Ok, we’re back. After a long, long hiatus we are picking up the blogging habit again. A lot has happened since our last post, so in one post I’ll try to catch up. When we last wrote, our little Gypsy boy was about to embark upon his first trip to grandma’s house. If my memory serves me correctly, he passed the test with flying colors. Not a peep on the flight or during the visit to my mom’s house. Considering the unfamiliar surroundings and break in routine, he did great. But what’s to complain about as long as mom a-k-a the “milk lady” is there. He couldn’t care less that his meals were being delivered on a jet.
He did such a great job to grandma’s house that we packed up the family and headed South – South America that is. A little after his first birthday we visited Buenos Aires, Argentina. What a blast! Once again, what’s to worry about when your meal travels with you. We met a great family there in San Cristobal outside of Buenos Aires. The young couple had a little boy the same age as Sweet Peas and they hosted us for the day. They taught us how to drink Yerba tea, took us on a drive around the city, and took us to a great park where the locals drink tea and watch the children play in the evenings. We met this family through a great website www.couchsurfing.com.
We’ve done a dozen other little stateside trips since — camping, fishing, KOA sites, bad hotels, weddings and tons of road trips. One thing I discovered about my children is that they do better on airplanes than cars. They absolutely hate being strapped down in a car seat unable to move for hours on end. An airplane allows them a certain amount of mobility and meeting hundreds of people. But through trial and lots of error we figured out the trick to car travel.
- First it takes knowing your children and what catches their attention. Toys and games didn’t hold their attention for more than 10 miles. We refuse to plug them into a DVD player for the duration of a road trip (oh, we travel with a portable one for desperate situations) but we prefer that they take in the changing landscape. But there are only so many times you can squeal with delight, “look, a cow!!” and expect the kids to become enthused. As I mentioned several times in this post, my children are driven by FOOD. So, this is how we make it.
- We pack several individual snack bags full of FOOD. Each kid gets his own snack bag at the beginning of the trip (full of fruit, a protein, chips, gum. etc. and their favorite – sliced cucumbers!) This also gives them a since of control because they can eat what they want, when they want. This keeps them pacified for hours. Then we stop for a meal and another snack bag is doled out. And once again, hours of calm! Now, we can do this over and over if we want to make good time arriving at destination, but if time is no issue (which, in a perfect travel-with-children world it shouldn’t be) we use our GPS to track the nearest park, and pull off to let the kids run. We keep a unpacked ball in the trunk for these stops. After these detours, they willingly hop back into their car seats ready to take on the road.
Enjoy the pics! Cathedral Caverns in Alabama.