Thursday, December 6, 2012

On the Road

Grace-girl- she always wanted those eye thingies.  And no, she didn't actually sleep.
Our adventurous little family recently embarked on a 3000 mile road trip from Oregon to New Mexico and back again.  I could start a new blog for this topic, but I'll restrain myself. As you can imagine, we spent a lot of time in the car.  Here are a few things I learned, in a nutshell!

1.  Make a plan, but don't be afraid to change it.  I spent hours planning, organizing, and preparing for this trip.  Games, toys, educational activities, homeschool curriculum, daily snacks, music, and even some videos all took up space in our front seat area.  I planned for everything.  Every good place to stop and run around, every meal, every little detail.  Then I set it down and let it go.  Whew.  It's nice to be prepared (just in case) but not something I have to be controlling about.  It's always good to expect the unexpected; like a delicious burger joint in Central California (Eddie's Famous Cafe- Eddie even gave us free cinnamon rolls), or a truly interesting rest stop in New Mexico.  You just never know what you might find!
The first of 3 KOA cabins, all exactly the same!  Talk about easy...
2. Try to maintain your normal routine, at least to a certain extent, for the happiness of the whole crew.  We happen to use a curriculum that is heavy on memorization and auditory learning.  So you can now imagine us rocking out to such hits as, "The Timeline Song," "The US Presidents" and don't forget that amazing ditty, "The Preposition Song." Every morning we started our morning with breakfast at the campsite (we stayed at KOA campgrounds the whole way down for consistency and ease of travel- the cabins are the way to go when stopping for a quick overnight- we stayed with family and varied places on the way home), then mom or dad packed the car while the other ran the kids around at the playground (almost all KOAs have playgrounds).  After hopping in the car we did our Bible reading and prayer time then jumped into memory work.  By the time we finished all that the first hour was well behind us.  Grace-Girl also filled out a daily journal page each morning.  We spent time each evening to sit down and have dinner together, do our normal bed-time routine (as much as possible) and re-pack for the next day (snacks, car reorganization, etc.).  It was worth it.
The girls at Arches National Park
3. Enjoy the Road!  We were definitely on a schedule that didn't allow long stops, as we wanted lots of time with family at our destination, but we made a few exceptions: one morning at Arches National Park and one morning at The New Mexico Natural History Museum in Albuquerque.  We powered through the first two days (though we did make short stops to run around) and slowed down on the last two days.  Daddy and I also found time in the evenings to have fun- we played games, watched movies (all KOAs have free wi-fi) and took some time for "us" all while the girls were sleeping peacefully in the cabin.  

Many happy travels to you and yours this holiday season!  Don't forget to visit Pinterest for every idea of a car game you could possibly imagine. 

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