Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Travel Prep: The Essentials

We still play the odd game of chess, and Scrabble Junior, and checkers, and Matt has taken to teaching the girls Solar Quest every night after dinner, but Sorry is the latest true obsession:
Have I mentioned that the girlies and I are going on a very odd and unruly road trip next week? Our elderly and much-mistreated van, which we use for hauling everything from craft fair stuff to the craft fairs to bicycles to the trailhead to our dumpster-dived coffee table home to our living room, is just about dead in the water. Every day Matt tests its bum transmission by driving it to work and back at under 25 mph and 2,000 rpms. While I was researching little cargo trailers to be pulled behind our Sable (and to probably kill ITS transmission), Matt's parents bought themselves a new used car, and generously offered to give us their old minivan--if only we could find somebody to drive it cross-country to our house!

Hmmm...I wonder who we know who has the time and the inclination for a cross-country road trip?


The kiddos and I leave next week.

Travel logistics are doubly difficult for me, since I have a plane trip AND a road trip to plan for. As you with small kidlets know, entertainment is different for each method of transport. A plane flight, especially since it's likely that Will won't be able to sit right next to me if the rows are small, requires lots of independent, quiet, small-space, no-mess snacks and activities. The benefit, however, is that I can often play with them, or at least fetch them things and set them up with stuff. A road trip, at least for my kiddos, requires LOTS of books, LOTS of educational DVDs, LOTS of audiobooks that we listen to together, LOTS of snacks, and a few playthings and activities. I also can't fetch anything or set anything up, because once we're in motion, I don't take my eyes off of the road--paranoid driver, I am. Now you know.

Hallelujah that we're flying Southwest, in which each traveler gets to check a bountiful TWO FREE BAGS. For us, most of these bags will be filled with road trip stuff; this is good, because when Matt's parents come to pick us up at the airport, it's a tradition that my father-in-law pick up one of my bags, almost die, and then say, "What's in this BAG?!? ROCKS?!?"

At which point I reply. "No, books. Duh!"

So the travel essentials shopping list looks like, to date:
  • Magnetic Travel Games - Magnetic Chessmagnetic board games. Chess is an absolute must, of course, but it's been decades since I've gone shopping for magnetic board games, so WOW me, board game manufacturers!
  • car kit for the ipod. I hated that ipod FM transmitter thingy that I bought last year and then returned because I hated it. Wow me, Apple!
  • as many books and DVDs and audiobooks as we can sneak out of the public library before we go.
When that's all settled, I'll think about packing some clothes, if we have anymore room in the luggage...

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