Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Road trip: Lessons, favorites, most random

One last lengthy road trip post and then it's time to move on. Believe it or not, we've actually been doing other things since we've been home. :) Here are a few of our tips for road trip success:

*Schoolwork--I made copies of school worksheets before we left. Enough for B & W to do two sheets a day every day of driving. I didn't MAKE them do this work, but they could earn $1/page if they chose to do it. (Last time I just GAVE them spending money each day, this time they had to earn it.) They chose to do it almost every day and would use their money to buy treats at gas stations along the way. I provided lots of other snacks--pretzels, graham crackers, fruit snacks, etc--but I didn't buy any candy for them. It worked out well.

*Audio books--My kids love listening to these. Harry Potter was a big hit for both of them. Others we liked: Arthur, Nate the Great, Star Wars Episode 1. We didn't like: Farmer Duck, Winnie the Pooh. We'd start off each morning by listening for an hour. After that hour they could play video games or watch movies. Then after our lunch break we'd listen for another hour before they could use their videos again.

*Ideal amount of driving time--Our optimum amount of driving time is about seven hours. or 400-450 miles. That gives us enough time to make a couple of fun stops, have plenty of restroom breaks, and still arrive at a decent hour. Our longest leg was from Louisville, KY to Wichita, KS--722 miles. WAY too long. Wouldn't want to do that again. And it happened to be on one of the days when I didn't have another adult with me. Phew. Glad we all survived that.

Here were some of our favorite moments:

*Trying out the bed of nails at Sci-Port

*The pulley chair at Clay Center

*Playing with cousins at Grandma Sweat's

*Visiting Grandma Cuca

*Playing with Petunia at Gigi's house

*The stairs that played the piano at Sci-Port


*having a sleepover with Jo and watching Free Willy

*being baptized

*winning the go-kart race

*getting 2nd place both times I played laser tag

*riding Aunt Dezzy's old tractor bike

*going to Disneyland


*B's baptism

*Playing pool with the guys

*Visiting BYU

*Seeing Tony's painting



*Long talks while driving with Marianne,
Grandma Cuca, and my mom

*Trying to hit this coke bottle with rocks
to dislodge it. (We hit it a lot, but never
did get it to move!)

*Seeing relatives in Texas that I hadn't seen in years.


Since she couldn't actually tell me, I'm
guessing that her favorite moments had to
do with chasing the dogs at Aunt Irene's and Gigi's,
eating tortillas and Aunt Mary's beans,

sucking on her toes,

and getting sprayed with a water bottle.

Other random pics and moments

Honey, I blew up the kids!

Mississippi wins the award for best city names:
Not only Chunky, but also Yazoo City and Pelahatchie.

Runner up:No Name, Colorado

They still sell candy cigarettes in TX.

It was a lot of work taking care of a toddler in
homes that weren't baby-proofed. Here Caroline
found a nice blue marker and thought it needed tasting.

Brandon and Josh are vying for the title of
biggest Star Wars fan ever.

It was fun to see Brandon climbing
Grandma Cuca's pecan trees just like
I used to do when I was his age.

At Dairy Queen in Texas, they hold their Blizzards
upside down before they hand it to ya so you know
that they are REALLY thick.

Donley County, TX wins our award for
They have a little museum in by the restrooms,

covered picnic tables,

and a playground for the kids.
It was wonderful!

The only downside?

My favorite shopping:
The Outlets in Silverthorne, CO.
Not only did I score some good deals,
but this river runs right through the
middle of the shops. Gorgeous.

My favorite restaurant:
The Hollow Moon cafe in Myton, UT
LOVE the gelato!

It's pretty sad that I have to drive
all the way across the country to
spend some good quality time enjoying
nature. It made me want to do more
hiking in my home state!

My attempt at artistic photography--
the temple in the reflecting pool.

Whit was THRILLED to find a MONOCLE
of all things at BYU's sidewalk sale.

While at BYU, we visited the Bean Museum.
We got to see Shasta the Liger!

AND a two headed snake.
Very impressive.

While at Gma and Gpa Sweat's house,
Brandon's bionicle took a place of prominence
on the mantle. (And then we all got so used to
them being there that we drove off and left them!)

We had some fun backyard pool Olympics.

I loved this shot of Tony, the supermodel photographer.

This shot cracked me up. I was trying to get a
pic of the mountains and Andrew started pointing
across the valley at the same time.

B got his first ride on Gpa's motorcycle.

And both kids got to help him mow the lawn.

The last time we took a cross country road
trip was summer 2006.
Look how much B and W have grown!
Ages 2 and 5
Georgetown Lake, CO

Ages 5 and 8
Georgetown Lake, CO

Whit and I thought this black toilet was so cool!
(Yes, we are easily amused.)

Last thought: I absolutely loved this trip. But it is a ton of work, I feel like most of our summer is gone already, and we missed being away from Andrew. I don't know if I want this to be an annual tradition, but definitely hope to do it again. Maybe every other year.


The Giles Files said...

Holy cow, I don't know how you survived! But it sure looks like you had fun.

We like "No Name" too. We'd always stop there on our way from CO to Moab, UT. Probably one of my favorite drives. Beautiful!

Megan said...

Love your structured activities for the car. Will surely be ripping those off at some point!

Amber said...

Ha! I just love Caroline's face with the blue marker on her lips. She's kind of making a proud, sad smirk. Haha!

carmar76 said...

Thanks for sharing all the new pictures from the trip! Loved the age comparison ones. : ) Kids grow up so fast!!

Amy said...

I always chuckle when we go through No Name, CO too.

And, yes, that black toilet is cool!

One of the grandmas said...

Andrea - Thanks for sharing everything about your adventure on this blog so we can enjoy it together - there is so much to take in just looking at this post -it's like the great american novel!
Love to you all,
Grandma Sweat

Jensen Family said...

What great memories! I love road trips! Maybe that's because I did so many of them as a kid, and now trying to do some with my own kids, it's a TON of work, planning, and I'm always grateful we survive.