James and I have driven from Ohio to Idaho once, driven back and forth from Idaho to North Carolina four times, driven from North Carolina to Ohio about eight times, driven from North Carolina to Virginia and back once, and we have driven from North Carolina to the outer banks and back once. Golly, I think I can call us professional road trippers now.
I actually love road trips. I love all the time you have to just sit and think and reflect on life. All that changes when you add a little toddler (or a baby most of the time) into the mix. I was hardly able to find a moment to myself in the four days it took to get to Idaho. Though my little Tali gets an A- for the trip, I am more exhausted than well rested as I once found these road trips to be.
The first day, once Atalia realized it was one of those long trips we take, she became more patient. I had organized lots of healthy food, toys, and movies to keep us entertained. (we've gotten pretty good at traveling like this)
Trying on mommy's shades (below).
We met up with Nick and Heidi on their way moving to Washington DC, meeting at Boo's. We were so blessed to have had this work out so well! It may be a while before we can make it back out east :(
Tali had a good visit with her aunt and uncle, great grandpa, and great grandma.
I didn't get any pictures of the second day traveling, but it was a very long day of traveling.
On the third day, we were burned out on the whole road trip thing. We decided to cut it short because the winds were so strong in Wyoming (we strongly dislike that state).
I had some new and old toys for Tali to play with. I would try to keep some of the new toys reserved for times when Tali got especially restless (as a distraction).
These bracelets were great.
At the hotel that night, we caught Tali using the hotel's sheet as a notepad, drawing on it with a pen...
Can you see the pen marks in the picture? I guess we'll be paying for those.
Tali is a bed hog, even in a king-sized bed.
Last day in the car!
That last hour or two went so incredibly slow!
James and I are thankful for our car. It has made this trip so many times, while carrying a big trailer behind it. We've been trying to think of some fitting names for the car... Ol' Faithful and True Grit were some of the names we are considering. What a blessing it has been!
Some Traveling tips for Toddlers:
1. Portable DVD player! Portable DVD player! Portable DVD player! Mix it with some of their favorite shows and maybe a few new ones.
2. We checked out Targets $1 isles for some cheap new toys and also the isle that is filled with kids party favors (that's where we found those bracelets and a few other toys). That way you don't need to spend a whole lot of money and they kept Tali entertain just as long, if not longer.
3. Thinking outside the box...meaning that you can maybe find some things that may keep them entertained outside of toys. I filled a bag with some of my jewelry that I didn't mind Tali playing with for her to go through in the car. Plus I got a few packs of stickers and a blank notepad for her to go to town with. Also, I had a flashlight that she could play with when it got dark. (It's nice to have some light-up toys for night time.)
4. Lots of new or favorite snacks! I tried to avoid sugary snacks because it seems like a melt down always follows right afterwards. Tali loves cheese sticks, whole grain crackers, apple slices with peanut butter, turkey, craisons, ect...
-Hope those are helpful to someone!