So, just got back from what felt like an incredibly long trip back to the good ol’ Midwest, which included a weekend getaway with my husband to Colorado Springs in celebration of a friend’s wedding.
Two nights away from my children in the cool, crisp Colorado air was very nice, but also very weird. Upon encountering glimpses of our life before children, my husband and I tend to get a little rambunctious. But, we survived, and we danced, which rarely happens, so all in all, it was a success.
And the fire that I unintentionally started at the wedding reception was contained, so no biggie.
We also decided that Denver is an awesome city, and despite our oppressively generic lunch at the Twisted Kilt (a sort of Scottish Hooters), we will definitely be happy when we can again head West to do some further exploring. Bad news, I didn’t take my camera, so the only pictures I have of the actual wedding are from my iPhone. I felt naked without it, and I will never again embark on a journey without my little Rebel again.
The logistics of traveling are tricky these days, but I refuse to let distance keep my kids from their family back home. I’ll be the first to admit this trip was a bit ambitious considering the time and miles. Typically when I make the drive from Virginia to Illinois, I bribe a family member into travelling with me cross-country. This time, due to scheduling and short-notice, I made the drive with a two-year-old and a 6-month-old ALONE.
Yes, more that 800 miles of open road without an extra set of hands. Am thinking I should forget writing or photography and start moon-lighting as a truck driver. Get me behind the wheel, and I can just go on for hours and hours.
Many people have asked me how I can possibly make this trip considering the age of my kiddos. Well, wait no longer. Since I am the expert, I will tell you my secrets. It’s quite simple really.
1. Snacks. All kinds and lots of them (Keep them out of the reach of the kids, though. We thought it would be ok if the little girl had access to her bag of goodies, and she ended up drinking 4 juice boxes. She kept telling me her “body hurt” and had the absolute fullest diaper in the history of diapers. Luckily, they were low-sugar juices from Trader Joe’s, but she was still a crazy bit hyper).
2. Movies. Again, all kinds and lots of them. I so miss the days when I could actually listen to music in my own car. These days the most exciting tune I hear from the driver’s seat is the theme song to Scooby-Doo. Oh, and Redbox was amazing this trip. It’s a buck, and you can drop them off once you’re done with the flick. Perfection.
3. A strong bladder is a necessity. Each time I had to, you know, go, I had to unload both kids and put them into the stroller. Not fun, but if timed appropriately, no biggie.
4. Be silly. Make yourself laugh; make your kids laugh.
5. Look for safe, multi-functioning stops. I try to find Panera and Target. If I can get the kids out of the car for about an hour or so, they are ready to sit again for a while. And, lots of moms hang out at these locales, so you won’t attract attention to yourself.
6. Finally, if you have to stop, just stop. Not in the middle of the road, obviously, but don’t try to fulfill some altruistic road-tripping timeline. Whether it’s to give a hug or reposition a bottle, it’s much easier to just stop then try to make it further with screaming kids.
This is sort of a random post, as I am in travel recovery mode. Still sifting through my pictures and edits, unpacking suitcases, doing laundry. Missing my family a lot. It is amazing to see how your kids react to the kids of your brothers and sisters. It is so stinking cool. I feel very lucky to have so many people who love my babies, and that makes the miles much easier to bear.
Football starts back up tonite, so think it’s pizza (and probably beers) for supper. The Vegas diet starts Monday.
Just wanted to drop a line. Will it ever stop raining?