Y'all come on in!

Y'all come on in!

Friday, July 10, 2015


Vacation or Va-Cay as the younger generation calls it, is in full swing. Most of the magazines up around the check out counters now have pictures of celebrities out on the va-cays in the South of France or at their Belize resort.

In our day a vacation was a trip to grandma’s house in Pennsylvania for two weeks. It took two to three days to get there and that many to get back home. After almost twenty years of taking kids, from seven months old, to 19 years old on that trip, I don’t need a lot of tips on how to make our trip more enjoyable.

But just in case I’d been doing things all wrong those years, I picked up a magazine and flipped through it to find out the best tips on taking children of all ages on a long road trip.

Number 1: Take along lots of water bottles because the weather is hot in the summer time.

Are you kiddin’ me? Back when our kids were fighting in the back seat and believe me that happens no matter how old they are, we did not buy water in bottles. We washed out a gallon milk jug and filled it with tap water. And I did not encourage them to drink, drink, drink. Because that meant stop at the next rest stop, stop at the next convenience store, stop at the next bush or even just stop, period, right there on the highway.

Number 2: Take along travel sized board games.

Did this writer have children? A game of Chinese Checkers or Monopoly required two referees at our house. And has the writer ever ridden in a small compact car with country music playing in the front seat to keep the driver—that would be Mr. B—awake so he could drive another two hours past dark. It can get very noisy in the back seat when the driver hits a bump in the road and all the game pieces wind up on the floor board. No, sir, no travel games ever made it to our car. The best we did was the ABC game with signs which worked fairly well the first day. By day two they were bored with it.

Number 3: Pack video games and books in small tote bags for the children.

Now this I could get into but video games were the size of refrigerators when my kids were small. Books did seem to work well so the writer redeemed himself a little with this suggestion.

I decided that I could make up a better list of what to take on a long road trip.

Pack lots of road maps because men folks do not stop and ask for directions and when they get mad at the GPS, they turn it off or put it in the trunk.

Tuck in a bunch of plastic grocery sacks and get one out of the truck each morning to hold the trash. Every time you make a pit stop, toss that one and get out another one.

Take a box of those wet wipe things for emergencies. One kid will get chocolate all over his hands and face—trust me--and they are pretty handy when Mr. B thinks a side window is open and hurls his apple core across the car and out the window. It was not open and it splattered all over me!

And for the mother: take a bottle of headache pills, an ice pack and a calendar with the day you will arrive back home circled in red. That’s the best day of her Va-Cay for sure!


  1. Great ideas! When I was I child we didn't have convenience stores or fast food places on the highway! My mother would only stop for gas or to get the oil checked. So you better not drink much if you stopped for breakfast or lunch! She didn't believe in stopping to walk around for a few minutes! When hubby and I married I thought I was in heaven! We would stop for potty breaks and look around the stores! Of course by then there was a lot more opportunities to stop! My mother said she hated to go with us cause we took our time! But we weren't exhausted when we got there either!

  2. We had the same kind of vacations...travel to Grandma's house. 4 kids and 2 adults in the car, sometimes the dog in the trunk (with the lid roped open a bit) ! The only time we got comic books was on those road trips. We did the ABC billboard game and license plate BINGO..or something like that. A lot of the time travel was at night so the kids slept and were blessedly quiet.

  3. As a young girl we did not really take any family trips that lasted more than three hours in a care. But with my children we travel to new campgrounds for a week and a half of camping with my best friends family. The longest drive took 18 fun filled hours with three cars, a trailer full necessities, six adults and eleven kids. The one thing I always made sure I had with me in any long drive was Peanut Butter Crackers...it keep those mouths busy! ;-)

  4. Our favorite travel game was who could spot the most yellow cars or I spy. My kids also enjoyed punch bug. For those who don't know what that is, if someone sees a Volkswagen then they holler punch bug and slug the kid who didn't see it in time! Never s dull moment in our car!

  5. Oh my goodness, vacation time, my Dad was the type that he wanted to get to where he was going in the shortest amount of time without having to make a lot of stops. With three girls and a wife, well lets just say the only one he would stop for was my Mom or if at least two of us three girls needed a bathroom break. God forbid if you were the first one that had to go. I use to sit behind my Mom and kick her seat so she would know that at least one of us had to go. she would start telling my Dad I think you need to start looking for a rest area, and then it would start. Daddy would say, you better all have to go, I am not getting a mile or two down the road and stopping again. My Mom was a God sent she would get him to stop and if one of us didn't have to go, she would run water, have us walk around outside, until all of us had to go. They were fun trips and we all always had our own bag of stuff in the back with us. Mine was always books, books and more books. Writing paper and notebook and pen, plus puzzle books. Every year in the summer Mom and Daddy always made it possible for us to go on one trip.

  6. It wasn't a vacation, but the in 1991 I drove from Northern California to North Carolina with my 18 month old. Every cow or horse we passed, he said, "Bye bye cow." "Bye bye horse." I taught him how to chew bubble gum - we passed the same piece of gum back and forth for 3 states. When he felt the car start to slow down, he would say, "pee, eat, drink." When the sun started setting, he would say, "pee, eat, drink, sleep." We peed a lot that trip - I didn't know I was actually pregnant. This trip was the beginning of my new life as a single parent of a toddler and six months later with a toddler and a new born. My new life blossomed. I became a family nurse practitioner. Met a man who made all the hurt go away and allowed me trust again. We added two more over the next few years to my first two and they all were "ours".