The longest car ride they had been on previously is probably about 2 1/2 hours. Tops. We just haven't gone far with them. But my sister and her family live in Maryland and we knew we had to go visit. I like spending time with my sister and the kids really enjoy hanging out with their cousins. (I do have to admit that I preferred visiting my sister when she lived in Florida... but at least I can drive to Maryland.)
I like to stop and take my time while traveling... to be honest, I'm usually the one who needs the bathroom break... so the 5 1/2 hours of travel turned into 7. We had to stop at a Target along the way for a swimsuit and flip flops. Multiple bathroom stops. A wrong turn and a short detour to get back on track. A stop for lunch. 7 hours.
But we made it and the kids were amazing! I had decided not to use movies on the trip.
1. There is so much to see. It was a beautiful day with beautiful scenery. Nothing like a drive across Pennsylvania to remind me how wonderful it is!
2. Liza gets motion sickness sometimes and I was afraid watching a small screen would not be good for her. I would rather a cranky kid than a throwing up kid!
So I had to come up with something else.
Here is how we survived a long day in the car...
1. Snacks! And drinks. And lots of both. The kids had plenty thanks to our awesome neighbor who packed a bag of snacks for them when she learned about our trip.
2. Music. Good music. Music you can sing and dance to... and we did sing and dance.
3. Lollipops... and not just any lollipops but the big ones that take forever to eat. They also double as microphones for our awesome sing-a-longs. They came in super handy when we needed to pass some time while sitting in traffic. Strangely, Taylor Swift's Shake It Off seems to always come on while I'm stuck in traffic.
4. Audio books... because if you aren't going to watch a movie you should listen to a book! They kids were able to enjoy the stories and still look out the window and see the world.
5. Running at rest stops... and resting too.
I kept waiting for the insanity to start, but it never did. They laughed and giggled. They sang the songs. They ate their snacks and ran laps around trees at rest stops. They listened to the audio books and just enjoyed the ride.
Yes, it was long.
But it was also very survivable.
Over 300 miles, gorgeous mountains, four tunnels, road construction, one wrong turn and an almost accident later, we arrived safely at my sister's house and immediately started enjoying our time with family.
I was afraid the return trip wouldn't be as smooth since we would all be tired, but Liza and Jason constantly amaze me with their awesomeness. The last hour was filled with giggles from the back.
I'll travel with these two any day!!