Family road trips can either scar you or get into your veins. For me, it's in my blood. I love road trips. There is nothing like getting into the car and taking off knowing that you have an adventure ahead of you.
Since we moved to Wisconsin from upstate NY seven years ago, my road trips have been spent traveling back and forth to visit with family. I have not needed directions to make that trip in years because I make it often and could make it in my sleep, if that was possible. My oldest child made his first road trip when he was five months old and I have taken all of my wee ones ever since. Every seven or eight months I pack up my muffins and head back for a month or so because it is important for our children to spend time with their family. No family members live in Wisconsin with us so our children have a much different upbringing than my husband and I did since we grew up with extended family all around us.
Since I started bringing my babies home, I have become chopped liver. Oh, sure, family enjoys seeing me but after a hug and a kiss, I suspect they would push me aside to get to the kids if the kids weren't already running to them. My oldest will be starting kindergarten this fall so the flexibility that I have had in making my trips will now be governed by the school schedule. That will take some getting used to and because of it, we needed to make a road trip this summer to spend time with family since we probably would not make the trip until next summer. It is a two-day trip at best and it has even been a three-day trip. You cannot just take off for a long weekend with that kind of travel time needed.
So, with preschool graduation behind us, I packed up the momma vehicle with kids, paraphernalia and all sorts of tricks and treats tucked into every spare corner to pull out when we needed to keep every one from a meltdown if we still had to keep driving and log some miles. It's not my first trip!
One of my favorite shots is before we even leave the driveway. The car is loaded beyond capacity and all you can see are three pairs of eyes ready for their adventure. Since they have done this since they were babies, they love the trip with all of its treats, adventure and family and friends waiting at the end of it. Coming home, there is the same anticipation of going back to your own bed, your own toys and getting some space because now we have had enough "togetherness" and we need our own routine again. When you live far from family it is either feast or famine!
...for image, go to
I have not yet figured out how to copy my pictures to BlogHer!...
(Pssst...here's another secret of mine...I do not like to put pictures of my children on the World Wide Web because I have not reached that comfort level yet. It's an unknown world out there. I wish I could because of course, I think they are the and most adorable wee ones ever! You will notice that most of my photos will share the essence of them but not true identities. In this rare instance, I will share because they really ARE the Road Trip and this is how it starts.)
In the beginning I made the trips alone with my first child. But when he was somewhere around six or seven months old I ended up with food poisoning at our stopover for the evening. I was halfway between NY and WI so there was no quick way for someone to get to me to help so I had to "just deal" until I was better and could continue on. Trying to take care of a baby at a hotel while suffering the full symptoms of food poisoning throughout the evening into the next day was character building to say the least. Since then, my mom forbids me to make the trip by myself, rightly so. It isn't just about me anymore! So, my mom and my husband share the traveling companion duties to get our family back and forth.
It is not a relaxing trip by any definition and each trip has a theme, mostly getting from Point A to Point B as quickly and safely as possible. Nonetheless, it is a trip that I still look forward to and then am happy to have behind me when it is over...until the road trip bug bites me again and I start itching for another one. Wacky, crazy...I know. But the road trip can still be defined by you. Air travel has become so insanely unreal that I cannot even imagine being left in an airport with three small children while our flight is delayed indefinitely or worse, canceled, and there are no options available for regrouping and starting over.
Truly, I could not do the Road Trip if my children were not so amazing. As young as they are, they really deserve the credit. Sure, the baby and toddler years come with meltdowns and limited travel times. The older years, you will see, are plagued by a different set of issues. But despite those issues that crop up my children have hung in there when I needed them to most. It makes all the difference. "Thank you, my beautiful babies!"
So, summer Road Trip, here we come! I will share with you some of the highlights of our pilgrimage to the Land of Family as we cross half the country in search of familial connections and stories to tell around the Thanksgiving table when my kids have grown.
You will see the color of the trip change as it nears the end. The rose-colored glasses get scratches and fingerprints on them. The extended family grows weary of following me around with all of my half-baked schemes to "Get the family together". But that is the whole idea behind "family". You are supposed to get on each other's nerves.
Come along with me as I share my Road Trip stories with you over the next few weeks (or however long it takes me, I really have no idea). You may get the urge to make your own Road Trip or you might decide that going to work doesn't seem so bad!
The Road Trip takes its toll and you must love adventure, good and bad.
Or maybe you need to be crazy...
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