Thursday, June 30, 2011

Preparing for the trip!

Oddly enough seeing how "big" this trip was, it was one of the easiest to prepare for.  Mainly because I had been collecting ideas and thinking about it for so long, but also because the boys were with their dad the two nights prior to the trip, giving me tons of undistracted time to pack and get ready.  How much easier it is to get ready for a trip with kids when you don't have your kids under foot!!!

It's about 17 hours of driving to Vermont - we plan to do it in 2 1/2 days.  I plan to drive no more than 6-7 hrs in a day, and split that up into 1-3 hr increments, with kid-friendly stops along the day.  I really want to avoid fast food, so I'm packing pre-made sandwiches (PBJ, turkey, and pita/hummus), pre-sorted and washed fruit and veggies (blueberries, strawberries, snap peas, carrots, etc), and pre-poured sippy cups (watered down OJ, AJ, and for a special treat - chocolate milk!).  I want us to be able to do most of our eating in the car so that stops can just be focused on fun (the kids don't always eat well at restaurants if they are too excited).

So, the Jeep is packed full:

In the far back:
- our wagon (this may get left if I run out of room - its close...),
- some toys/activities/food I'm saving for Vermont,
- suitcase with our clothes for Vermont (and my yoga bag/mat)
- the box of "supplies" (plastic bags, disposable plates and utensils, wipes, diapers, etc.)
- the big cooler (with ice, frozen water, coke, kid drinks, mama drinks, yogurt, etc.).
- the bag of swim stuff (swimsuits, towels, lifejackets, etc.) for easy grabbing when we get to the hotels

The kids are in the middle row, with a container of small toys in between them(cars, Toy Story figures, little animals, books, etc.). They also each have a toy "laptop" computer and magna-doodle on the floor (where I can easily reach to give to them). There is also a small fabric box from the dollar store containing the movies we are bringing (15 I think?! Cars, Incredibles, Toy Story, Barney, Elmo, Dora, Diego, Blue's Clues, etc.)

In the front seat area:
- a soft back cooler filled with: bottles of frozen water (to keep everything else cool w/o having to use ice - this cooler leaks); coke; various sippy cups for the kids filled with OJ, AJ, and chocolate milk; cheese; tupperwares filled with strawberries, blueberries, and grapes; carrots and snap peas; and pre-made/pre-cut sandwiches for easy eating on the road (PBJ, Turkey, Hummus and Pitas).
- a huge bag of food: pre-sorted and bagged kid snacks (goldfish, booty, animal crackers, Annie's bunnies, Annie's fruit snacks, trix cereal, granola, raisins, etc); granola bars; cheez-it crackers; pretzel rods; bagels; m&m's; etc.
- a HUGE back of random toys and activities: dry erase boards, magnet books, magnets, coloring books, crayons, stickers, random toys, pipe cleaners, alum. foil, etc.
- a small suitcase with enough clothes/diapers/etc for our 2 nights of driving out there (so we don't have to cart everything into each new hotel on the way out there).

So - the plan is to pick the boys up in the morning, drive to Indiana to play at a children's museum with an old friend, and then drive to our first stop in Ohio!  I'm so so excited!!!

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