We have put another 40 hour road trip behind us AND we didn’t have any major issues or dramas – I know, shocking right!! It was such a great experience but makes for a less exciting blog post;). I mean, no breakdowns, no dramas, not even a little poop mishap – which seems to be our norm, the dice roll, of course, would be who would end up being responsible for it;)
The new vehicle was amazing and everything we hoped it could be. Everyone was so comfortable and the dogs had space to roam, if you can believe that. Nick wanted me to mention the he doesn’t regret getting the gas engine in exchange for the diesel – apparently its a lot more fun and ‘zippy’….that’s my word not his….maybe that was obvious, haha.
We will be in the States for 6 months and because of this, we brought down WAY more of our things, compared to last time so Nick got us a Thule that came with 4 duffle bags. We each got a bag that I packed half with clothes and that left everyone a half bag to fill up. Lily brought stuffies, and stuffies and oh yes, more stuffies!! ‘But mom, we can’t leave kiki or lady, they’ll be sooooo sad without us!! Jake chose to bring a half bag of Super Heros in case there’s a desperate situation and we need all the help we can get, to be honest though, he wasn’t wrong, haha. We’ve certainly been there!!
In the car, I always try and pack the kids a bag for all the car entertainment that quickly converts into what I like to call, ‘The Pit Of Despair’. By the end of the trip it’s a mix of toys, broken crayons, fallen cheerios and dog drool – It’s my favourite bag to unpack (ugh). BUT without it, I’m not sure what we would do. We basically broke the trip into 4 days and drove 10 hours a day. I’m not a big fan of screens and I try to limit the kids as much as possible, only because my kids turn into zombies/little d’s if they watch too much TV – BUT I’m also not a monster so we fell into a routine that went like this (ish): They spend the first 2 hours reading, colouring, asking for a show (us declining) eye spy, playing little imagination games, asking for a show, asking how long until they get to watch a show, and snacking. THEN they get to watch a movie. After the Movie is done, they get 2 more hours of Non Screen time and that’s how it rotates through for the 10 hour day. If you’re getting the idea that this runs smooth, then I apologize for misleading you – It’s also full of chaos, frustration, laughs….at anyones expense, did I mention snacks and, oh ya… 500 times an hour we are asked – ‘Are we There Yet?’ Would a road trip really be complete without that though?
We always make sure to stay in a hotel with a pool and if we get to the hotel too late for the kiddos to enjoy it at night, Nick would get the kids up super early and they would go for a morning swim. I would take the dogs for a long walk and then we would all meet back in the room, pack up, grab something to go from the continental breakfast (half of which ends up in The Pit of Despair) and be on the road by 9 am at the latest. It’s amazing how tired the kids would be after 2 hours of swimming and it seemed to make the day better for them and made me feel less guilty about the long car days.
The first 2 days of the trip were really cold, shocked again right? The last time we travelled was in the summer and it was easy to stop at a playground and have a picnic, but not so much this time. Believe me, we had plenty of stops between 5 year old bladders and my 40 year old, never been great and then had twins bladder;). The dogs had lots of little breaks too but they are getting old, Lloyd is 12 and Gunner is 8, so they don’t want to run around like they used to!!
While we were driving through Wyoming (Fun Fact: The Least populated State) we came across 110MPH winds and thought we were going to lose the Thule. It was absolutely INSANE. In a 20 Mile stretch, 25 Semi Trucks had blown over!!!! People who were hauling trailers and 5th wheels had to pull over and wait it out – we were so thankful that that wasn’t us, this time. The same day, we made it to Colorado and when we stopped for fuel in Denver Nick was told to be careful on the highway because there was a huge forest fire that had moved into the city and had already burned down 600 houses AND because the wind was insane, they might have to shut the roads down. It was the strangest sight to see such a huge fire and even stranger that it was in December but I guess they have been in a drought the last 6 months and also had a record LOW snow fall so far and that helped contribute to the fire. It was really sad to see!!
New Years Eve was spent in Witchita Falls, TX – 5 hours away from our final destination. We let the kids stay up late(r) and had a ‘party’. We played ‘Headbands’ and ‘Sorry’ (how very Canadian of us;) and had the kids favourite, a ‘snacky’ Supper. It was super fun and when the kids went to bed, Nick and I had time to reflect on how much we actually like our kids. Of course, we love them, BUT we also really like them and think they’re hilarious and way cooler than us (although the bar is set pretty low in that department). We also feel such gratitude to be in a situation that allows us to travel with them, explore, and offer them unique opportunities for growth. Some call it torture but we think it’s fun;) For now, we are sticking to good ‘ol North America but once all the borders start opening up again, watch out World!! We are coming for you!!