I didn't want to spend money on airfare. I really, really wanted to go on vacation. I LOVE vacation. And I felt like I needed one really badly after four months of balancing a new baby, a busy freelance business, and a very active toddler.
So...I convinced my husband that a road trip would be a great idea. We'd get to see some family (we're stopping in Ottawa to see my in-laws), we'd get to see extended family (we're stopping in the Laurentians to visit my husband's relatives at their country home), we'd get to see some friends (we're stopping in Montreal to visit friends who just had a baby), we'd get to see the mountains (we're stopping in Vermont), we'd get to see the ocean (we're going to Maine), we'd get to explore something totally new (we're going to the Catskills in upstate New York), and we'd get to do some shopping (we plan to make a stop at the Waterloo outlets near Syracuse, NY) with a stopover in Syracuse to sleep.
No drive would be more than four hours—hence all the stops. And, we'd get to spend some quality time as a family.
Perhaps I was dreaming. One four-month-old. One three-and-a-half-year-old. One SUV packed full of luggage and strollers and beach toys and diapers. An iPad loaded with shows, and movies, and apps that will hopefully keep my toddler entertained. Lots of kids music sourced from the great advice of my friends on Facebook. Bags of healthy snacks from Bulk Barn. A suitcase full of colouring books, stickers, dolls, and toys to keep my toddler entertained once we've cut her off from using the iPad.
A hardcover copy of Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld (which I really hope I get time to read). And a big bottle of Advil (plus plans to buy a nice bottle of wine at each destination). I know it won't be relaxing. I'm sure there will be moments of chaos. We might second-guess our decision a few times. But, I'm hoping it will be lots of fun!
Our soundtrack for the trip: Ziggy Marley's Family Time album—for when we want everyone awake and excited about hitting the road!
And, when we want to everyone to take a nap so Mommy and Daddy can enjoy some peace and quiet:
What am I forgetting? What can I do to keep my kids (and myself) happy and sane along the way?
Please share your family road trip tips, tricks, and advice in the comments section below—the best ones will be published in my next post.
And, away we go! (Wish us luck.)