Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We Are Going Places

So we took our very first family road trip.  We were three years overdue for a trip to Indiana to see my husband's family, but finally gathered up our utmost courage and did it.

Introducing my traveling companions:
{These first pictures were taken on my iphone last Sunday when we were neat and tidy.}

Here we are on the actual trip, crumbled and fuzzy. 

But surprisingly happy

We had a good bit of apprehension about this 18-hour trip - would our children fall apart? would they cry and fuss the whole way?  Our precious children are not the most easy-going bunch, so these were very reasonable concerns.  And though we invested in a DVD player, I dreaded having to use it much.  I wanted my kiddos to look out the windows, to talk, sing, and laugh, to enjoy the journey. 
Yes, I'm a bit of an idealist.

However, the kiddos completely floored us with cheerful, happy-camper little attitudes (almost) entire way.  
Floored, I tell you.

The first hour of the trip was my favorite.  The novelty of the experience was carrying us at an all-time high, and there was no noise in the car except the children's happy chatter and singing. 
We looked at cows and clouds. 

Then we turned on some of our favorite cowboy music, Riders in the Sky.  This is the same group that recorded "Woody's Round-up" from Toy Story 2.  It is happy music, and we love it. : )

We also took the audio cds that were included with our Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm.  We've been enjoying this bible for the last few months.  It's pretty simplistic, esp. for my five-year-old, but provides a nice overview.  We'd never tried the cds and I thought my kiddos might be bored with them - but the cd is well done, and they really enjoyed them for about a half hour each day and even protested when I turned it off.  Wonders, I tell you.

I tried to start reading this, and did thoroughly enjoy the first chapter (gives me such vision and hope for the whole homeschooling venture) ....unfortunately, I'm a complete wimp when it comes to car sickness, so that's as far as I got.

Fortunately, the Iowan scenery was pleasant, and yes, it about drove me nuts to be in Iowa but not go see my Iowa house.  So close and yet so far away - about a ten hour round trip detour :(

We stopped halfway and stayed at a hotel - another first, which added considerable to the "adventure" experience the kiddos were eating up. 

And we went swimming.  And I confess this was another first - swimming as a family.  I know, I know!  I am ashamed to admit it, but my sweetheart is not much of a water-guy and I have been content with our backyard wading pool.  So driving all day, staying at hotel, and going swimming - for us, it felt like we were being the Ultimate fun family.

Then we lined our kids up sideways on the queen bed.  They loved it, and excepting one mid-night panic, they did really well with the arrangement.

And today we made it the rest of the way with some additional fussing but really nary a hitch.  We listened to music and audio books, colored and had some snacks, talked and looked out the window, and watched one Blue's Clues.  We enjoyed the journey.

And now, while I'm not so naive as to expect this happy experience will be our "norm" for family travel, I do feel awfully encouraged knowing that We CAN travel.  Road trips are possible for our little family, and it's even possible that we can have happy travels.   This is pretty empowering knowledge, and my brain wheels are turning about all the opportunities and doors this opens for us....let's drive to the beach! to Chicago! to Canada! ... Paris. ; )

Anyway, it's certainly a significant milestone for our stay-at-home, we-have-little-kids-so-we-can't-family.

We are going places.


  1. road trips are no joke. good job, mama. :)

    (also, indiana? maybe you passed my part of the woods. . . i mean, prairie. next time, you are totally coming over for a visit!)

    (and one more thing, we go to iowa to visit my aunt near the quad cities. not sure how close that is to your new house. . )

  2. i totally understand everything you're saying here. a couple summers ago, we squeezed our eyes shut and went on our first long road trip, just waiting for it to be disasterous. is wasn't! we found out that our kids are AMAZING travelers!! it was a complete hallelujah moment! so now we drag them everywhere. i just flew back to sd with all three...alone! but it was fantastic. i'm glad it went well for y'all. drive to asheville next! :) also, i have that book and i like it, but it kinda overwhelms me. i completely love charlotte mason educating and have some other good book recommendations if you're interested. and that cd?? i want it! what a great idea! oh! and another thing?? do your kids like books on cd? if so i have some realllly good recommendations for those. super good for homeschoolers! :)


  3. It was fun to read about your road trip since it brings back many happy memories of trips with my own five now grown children! We made lots of road trips, so the children grew accustomed to entertaining themselves and each other with all kinds of activities and snacks, and this was before the days of watching dvd's in the car was even possible. I'm kind of glad that was not an option, but I understand why it is helpful. Those were great bonding times for our family, and they all love to travel!

  4. Can I say that I love your family was "dressed" for your adventure?

  5. such happy traveling pics! I'm so glad you documented your adventure. I love seeing all the sweetness in your posts! And maybe, just maybe, you'll get to travel to *me* some glorious day! :-)
    love you!

  6. Cailan, I am glad you put on your big girl panties and tried the travel. I have such sweet memories of traveling with my 3. We lived about 3 hours one way from my mother during my children's younger years, so I timed my travel when they were fresh in the morning or when they would be ready for a nap. She lived across the state line, so we always had the adventure of visiting both states' welcome centers,going and coming. They still remember getting little 4 oz. cups of Coke at the Mississippi Welcome Center! They seemed to always look forward to seeing Grammy but were equally glad for the return trip home.
    May your adventures be sweet memories and good times!

  7. Cailan,
    We took our first road trip with our 6 year old and 8 month old last thanksgiving. It was a "hold your breath" event as my in-laws were in the car with us as well. It went splendid. Maybe I was shocked because I remember being bored to tears when I was a kid sitting in the waaaaaay back of the station wagon (facing backward). We borrowed a friend's DVD player and, like you, I was hoping to not use it. My 6 year old watched a movie on the way home because that part of the trip is just not as fun as the other. A couple of times, we stopped at a rest area and I chased him around for 10 minutes to get the wiggles out. I do wonder what the other motorists were thinking:). Thanks for sharing. As usual, I always find encouragement in what's on your mind.

  8. awww, now this is so cute! what a dear happy family, making such pleasant memories together. Love the pics, Cailan!
    Miss you!!!

  9. I love this post! There definitely are pros and cons to travelling with kids, but in the end it's all a big adventure. I read a book called "The 3-Martini Family Vacation" which is all about travelling with kids, and it helped me realize not to expect perfection from a family vacation, and that travelling with kids is possible

  10. Yeah for you guys! Glad to know things went so well - Hope you have a wonderful time with family. :) BTW - how do you get that "retro effect" on your photos?? It is SO neat!

  11. How Fun, maybe we will be as brave and try a trip to Texas sometime. Looks like you all were doing great!!

  12. I would be tempted to blow up that photo of them side-ways on the bed - and hang it in their bedroom...or yours!