Friday, September 11, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Today is the day. Once school gets out, every Playfriend but PM (who will be holding down the swingset) will be loading up children and hitting the road for Florida. The plan is to breakup the 11 - 12 hour drive by going half-way today and the rest tomorrow. This is for the mental stability of the Playfriends and the physical well-being of the Playkids.

We're going in three cars (it was decided that although we had the room, 8 people in the Playmobile would be asking for trouble) and loading ourselves down with all the necessities - portable DVD players with headphones, hand-held gaming devices, coloring books, stuffed animals and if need be, cough syrup. Just kidding. Well, maybe.

I might be delusional, but I'm hoping that our later departure and split group will encourage the kids to sleep some. All together its impossible, but like I said, its a hope. Little Sister and Amazing Child will be suited in their PJs and hopefully will conk out sometime after Montgomery. Don't laugh. A girl can dream, but I know when my mom took me to Disneyland when I was 6, we stayed up ALL NIGHT in the car. We were so excited we thought our brains would explode. Mom was not pleased.

But sleep or no, tomorrow will be a fairly easy day on our schedule. Depending on when we get in, we might take our first tour of the Magic Kingdom and meet up with Mickey, Goofy and Donald at Chef Mickey's. Maybe catch some fireworks or scope out the pool. It will be chaos from there on out, so hopefully we'll sleep well that night, if nothing else. That is, of course, if one of us doesn't commit homicide on the way there. Keep us in your thoughts. :)

Have you tackled a massive road trip with small children before? Any tips or tricks we should know about before we go?


PS. Don't forget that next week, we're running our Keep Marilyn Company contest! We'll be giving out nifty prizes from Disney each day to one commenter, so be sure to pop in next week and keep PM from getting too lonely.


gigi said...

No tricks I know of I was lucky. My kids love to sleep in the car. My youngest still does and she is 18.

Enjoy your vacation at the happiest place on earth.

Playground Monitor said...

When our kids were 4 and 8 we rented a minivan and along with a set of grandparents we took a two-week trip to Yellowstone and back. We carried a cooler with drinks and sandwich stuff and a box with snacks, bread, a small coffee maker and some other items. We'd eat a good breakfast close to wherever we'd stayed for the night, picnic at lunch, which gave the kids opportunity to run around and eat dinner close to wherever our next stop was. Nightly swims in the motel pool helped them burn off more energy.

We made sure most of the activities were kid-friendly, though I'm not sure how much they enjoyed the fabulous exhibit of Remington sculptures the museum in Cody, Wyoming had. We had no iPods or portable DVD players. Each boy had a tote bag he'd packed with coloring books and crayons and anything else he could stuff in that bag. Favorite stuffed animals were allowed BUT BE DARN SURE YOU DON'T LEAVE IT IN A MOTEL!! We sang songs, play "cow poker," had some bingo cards where you looked for certain roadside items to cover the squares and played the alphabet game (spot the letters of the alphabet in order on road signs. Oh and we kept a running list of license plates to see how many states we could spot.

We all survived though there were a few tense moments along with funny ones (like #2 son telling his grandmother his bottom was tired from sitting so much).

I think one basic trick to traveling with kids is to remember they're kids with a shorter attention span and shorter legs.

Y'all have fun! I hope I can take BabyGrand to Disney one day when she's old enough to really enjoy and remember it.

Maven Linda said...

Chloroform always works. If not for the kids, try it for yourself :-).

My parents didn't seem to sweat taking all six of us on vacation, but my mother had a Killer Stare, guaranteed to freeze children, small animals, and grown men in their tracks.

Disney is great. I'd go every year, if I could squeeze out the time. Go to all the rides you want to ride, first thing, and if there is a line get a ticket for a set time, then go do something else and come back when it's time for your ride . . . no waiting in lines.

Sherry Werth said...

My daughter gets extremly car sick, so you can imagine how our vacations went. It took a few years to figure out why she either screamed or cried when we took a trip. She was a baby and we just thought she didn't want to sit in her carseat. About the age of 5 we figured it out and discovered Dramamine. :)

Have a safe and fun trip!

Angel said...

I'm so excited, I can barely sit still! I haven't been to Disney since I was 15, and to rediscover it with my kids. Yay!

(Actually, SP, Benadryl works better than cough syrup, as long as it doesn't hype your kid up.) Just saying. Not that I have any experience iwth that. :)

PM, we're putting together the kids bags today. And the hubby is installing the brand new DVD system he bought. I'd complain about the cost, but it will be worth every penny, I'm sure.

Now I'm off to the races. Much to do today before we leave.


PM's Mother said...

I never traveled with more than 2 kids at a time and fortunately they were good travelers.

As soon as they were able to read a road map we gave each of them one and showed them our destination on the map. From there they tracked the trip and it stopped the "Are we there yet" remarks.

We did take a trip from North Carolina to Wyoming when PM was 15months old. Our car was a 2 door model and the crib mattress just filled the back seat so she had her own play pen. (This was before the days of seat belts and other restraints -shudder) She had a blanket, a favorite toy and plenty of Cheerios and traveled well, but I swept Cheerios out of the car for 6 months after the trip. This was also before the days of disposable diapers so I washed diapers every night.

Just think, our predecessors traveled that route in a covered wagon!

Problem Child said...

I bought booze at the store. I have a feeling I'm gong to need it :-)

Jane said...

Have fun. Don't have much experience traveling with children.