Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting there without losing my mind

When we decided to drive to Alberta instead of flying, my first thought after getting a car sick kit together was how to keep the peanut entertained during the insanely long car trip.

I started to do the research and visited parenting forums to see what others had suggested or tried. Almost everyone who answered the forum posts I found answered the same. I'm not sure but I think it's fairly common knowledge that a portable DVD player is an essential tool in travel with kids. If not, one visit to parenting forums would surely drive the point home.

Yes, we have a portable DVD player. It was the first thing on my list of things to keep our Peanut occupied but it wasn't and isn't the only thing I want to take with us.

Growing up, I have memories of watching the landscape drift by as we traveled the TransCanada through the Rockies. We didn't have the luxury of portable DVD players, MP3's and game players (well I did have a Nintendo Gameboy; you know, the one that came with tetris when I was 18 or 19). I want a family road trip to include some of the same things I remember as a child, not least of which is watching out the window for a glimpse of a mountain goat or a bear.

When I was kid, road trip entertainment was a box of crayons in the back window of the Firebird (which usually caused the crayons to melt in hot weather), whatever book I was reading at the time and invisible ink activity books and for some reason legos. Of course there were also games of "Mom, she's on my side of the car!" and "Dad! she touched me" but no one likes those games too much or for too long. My sister and I would sometimes play Old Maid or Go Fish. Sometimes we'd play travel bingo. Other times my parents would make goofy jokes that depending on how old we were, either made us laugh or groan.

One joke my father would always tell at a specific point on the highway, "put your hand on the window" he'd say at the beginning of a large curve in the highway. Then at the apex of the curve where a large hydro building was located he'd turn with a smirk and say "Did you feel the pane? Get it?" Typical, punny Dad joke and it never failed to catch us as we'd always forget the punchline from the last time we made the trip. Once we were old enough to recall it we'd request it. I can still remember the coldness of the glass on my palm and the small part of me ready to quickly pull my hand away in case it might hurt.

Our trip starts Friday night. I'm hoping the Peanut falls asleep on the road and we can quietly transfer her to bed in the motel in Kamloops. I'll be documenting our trip and posting off and on while we're gone. Because we'll be on the road, I'm putting further 5 questions on hold. In the meantime I'm getting all things packed, cleaned and organized.


Robert W. Leonard said...

I want to go on a car trip and see a bear out of the car window! That is so cool.

sheri said...

I totally agree about electronics being completely out of control on road trips. We try to have some limits on them, but also stay sane and happy with each other. I hope you have a fabulous time on your trip!!! Where are you going?

TMCPhoto said...

the countdown to hitting hte road is on. We're heading over the Rocky Mountains to Central Alberta then back into the Rockys for a wedding.

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