Road Trip, Vacation, Field Trip...
Those words all invoke excitement in children, teens and husbands! ::snort:: But for us women it conjures up long lists of things that must be packed, thought about and taken care of before you can leave and then stressing about it all when you are gone. Coming home simply means you get to clean, unpack, put away and wish for a "real" vacation!
I find myself in the perdiciment fairly often as we seem to go out of town frequently. I've almost got this down! But truly, I think my dear husband has no idea what really goes into these "quick trips!"
1. Do we need a hotel or are we staying with family? If the answer is hotel then one must think about entertainment for the kids. Hotels are just about the most boring place-even if there is a pool, it seems often they are too hot or too cold or maybe outside and it's rainy. Also you've gotta have a fridge and microwave because someone needs something kept cool and we all know popcorn is one of the staple food groups! Also if it's a hotel, do they serve breakfast? Will my husband eat it or will we need to find alternate sustenance? Star Trek had it right with that little food thingy!
2. Weather...will it be hot, cold, rainy, snowing or just perfect? Because this dictates what clothing we pack. Do the kids need sandles, tennis shoes or rain boots! We all know that our kids can't wear long sleeves in the heat and freezing in shorts is the worst. Even more trying is when there are several states crossed and one must check the forecast in multiple cities...sad thing is so often it is wrong. And remember we have three girls so things have to look right, feel right and we must be "in the mood" for a particular outfit or it just won't work! You always have to pack at least one extra outfit and 2 extra pairs of underwear because...well, you know!
3. Leaving the pets at home-we are the proud owners of three cats, eight fish and one dog. They all expect to be fed at least once a day, the dog has to be let outside to do her business and the cats...well, they have to be scooped. To board the dog is expensive and traumatic for her, the cats-well, they haven't left the comfort of our home since they entered it so I can't even imagine taking them somewhere, and the fish...well, they require lots of water, special filtration and bloodworms :) Several years ago, I discovered a wonderful family with three children (older than my own) who enjoy coming and staying in our house, loving our animals. This is perfect. I've always hand written the directions which added a whole 'nother element of stress to leaving. This summer I finally figured it out. I made a "housesitters notebook" and in it is everything from where the toilet paper is to using the washer and dryer. All the directions for the electronics so movies can be watched and games can be played but most important that internet password! Also in it is our address (in the event she has to call 911, she needs our address, right?), our phone numbers and phone numbers of locations we are staying.
Okay, that looks pretty simple when I type it out...only three little things. But you and I know it's all those untyped things that really add up. Enough things to keep the kids entertained on the road so we don't have a constant chorus of "are we there yet" being sung from the back seat, snacks because no matter how much you feed them-the kids are starving as soon as you hit the road, directions/roads to take/where are we going, does the car have gas, where's Miss Kitty, and most important did I get his medicine?
During these times, I have to constantly remind myself that I am crazy blessed...I've got a husband who doesn't mind loading up and driving cross-country with our kids and his in-laws in tow, I've got kids who don't get car sick and the adventures we go on always give us the most wonderful memories!
So, I guess I should get off of here--I have to strip the beds, load the dishwasher, pack the snack bag-clothes bag-bathroom bag-shoe bag, make sure there is plenty of food in the cat/dog buckets, get the fish food ready, clean the bathrooms, vacuum the floor, update the housesitters notebook all so I can go enjoy a weekend seeing my favorite college student and A #1 Angel Girl!! This weekend, I'll enjoy picnics (if the weather cooperates), see a wonderful play, spend time with my exceptional family and have a delicious brunch! I'm going to concentrate on being one crazy blessed wife, mother and daughter--proud to have each one of them by my side!
Next week, I'll start worrying about the two other trips in October and the one in November I'll have to plan for!
~~~~~Sarah, are you available?!?!?!?!