This past week we took our first "big vacation" with the kids. We have done a few small weekend trips and they did great so we figured that we were ready to take the plunge. I can honestly say that I was nervous and didn't have high expectations on how a 1yr old and 2 yr old would do in the car for 10 hours, but to my surprise it went quite well. Thanks to the portable DVD player!
I can't believe that this is a relatively new concept, letting the kids watch DVDs in the car on long trips. I am guessing whoever invented the concept had a whole litter of kids. I know my parents would have given a kidney for one when we were little I am sure. Our road trips growing up seems like yesterday. The old Lincoln town car aka "The Gray Granny" was packed down so far that the muffler would almost drag the pavement. I had my red "going to grandma's" suitcase in the trunk along with Chad's blue matching one. My mom's over sized pink plastic samsonite suitcase from 1975 stuffed so full that my dad would have to sit on it to get the metal latches to close. Chad and I packed in the back seat amidst pillows and a cooler with snacks and drinks. I used to think why don't we just ditch the cooler and leave it at home so that I can actually stretch out my legs. Countless games of paper rock scissors, hitting each other and yelling "didn't hurt" until literally we had bruises on our arms and was crying. Begging my dad to stop just one more time because I had to pee AGAIN. Asking those 4 words that every parent can't stand to hear "Are we there yet"? Then after what seemed like an eternity my mom would roll down the windows, at least the ones that actually worked (the back window in the passenger side didn't work and only my mom and I knew how to open the door) and say, "We're getting close, I can smell the salt water!" Excitement and anticipation took over those feelings of thinking that we were never going to get there. Then we could finally see it, the ocean at last!! After I think about it, even though we didn't have Mr. portable DVD inventor man, it was the best. It was a time in my life that I will never forget.
As I was driving the last few hours of the trip to Florida I was thinking to myself about how I am the mom now. I am the one who stayed up until the wee hours of the morning making sure that every last thing was packed and ready to go. Getting ice for the cooler, loading the car, getting the first aid kit and the map. Bobby sitting on the suitcase to get it zipped. Where had time gone? Was I really ready to tackle this? Then I thought this was our roadtrip, our first vacation as a family. It was our turn to make memories that would last a lifetime. We were ready, we were the parents. This was our time.
Then I heard those four little words come out of Livi's mouth "Are we there yet?" I rolled down the windows and said " We're getting close, I can smell the saltwater"!