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Over the River and Through the Woods

November 23rd, 2008 by bsmith | Filed under Road Trips, Travel Tips, Uncategorized.

This week we have a treat…my dear friend Joanne Smith has provided a guest blog.  Joanne was my first internet friend.  We “met” on a Parent Center board during the 72 hours that I was on bed rest when I was pregnant with my son Justin.  Looking back, I’m very grateful for that little episode.  It gave me the chance to meet Joanne who has been a faithful friend and mommy mentor for almost ten years! 
Joanne lives in Montana now, and I have asked her to contribute some blogs to give my blog a more nationwide perspective.  This week she has a great tip for surviving long distance car trips.

It’s the holidays and many of us will take our kids home to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  From my home in the corner of Northwest Montana, everywhere is a long way to go and it’s also expensive to get there.  We rarely fly as a family because individual tickets cost well over $300 and require at least one layover.  The Amtrak stops nearby but spending 12-16 hours overnight sitting up on the train with two kids isn’t exactly my idea of a good time either and to upgrade to a family room costs as much as the flight and in that case I’d take the shorter flight over the train in a heartbeat. 

This is why we travel by car more often than not.  My brother lives in central Oregon and my husband has an aunt that lives in the Tri City area of Washington, so when we make the trip to Oregon for the holidays we can spend the night at almost exactly the halfway point for free.  In the car, we let the kids watch DVD’s on our computer, listen to their MP3 players and play their handheld video games too, but their favorite thing to do is listen to a book on tape.  That’s right; you read that correctly, we listen to kid’s books on tape.  From Harry Potter, to an Alaskan adventure we’re going to be in the car for 24 hours over 4 days going and coming, so why not listen to an adventure? The book is always better than the movie and it doesn’t take much time to convince your kids that’s true either.  I’ll never forget stopping for gas and my son asking if we had to turn the car off because he was more interested in listening to the story than stopping for a snack, taking a bathroom break and stretching his legs. 

Before you pack up, head to your local library and find a great book or two to share. Or, if you’re like me,  save some time by hitting the library internet catalog and reserving a few.  

Once you arrive at your destination, especially if you’re in the middle of a chapter or book when you arrive, Don’t be surprised to find your kids asking when you’re leaving or going to the store, anything to get back in the car to finish the story.  So enjoy a holiday trip to visit family and get your own family caught up in a good book in the process.

Thanks Joanne!  Have a safe trip this Thanksgiving.  We look forward to reading about your next adventure.

For those of you who may be in the San Diego area over the holidays, please think about purchasing my Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook.  You can choose from a light slim volume that can accompany you on your Legoland Adventure or an affordable e-book version.  Just click on the link on the main page for ordering info.

Happy Trails,


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