First I would like to thank Anonymous for the first ever comment made on my blog!
Next, today's topic is travel miscellanea. During the holidays, we do a good bit of travel (mainly to visit relatives). We have discovered a few things about ourselves when we travel.
For one thing we enjoy road trips. My husband and I found that we get to have long meandering conversations on road trips. There is no time for that during a normal day. Also, I really hate travelling by airplane (part control issue, part motion-sickness issue). Another benefit to road trips is that there is usually some small adventure or funny thing that happens along the way. Much to our satisfaction, our kids travel fairly well. Part of that is probably because we do two hour trips on a fairly regular basis. The longer ones happen at least once if not twice a year. We have always brought the kids with us since they were infants, so they have had plenty of time to get used to it. So far we have been able to keep them entertained without resorting to a portable DVD player.
Another thing we have discovered is that we always manage to forget something, no matter how well we plan ahead. Most of the time it is something small that we can live without for a few days (On this last trip I forgot my prenatal vitamins). Occasionally, we have to make a trip to a store to pick up a real necessity (We forgot deodorant on our honeymoon).
We don't take many pictures on our travels. We keep forgetting the camera, for one thing. But, even when we remember the camera, we forget to keep it handy for those picture perfect moments that are gone so soon.
It doesn't matter where we stop for a meal, it will take at least an hour to finish and get back on the road. We've tried packing snacks and stopping at rest stops, stopping at fast food restaurants, and stopping at slower sit down restaurants. Between food, restroom trips, various diaper issues, and baby feeding issues when the kids were infants, it would usually take at least an hour per stop. This is very frustrating on a longer trip.
The older the kids get, the easier it is to pack for them. The clothes get simpler and are less likely to get horribly messed up on the trip. The sleeping arrangements get more compact in size and are easier to take along. The kids start needing the same type of toiletries as the rest of the family. Bottles makes way for sippy cups then cups with a straw and finally water bottles. It is a blessed day when you can pass a snack back to the kids while you drive without undue concern for choking issues or messes. I look forward to the day when I can have potty trained kids to simplify the travel that much more.
This year's holiday travel is a bit tougher, since I'm pregnant. My doctor wants me to stop and walk around every hour on a long trip. I'm in the very uncomfortable stage of the pregnancy, so I don't sleep well away from home (I have trouble sleeping well at home too). Also, some of the travel is with just me and the kids, so I have to plan ahead and do driving when I am at my most clear-headed (afternoons are out since that is my sleepiest time).
All in all, we do enjoy our travels. The visiting, fun, and discovery at the other end, make the bumps in the road worthwhile.