Road Tripping with Preschoolers

We just got back yesterday from two weeks on the road visiting family and friends in Iowa, South Dakota, and Mississippi. We road trip to the midwest every summer, and I think this was the first time that I wasn’t dreading being on the road or in strange bedrooms with the twins. They did SO well on this trip.

Of course, there were some tough, cranky moments in the car when we were all feeling cooped up, bored, or frustrated. That’s a given. Bur for the most part, we were a really good traveling team. I’m so pleased.

A few Iowa highlights:

  • The kids got to run around and play outside on the farm as much as they wanted. With grandparents, two uncles, and an older cousin around, there was always someone to play games with or to help them “drive” the tractor or the combine.
  • We went to see Toy Story 4 in the theatre downtown, which was a charmingly small-town experience. They only have one theatre, so it’s one movie at a time. It cost like $20 for tickets for six people and less than that for everyone’s snacks. If we lived here, we’d be at this theatre every week.
  • Thomas, the world’s friendliest and most tolerant cat, enjoyed being petted and loved on by everyone.
This panorama involved a very careful camera handoff in the middle so that everyone could get in the shot. I still can’t believe it worked!

Highlights from South Dakota:

  • We were visiting some of my husband’s best college friends. It had been long enough since the last time this group all got together that a total of FIVE new children had been born among the three families and a sixth one is on the way. We had a total of fifteen people staying in one house.
  • The weather was mostly just bakingly hot and perfect for the backyard pool, but one day we got a cool, windy day and we took the opportunity to head out for a (short, kid-friendly) hike through Good Earth State Park, which was just beautiful.
  • The older kids were so kind and patient and good with the younger kids that we grownups got to sit on the deck and drink wine and enjoy the view of the pond and wetlands while they played downstairs. Actual relaxation!

Our return to the south required three more days on the road, involving one hotel night and then a night with my BFF, Brilliantone and her family in Mississippi. Such a relief to get in from the road into a friendly oasis. They grilled veggie burgers and played Clue with us after the little kids went to bed and it was just what we needed to re-charge and get ready for our last day in the car.

It feels amazing to be home, but this time I’m also feeling a bit sad that our summer road trip adventure is over. I loved seeing how the kids took in new things and got so excited about, for example, wind turbines and corn fields and wildflowers that were taller than they are. They slept in new beds in strange rooms and tried new foods and made new friends. Thinking back to the first time we traveled with the twins when they were about 7 months old, we are worlds apart. It really does get better.

One Comment

  1. It was great to catch up with you & C, and the kiddos were a delight and a treasure. I can’t wait until we can spend more time together hopefully soon!

    Reply

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