Family Vacation: The First 10 Hours

by Abby on June 13, 2011

Family car trip

Tight squeeze

7:00am – Scheduled time of departure.

7:52am – Actual time of departure. Took more time than planned to get the bikes on the car, fetch the last-minute items (extra wipes, bike helmets, phone charger), and wedge the dog into the approximately 4 inches of space between the car seats.

8:20am – Miles: “Are we still in Baltimore? Tell me when we’re in a different country.”

8:30am – Drop off dog at the kennel, aka “dog camp.” Bye, bye pooch! Riley starts bawling.

8:45am – M: “This country is really foggy. Not like Baltimore.”

10:22am – The boys stretch their legs sprinting around a Wendy’s.

11:15am – M: “Are we in Germany?” Close – Jersey.

11:18: – R: “Bob da builder! Bob da builder! Yes he can!”

11:30-12:05 – 2yo dozes off for what will turn out to be his only nap in 2 days.

12:34: Pit stop at McDonalds. Kung Fu Panda 2 toys are obtained, as well as probably a zillion germs from the rest stop bathroom.

2:30pm – M: “Do they speak a different language in Connecticut?” Man, this kid needs to learn some geography. Do they teach that in kindergarten?

2:42pm – All hell breaks loose. 6 hours is too long for 4 people to be cooped up in 1 car together.

3:00pm – Arrival at grandparents’ house. Whew!

3:09pm – 2yo smashes Grandma’s piggy bank that she’s had for 40+ years.

lightswitch faceplate4:50pm – Riley is scared of the vacuum cleaner, the dehumidifier, the basement…. “Dat scawy! Dat scawy!” He goes around pointing out everything that’s scary. When he points at the light-switch plate in their bedroom, Miles chimes in, “Yeah, I’m kinda terrified of that, too.”

Gotta love family vacations!

READ O’ THE DAY: The 5 Stages of a Family Roadtrip

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie Mizzell June 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

Oh my, that IS kind of freaky. 40 year old bank, huh? Whoopsy. I hope you get some downtime. Wishful thinking?


Abby June 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Well, my downtime today was shopping w/ my MIL while Riley (finally) napped. I’ll take it!


Crysi June 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm

And that is precisely why we’re not going on any long distance car trips. We’re camping next month on the coast, about 3.5 hrs away and I’m dreading the trip. I’m hoping the twins sleep most of the way and maybe we can get by with the dvd player for the 4yo. She spends most car trips now complaining she’s bored and asking “are we there yet?” Yeah, that’s fun.

And that light switch plate is creepy.


Abby June 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

The DVD player is worth it’s weight in gold. Good luck!


Lou Mello June 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I remember the days with much more fondness now than when it was actually going on. We did not do many car vacations, although a fairly long drive into Canada a few hundres miles North of Toronto would probably qualify as a test of good parenting. I think my daughter was maybe 5 or so during that trip and the only memorable thing about the trip was being eaten alive in a boat in the middle of a lake at midnight with my Father-in-Law laughing like crazy at me fighting off the mosquitoes and black flies. By the way, they were both so big that I could not exaggerate as to how big a Canadian mosquito or black fly is.

Oh, yeah, my daughter was no problem at all during the trip, she seemed to enjoy travelling from a very early age.


Abby June 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Yikes! I HATE mosquitoes. Too bad they love me. 🙁


Jennifer Larson June 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Oy. I hope you’ve had a good strong drink by now…or maybe four.

My family leaves town in less than two weeks to drive to Florida. I’m already dreading it. It’s not that my kids are bad travelers…but let’s face it, they’re little kids, cooped up in a minivan for hours on end. Hell, I don’t even like being cooped up in a minivan for long amounts of time, and at least I can read silly magazines en route.

One day, I want to write a book about the travails of traveling with a family. Or maybe compile a series of essays about it. Perhaps I could donate a portion of the proceeds to a special camp for mothers who have spent too much time on the road with their kids and have finally run amok.


Abby June 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Do it! I’d read it. And I have LOTS to contribute!


Malia Jacobson June 14, 2011 at 12:09 am

Can’t really blame them–that light switch is a little creepy. Hope it doesn’t glow in the dark!

Very timely post. We’re about to leave for Maui for a week and a half with both kiddos. I keep having to remind myself that this won’t be an umbrella-drink type of tropical vacation. More like constant sunscreen-slathering, snack-and-sippy toting, and watching the kids like hawks on the beach. Then back in our condo by 7 p.m. every night. Our regular life, just someplace different (and much more expensive!). I’m already having nightmares about the 5 hr plane ride. Why did we book this trip again? 😉


Abby June 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

It’ll turn out better than you thought, I promise. No matter how hard it is, we’re always glad we did it. Memories, new experiences, family bonding, blah, blah… 😉


Nicole June 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

I LOVE that your little guy already knows about other languages and countries. I was significantly older when I realized that not everyone was American; when I was 11 or 12 we moved and our neighbour was Mexican and my obsession with other countries and languages began.

Silver lining? 😉


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