Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Road Trip Confessions...Babies... and a Cliff Hanger Ending...

Let me tell you about my success with road trips....

That would be a very short story because the truth is, I've almost never had any success with them at all.

Even as a little girl traveling with my siblings, I can recall debacles of throwing up simultaneously across the backseat, getting lost in the back roads of interior British Columbia, and having our vehicle broken into and our luggage stolen from the parking lot of the Calgary Zoo.

But somehow none of that was daunting enough to think that as an adult I could try again and so Kevin and I found ourselves on ill fated trips in blizzards in May, realizing our vehicle hasn't go the proper registration while in another province, hunting through an auto dump for tires slightly less bald, broken down on the side of the Saskatchewan highway in a heat wave, riding the mail route bus with all our belongings in black garbage bags and stuffed in someone else's van with two giant dogs between us, both wearing neck cones....

{In case you are wondering why it hasn't been turned into a screenplay yet...I haven't gotten around to it, honestly...but it also wasn't ALL one trip}

Then we had kids...and we lost our minds completely. At 3 weeks old we packed little Ava into her carseat and set out in a blizzard 6 hours north to FtMcMurray. We wanted to arrive at a certain time in the afternoon so we simply pulled out from home when Ava woke up for her 4:00 A.M. feeding...And I'm pretty sure that's the trip where we almost ran out of gas...

Just over a year later, my sister and I decided we were brave enough to road trip together to our grandparents house...with both of our toddlers and we got about 1.5 hours from the house when I was hit by a sudden migraine, lost my vision and we wound up in the Provost hospital Emergency room....

When Jackson was five months old we all went 19 hours from door to door to the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii which in retrospect was a great trip, but at the time...I have no idea how we managed it.
I do remember hoofing it to customs like Sherpa in the Vancouver airport with my daughter in a stroller and my son strapped to my chest, backpacks and carry-ons on my back and Kevin behind me cheering me on while he tried to steer our unwieldy baggage cart full of suitcases and car seats....and that was before we got on the plane....

Shall I go on? Shall I tell you about our ill fated camping excursions? Is it still too soon or can I laugh about being stuck in 2 hours of traffic in downtown Calgary one hour after the Stampede Parade... with crying children, no idea where we were going and a tent trailer swinging behind us... oh and our breaks failed.

Or how about a month later when our engine belt snapped just 30 minutes from home in the small town of Rimbey so we set up for the night in  a field next to a cow pasture and listened to the motorcycles on the highway all night....

Believe it or not, these are just the tip of the ice berg....

So what I would much rather do, is share with you some highlights from our recent 
and VERY successful road trip...

coloring sheets on clipboards and stamp markers...best time ever.

On the weekend we traveled south to visit my brother, his wife and my very new niece Annalie Gail.

I may as well just interrupt myself now to show you all a picture of how precious she is so you can coo along with me:

{All together now:.... AWWWWWWWW.....}

First of all the trip was successful because one does actually learn from countless mistakes and one does actually adapt to these types of circumstances. I maintain that I have simply gotten better at going places with my children because if one learns from mistakes....then I have learned more than most.

We rearranged our vehicle so that the kids now sit way in the back of the van ,and although I do think having a grabbing tool to retrieve things and hand things to them back there would be a smart addition to the set up, I'm pretty happy with how it all worked out.
They were pretty happy back there with a bin of snacks and books and toys between them, a dvd player set up to watch on the lid of the snack cooler and tons of new music to listen to.

We had directions, a cell phone and the where with all to make pit stops when needed even thought the drive wasn't too long and we actually arrived at our destination with a little wind still left in our sails.

We stuck close to the home base for visiting and set up all the beds as soon as we arrived so the kids could nap after lunch... they slept well and it was marvelous.

This of course left lots of quiet time in the afternoon for me to hog the baby all to myself:

okay, so I shared a tiny bit
We were blessed to be able to stay the night at the home of my sister in laws parents and it was so great to put my kids to bed in rooms separate from each other and have a decent night's sleep on our own too.

The next morning we pulled out and left Annalie to be cuddled by her own mom and dad and headed out towards  adventures on the way home, north of the city.

and boy was it ever cool... which is why I'll save it for later.
and  for now I will  bid you adieu



  1. This had me laughing and nodding my head as I read your stories that rang rather true to some of our own road trip stories....

    Annalie is cute. And I love the pictures of you holding her. Just lovely.

  2. WOW! You have sure had many an adventure on the road! I cant believe you guys kept trying to go on road trips after all that ;)
    Can't wait to hear the rest of this one!!

  3. The bin with all the goodies is a great idea. I usually have the kids pack back packs with all their things, but I think I might switch over to the bin. I like to bring my iPad when we go on road trips. With that they can download movies, games, and watch TV. With my provider/employer DISH Network I can access all my subscription channels from anywhere I am at. The kids can watch all their favorite shows live right from the iPad. I just had to buy a Sling Adapter for $99, which right now DISH has a great promotion for. Check out this link for more details about the promotion http://bit.ly/kzrNRf . The iPad is such a life saver in the times that the kids get restless and tired.

  4. Awwwwwwwwwwww. She is adorable. Love her name. Make you want a third?



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