Category: travel with kids

No Child Left Inside

First Roller Coaster!

Our Sister, Sally

My town suffered through a rare winter this year. Our suffering was due entirely to many canceled or delayed school days on days when, in fact, there was no actual winter weather. It was cold, but the anticipated ice only developed a couple of times.

On the last of these closures sans ice, we had to get out of the house. Had to. So we went to the movies with everyone else in town, and then we ran errands. My boys were as happy to be out as I was, and they behaved like angels.

They were absolute angels right up until they completely lost their minds.

On the way to Target after seeing The Lego Movie, my oldest said, “It’s funny that a character in the movie was named Lucy, since we know someone named Lucy.”

Uh-huh, I nodded, while navigating traffic. An entire city off of work and school makes for worse

Pack the Ideals

Before I became a real mom, I envisioned my future mom-self packing up the car with camera, baby, pen and pad and hitting the road to explore. I imagined how I would stop to take pictures and plop my sweet babe down on a quilt in vibrant green and yellow fields against a backdrop of brilliant blue sky. And I would write.


When motherhood did become a reality for me, you might say I was a bit… surprised. Once I had my own babies, I cringed when someone mentioned loading up the kids for a road trip to visit them just a few hoouuuurrrrs away.

When we did travel so the relatives could see the kids before they grew up, I would pack bags of activities and snacks to keep a baby (whose view faced the back of the back seat) and toddler occupied. When my stash ran out, we would stop

Zombie Grandma

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the time (second grade) when kids try to figure out death.

“Your mom’s DEAD!” my son reminds me from the back seat. “I know,” I say. “That’s a real thing. It makes me sad.” But nothing I say changes his interest in

And What Does Your Mother Do?

We were on vacation, five people crammed into a tiny hotel room. I told the kids they needed to find something to do for a few minutes so I could shower and the husband could get the car.

“It must be hard,” my seven-year-old son said.


“Trying to take care of yourself when you have to take

Playing with the Light

What About THROW Don’t You Understand?

Overheard at the airport:
Dad: Let’s see if we can find something in our bag for you to play with. Oh wait, do you want some of your water?
Three-year-old: But I don’t want to play with my water! I want to THROW something!

Typical travel with kids.

Riding in Cars with Kids

My daughter desperately wants to be part of the conversation even when she has nothing relevant to add. Last week we were on our way home when this random travel-with-kids car conversation ensued:

She: “Dad, what would you do with 10 Lords-a-Leaping?”
Me: (Insert stunned silence here, then…) “Uh, watch them leap, I suppose.”

Driving Off Into the (Pink) Sunset

After two days of fun and sun at SeaWorld I should’ve known there’d be hell to pay.

We rafted; we tubed. We splashed; we squealed, we screamed. We loaded up on pizza from the “All You Can Eat” bar, and all kinds of snacks in various non-natural colors. The kids barely squabbled and there was definitely more smiling than pouting.

Things were good as we left the parking lot. I was feeling the glow. I admit it, I got cocky. I was thinking, “Look how happy this family is.”

We went back to the hotel we had checked out of six hours before to change out of wet clothes before starting the drive back. We didn’t have any room keys, but no big deal, right? They have lobby bathrooms. This will only take a minute.

A housecleaning cart blocked the ladies’ room entrance, so I sent my son into the men’s room while I reconfigured. An employee tells us there’s another ladies room in the indoor pool area. But we have no room keys. The employee took pity on me and let us in.

Then came a series of unfortunate events: me getting separated from my daughter and being locked out of the hotel and then the pool area. Finally, we were dressed and ready for the road. Twenty minutes later.

But I was still positive. We joined my husband and son in the lobby. They had procured road drinks including a bottle of Nestle Quik strawberry milk for each child. Thinking that might play a factor in the near future? You would be right. But at that moment, did I see it? I did not. I just wanted to get in the car and go.


“This is so exciting kids, you get to touch the art at this exhibit!”

My husband and I walked hand-in-hand with our daughter and son up the marble stairs and entered the museum.

I let go of our two-year-old son’s hand as we took a right into the long gallery. We saw the ball