Our biggest Travel day!
“And I’ve never been to Boston in the fall”, but we’re heading there in the Spring! Boston or bust today – actually, to a great suburb North of Boston to stay with Dave’s sister and family.
After performing our “normal” farm morning chores, we packed everything up (though I say that lightly – it was not a light chore!) and “hit the road again”. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason, we had estimated this voyage to take us about 5 hours – WRONG! We left around 10:30am and arrived in Boston at 9:30pm – that was a long time!
[Slight interjection by Dave, here. We did leave the farm at about 10:30AM, but we sat in a parking lot until about noon, waiting for Robyn to finish her WiFi business and straighten out a shipping issue--THEN we got on the road. Still, it WAS a long trip. After growing up in Southern CT, and attending UConn for college ("5 or 6 of the best years of your life"), I am not sure how I so badly underestimated travel time.]
Unfortunately, that meant we missed one of the places we were really looking forward to seeing since it is well set-up for little ones: Old Sturbridge Village. It is a ‘living museum’ of New England life from 1790-1840. We had gone there on our last trip about 3 years ago, and there was a terrible rainstorm, but there was a great indoor kids ‘explore’ area that was just their speed. The rest of the place is really well set up for visitors, young and old alike. But we drove by here about 8:30PM and waved as we passed. *SIGH* I guess we’ll just have to visit next time.
Leaving that morning and heading in a Northward direction was probably the most difficult moment in this whole trip for Dave and I. The farm had been fun, but it was a lot of work to keep up with the kids, it had been hot, and we had a lot of dirty laundry, and…the van was kind-of stinky. We looked at each other, from our thrones in the front of the van, and wondered out loud if we had truly lost our minds! We were at the end of our first week away and we had 3 more weeks to go. Going North seemed like the craziest thing we had ever done, home was South, and we were heading into the abyss with 9 young children for 3 more weeks. We were scared! But, Garmin led us on and we followed – North!
The drive was prolonged by traffic, personal stops and just the fact that it was actually a very long way to go. The kids did amazingly well, no major melt downs or complaints. I will add a few tips at the end of the post, but right now I want to tell about the funny thing that happened on the Jersey Pike.
We were crawling along in very, very slow traffic when we heard the dreaded “I gotta go peeeeeeee!” from the 4 year old. Argh – she’s the one that we didn’t put the travel diaper on. So, over we went to the side of the road and stopped. I dashed out of the van and set up our little van potty (see the blog about supplies) on the floor of the van. Our daughter proceeded to take care of her business. While I am solemnly waiting for the event to transpire, I am startled to the point of needing the potty myself by a man speaking as he approached the van! I almost screamed. It was a state trooper who was coming to check on our status. While I was trying to regain my composure, he took one look in the direction of the inside of the van and quickly averted his eyes and turned around while saying something like “Oh, potty break, I see, well, you go ahead”. And before I had a chance to confirm that it was a potty break, he was behind the van and out of site! I guess we looked like we had it all under control!
Our 800 hour trip, I mean long travel day, ended at Dave’s sister’s wonderful house, where we all hugged necks and screamed with glee. And then, I asked permission and pardoned myself as I spent the rest of the evening with her washer and dryer!
Long Road Trip Tips for being in the car:
1. Put a diaper on anyone who will tolerate it, and put pads under anyone who won’t. Carry a portable potty, or use a diaper, or a cup for those who won’t.
[Another interjection by Dave -Another product we'd recommend for traveling with children: The Piddle Pad, a Waterproof Car Seat Liner. This works well as preventing the seat from getting wet, or if you forgot to do that and there is an accident, you can change the child, put this down, and have a dry surface for them to sit on while you continue to travel.
2. Have some very long running DVD’s available for the kids. We also enjoyed some stories on CDs. We also have adult CD’s (business books) to listen to. We took turns with the kids, alternating between kid time and adult time.
3. Make sure the kids are sitting in the best possible configuration to get along and play together. We didn’t bring a lot of toys, but times like this are when the new toy from a fast food kid’s meal can really be a help!
4. Nursing babies – bring a bottle (if they will take one) in the car/van. I am fine with giving my nursing babies a bottle of formula here and there, so I like to have one available if we are not in a good spot to stop for a nursing session. This has been a great thing for us on several trips.