You know it's a good family road trip if....
1. You can find an activity that everyone in your group enjoys. Maybe this is no big feat for some families, but our group consisted of two small children under the age of six, a teenager, two adults and two senior citizens. WHAT do you do with that group? You hop on a big old 4-wheel drive and tour the Oregon Dunes, that's what! Everyone loved it. My dear mother-in-law exclaimed as we pulled back into the parking lot after the tour, "I don't want it to be over!" Our teenager smiled. SMILED, I say! And there was no YouTube video involved. Everyone loved it. Our tour guide was a second grade teacher that could have doubled as a stand-up comic. He knew his stuff, and made the tour educational while throwing in a good mix of excitement burning up and down those giant, sandy dune hills.
2. You can revisit a nostalgic spot. On our drive north, we stopped for lunch at Bella Union in Jacksonville, OR. This charming little Italian restaurant was the site of our first date 12 years ago. Turns out revisiting your first date with three kids in tow is a lot more expensive, and not nearly as romantic. But still fun.
|Triple B: Bella eating a Bella Burger at Bella Union.|
|Little people looking for whales at Umpqua Lighthouse|
5. You have stories to tell about the car ride. Our three year old gets a little bored in the car. So he asks to stop for a potty breaks. A lot. Not more than 15 minutes after we stopped for his potty break he announced, "Mommy, I peed." As in, he wet his pants in the car. After we JUST stopped for a potty break. My husband and I didn't even respond. We just looked at each other, rolled our eyes and kept on driving. Well, OK. We did stop at the next rest stop to get him cleaned up, and luckily we had a towel for him to sit on. But we had to explain to him multiple times why he had to sit on the towel, because he is in the why why why phase of childhood. "Because you don't want to sit in a puddle of your own pee for the next 4 hours, THAT'S WHY!!"
And not to be outdone, his older sister lost her second tooth just as we crossed over the boarder back into California. Hooray!
Notes for next time:
1. Diapers for weak bladders on long car trips.
2. Sand = Good.
3. Dates with kids don't really count as dates.
4. Just do it. It's tiring, it's crazy-making. It never goes exactly as planned. But do it anyway.
|"Camping" cabin at Loon Lake.|