We’ve been home for about 3 weeks now, after 10 days on the road with the
kids. We’ve had the chance to reflect on the event, shop-vac the truck and
well, recover. There were some ups, some downs, some very long stretches
but the reality is that I think we’d do it again.
Spending time together, all 5 of us. It made me realize how rarely we do
this for extended periods of time without “outside influence”, so to speak.
It took some adjustment but I’m fairly certain we all enjoyed this. It was entertaining watching Anja do her best to keep up with the boys and seeing the boys adjust their habits to include her a little bit more.
Learning we can all be pretty adaptable despite the curve balls. Extra
night in Northern Cali due to snowstorms? Frustrating for the parents but
the kids thought the 10×10 freezing cold pool in the hotel was pretty cool.
Broken down truck? Anxiety-inducing for mom, annoying for dad but the
kids got to RIDE. IN. A. TOWTRUCK! A low-light turned highlight.
The San Diego Zoo. Amazing place. Our recipe for success included going in
the pouring rain, on Christmas Eve. We practically had the elephants and
giraffes to ourselves. Plus, it was the first day in about 5 that we really
got to move, and we all needed it. Everyone walked/ran/skipped/shuffled/piggy-backed the entire park. Highly recommended.
Legoland, for the kids. Ultimately, this was the reason for the trip and the kids did enjoy it. Parents, meh. I don’t need to go back. EVER.
Christmas dinner outside. Not a turkey in sight.
Screen time. For parental-sanity’s sake, we broke our own “no TV/Screen
time on such and such a day” and tried to make it painless for both the
kids and ourselves. Which meant that the kids watched a lot more movies
than usual, but that was ok. After all, it was their holiday, too. But I felt like my Mum when I kept saying “look out the window! look at what you’re missing!”
Road food. Ugh. Despite how much I was able to pack, we still had to rely
on some fairly unreliable establishments for sustenance. We hit a few
highs, for sure — the breakfasts dives were the best, as was the cafe in
Crescent City, Nor Cal. Otherwise, it was pretty grim. We stuck to Liz’s suggestion to
avoid chains – which we did, for the most part. When we do this again, I’d
research food options a little better.
Physical activity, or the lack thereof. None of us are used to sitting for
so long – I think I got 35 minutes of exercise the entire time we were away.
Every time we opened the truck doors, it was like unleashing caged animals
into the wild – whether we were in a parking lot, a beach or a gas station.
Everyone scattered. I’d definitely do this differently next time: lots of daytime activity, save the driving for the nights.
All in all, it was pretty great – an experience the kids remember and the parents enjoyed. We’ve been talking about the next adventure… Suggestions welcome!