I do love a good road trip, but with a 2.5 year old, who is in the middle of potty training, and an active 4.5 year old, that never stops talking, we knew we were in for a real treat. We had planned this trip for a couple of months and were determined to do it unplugged- that’s right, NO DVD, NO IPAD, NO IPHONE (o.k…just a little, but just keep reading to see where I cracked) and NO BATTERY OPERATED, PORTABLE ENTERTAINERS! After all, our parents did it! So, I was determined to suck it up and travel Ol,skool style! Ten days later, we’re back, somewhat rested and we decided to post our best moments, memories and our top 10 – Serenity and Survival Guide for the Summer Road Trip!
#1 Map the Silence-
My oldest never stops talking! Seriously. Rather than have the proverbial “Are we there yet?” plague our trip, I printed out a small map of our route, highlighted it in yellow and stuck it on the backs of our headrests. We placed a star on Toronto and a picture of Grandma on Halifax. Every time we took a pit stop, the kids got a sticker to put on the map. To make it real interesting, they got a tattoo, if they went pee!
#2 “Enya” better enjoy nap time-
Yes, we played games, sang a lot of songs and even made some up along the way. A road trip is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to different types of music. My kids love Motown, but we brought some country, classical, folk, the obvious kids Cd’s and Enya for nap time! We loooooooooved ENYA!
Don’t forget to pick up some postcards and mail them home. Writing these as you wait for dinner in a restaurant is great tool to kill time and keeps the hungry monsters at bay. Besides that, the kids were totally excited to see their mail! I often wonder if my children will know of that amazing feeling when getting a hand written note or letter in the mail- but that’s for another blog entry:)
#3- Become the Snack Master:
While my amazing husband drove, I was busy in the passenger seat making “magical” mixes of nuts, berries, dried fruits with the occasional jelly bean. O.k, there were many jellybeans….:) I was happily referred to as the “Snack Master”. At my feet were a bunch of options and two bags of microwaved popcorn- the silence during snack time was golden!
#4 – Honk, Honk!
Now this probably wouldn’t go over as well with a car full of girls, but I got tired of counting all the car haulers and bumblebee cars and needed a challenge. So, each time we passed an 18 wheeler I motioned to the driver to honk his horn. A simple pump fist and pull soon become a game that lasted the entire 42 hour drive. Now, even back in the city limits, my little guy says, “mommy do it, mommy do it!”
#5 – Fight guys with Fries!
Oh, the kicking of the seat! Is this not the most annoying habit of the toddler? In the midst of a “Bend it like Beckham session” I had an epiphany, to fight guys with fries by taking away their french fries. : Ya kick my seat- it’ll cost you a fry! Worked like a charm!
Score: Jacob 8, Zach 14
#6- Love Thy Neighbor-
After a long day of driving and entertaining, it was time to find the hotel and sleep. Yeah, right. Our boys had never slept in the same bed before and WOW this was a challenge. After the second night, I got schooled. I bought two flashlights and sent Jacob and Daddy out to hunt for “native” night crawlers and wild game, while mommy put the little one to bed.
#8- The rewards:
O.k, so, I did slip up and I used the iphone to play a short 15 minute Diego episode. They were both so good in the car that day, I just couldn’t help it. I also knew that my husband bought a bottle of wine and the chances of us actually having a drink and not falling asleep were far greater if they watched TV in the car and not at the hotel. After all you got to do, what you got to do, right?
#9 –Making memories:
You know that spot? The one you always stop at for ice cream when leaving the beach or cottage? Or that market you always go in for the raisin bread, cinnamon rolls or homemade lollipops? Or better yet, that fish and chip place off Peggy’s Cove?
On the way to my cottage, the place where I spent most of my summer holidays, I couldn’t wait to take them to the Ben’s Bakery Outlet Store for molasses cookies. It’s the one stop that you just need to make, whether its the first or the last trip to the cottage. Seriously, a dozen of these babies and a litre of ice cold milk and I’m at the spa!
#10- Disconnect to reconnect:
I guess it all depends on the nature of your kids as to how challenging or exhausting a road trip may become. Either way, it was a blast and I challenge every parent to leave the portable entertainers and DVD’s off for as long as you can!
Cheers boys, to a great trip and mom’s first blog entry. Happy Long Weekend Everyone!
CONTEST : The Serenity and Survival Giveaway!
Giveaway : Leave us a comment on the Wee Urban Facebook page and let us know about your favorite summer road trip “pit stop” or share your own tip to make them more fun, more relaxing and less stressful! As we embark on the last long weekend of the summer, I can’t wait to read your entries.
A winner will be chosen at random and receive a Wee Urban Gift Card valued at $50.00 dollars. The winner will be announced on our facebook page and on our blog on Monday evening at 9:15pm Eastern Time (Labor Day), September 3rd, 2012.
Deadline to enter is 9pm Eastern Time, (Labor Day), September 3rd, 2012. Wee Urban will be “liking” and commenting on your entires on FB. A comment by Wee Urban validates your entry. Thank you, Happy Long Weekend and Good Luck!
ALSO WATCH FOR A SILLY SECONDS SALE SHORTLY AFTER THE WINNER’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE. SALE TO INCLUDE ITEMS SLIGHTLY IMPERFECT AND SET TO BE AUCTIONED OFF ON MONDAY EVENING STARTING AT 9:30 EASTERN TIME.