I realize I’m biased, but I have now firmly decided that I have the best family. How many people can take a 12-hour family road trip, spend a week with even more family with no wi-fi and very slow/limited data service, drive the same 12 hours back, and still be on good terms and speaking to each other at the end? Well, my family can!
My mom worked in education, so growing up we were able to take a trip every summer. And every summer we headed. from Atlanta, out in the minivan driving to wherever we were going for 1.5 – 2 weeks. No matter how far, we drove. The longest trip was either Texas or South Dakota. Obviously we stopped along the way but that is a long time to spend in the car. I don’t remember hating it, though. So when my sister-in-law decided we needed to take a trip to Illinois to see my dad’s family (how many sisters-in-law suggest that?!), there was no question. I’ve done that trip at least 20 times in my 29 years of life. Never have I done it, however, with 5 adults and a 15-month-old. Apart from them just being realllly long days in the car, the drive days weren’t bad (plus, going up, I had the back bench in the van to myself). I might even venture to say it was fun. I really am lucky to have such a great family.
So how do you keep a 15-month-old entertained for 12+ hours, you ask? That is a GREAT question and luckily my sister-in-law asked people and Googled well. But really it all depends on the kid. My nephew usually sleeps a lot during their car trips, but I guess it was too exciting to have so many of us in the car and at his entertainment beck and call. So he didn’t sleep much. But he/we read his books, listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”, played with Scout, played with a couple electronic toys, listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”, played on the iPad, read books, and oh, did I mention that we listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”. He really was great and I’m semi-joking about the music…kids songs aren’t all that bad and it makes them so happy! But do be prepared to take more breaks than you would without a child.
Anyway, apart from the drive days, we got to see all of my dad’s family. And what do you do for a week with no wi-fi and slow/limited data service, you ask? Another great question. We played Farkle, went to the park, ate, played corn hole, played Ticket to Ride, ate, went to Wal-Mart, visited dad’s old stomping grounds/neighboring towns, ate, watched Wimbledon, oh, and played more games and ate. It’s honestly pretty nice to have limited social media/web access and just hang out.
I’d say it was a very successful trip, and one that not every family can stand to do. And although it did not take much “planning” per say….I’m totally counting this as #21 on my 30 before 30 list – I helped with plans and games and entertainment, which totally counts.