we say we wish we had more vacation, we actually wish that we as adults could go away together with no kids for some period of time comprising less than a week and more than a weekend. This is clearly a pipe dream at this point in time, but it's good to have goals.)

There is no magic doohickus that will stop kids from arguing in the back seat (unless maybe you are inclined to go the DVD-player-in-the-car route, which we are not), but one can stave off some fights with numerous activity books, multiple sets of crayons, and books on CD. Note to parents of the 4-8 set: Pippi Longstocking was a big hit. The Rescuers was a close second. The girls enjoyed Ella Enchanted, but the little-girl voice of the reader undercut the story to adult ears.

When your kids sleep for long stretches in the car, be prepared for craziness in a hotel room later, especially if the main snoozer is a small boy of 18 months.

A long car ride with your spouse is the ideal time to plan out the rest of your life together, especially since none of the plans require concrete action at that moment.

If I never see another Starbucks coffee drink, it'll be too soon. And I discovered that Starbucks (or maybe just the one in Jackson, Miss.) doesn't carry lemon wedges for tea. What is that all about? I think some enterprising person should start a nationwide chain of quality tea houses. I'd be all over that.

We met up with many great bloggers on our trip, but now is a good time to recognize the wonderful people in Nashville who gave us breakfast and good company: Jordana of Curmudgeonry and Meredith of Like Merchant Ships. I want to live in Jordana's purple bungalow, and that's high praise.


Jordana said...

Aw thanks! We had a great time meeting up with you and can't wait until you make it through this way again, although after the long trip I bet you can wait a very, very long time to do another road trip!

Amber said...

Yes, audiobooks are such a lifesaver. I think I would have lost my sanity a loooong time ago if it wasn't for them! I wish they worked a bit better for my toddler and 4 year old (we are currently going through the "he's touching me!" stage between those two *sigh* and in our hatchback there is no way to get them any further apart - they have to be wedged next to each other because it is the only way the three car seats will fit.) but we manage. I haven't tried a trip longer than about 3 1/2 -4 hours though. Maybe one of these days...

Paul Zummo said...

It was great to see you guys. Glad to hear you made it through, and I am just astounded by what you guys did. We only had to deal with one child (13 months of age) for a round-trip between DC and New York, and that was enough. We did resort to the DVD trick, and if I hadn't memorized the Winnie the Pooh movie from 1968 before, I did over the past weekend.

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Anonymous said...

Well, if you ever travel straight north you can stop in Hutchinson, Kansas where you will find plenty of young children who would gladly entertain yours while just the two of you enjoy that alone time. The DW is off at her holy hour, but I'm sure she would approve this comment. :)