It's me, Bryssy, posting for Maria today...she's on a "family trip" this week and I'm her motley substitute for today.
We traveled recently to Savannah for a family wedding where my husband was a groomsman and THE Princess was the flower girl. If you ask her, it was her wedding and the bride was just there to do the kissing. (Her words not mine, I swear.) I thought I would add what I gleaned from this road trip (a mere 6 hours, says Map Quest).
First, you are never prepared enough.
I had prepared lunch and snacks in our car cooler. I had loaded the back seats with the DVD player and some DVDs we hadn't seen in a good long while. I had activities we could work on. I had new coloring books. I even had Old Maid, a favorite game of THE Princess, to spend our time away. The car was clean. We were loaded with pillows, napkins, garbage bags, drinks, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer. Ready to go, I thought.
Second, let the kids indulge in a treat, it's vacation!
Just above Orlando, we got a package of powdered doughnuts. RM ate a few of them and I handed the bag back to THE Princess...powdered doughnuts are her very favorite treat! What a great way to start a vacation (we had started out at 5 am) and the kids were awake and getting hungry for breakfast. I was really thinking I was doing a great
I was enjoying the relative quiet of the drive and sat in the front reading a book. I normally read no more than 2 pages before I am interrupted...so this was definitely a treat for me. And, just as we pass St. Augustine, I hear THE Princess say, "My tummy feels funny."
I respond, while engrossed in my book, "Drink some water, honey, and see if that helps."
Third, whining in the car will be ignored.
Big mistake. It took all of 30 seconds before THE Princess proceeds to HOSE US DOWN. Seriously. Projectile vomiting. All over the DVD player and seat organizer I had prepared. All over the back of my seat, around the headrest, into my hair, down my neck and my seat and seat belt. I, of course, proceeded turn around to help her...the poor dear. She turned her head and hosed her brother, the console, and RM's arm.
Fourth, take a break, you don't have to get there without stopping.
I am yelling to get off the road and RM is hollering that he is going to the rest area 1 mile ahead. THE Princess is still barfing. We come racing into the rest area and we all get out of the car, FAST! I take THE Princess to the family restroom and proceed to give her a bath in the sink (hair and all). I changed her clothes and threw out the barf clothes.
I return to the car and RM had it emptied out. I grab KOTJ and go through the same procedure with him, THE Princess in tow. Awesome. Now, to keep my clean-ish children that way, I find a hose outside and wash my hair with that and have them play the clapping game while we are in the family restroom once again, for me to get changed.
RM washes his arm and pours 2/3 of the extra large bottle of hand sanitizer down his arm. (The man is a germ-aphobe, seriously.) Now, he takes to cleaning the car. I am thankful at this point, that he is a bit freaky about germs, because he would never let anyone else clean up puke, yet they miss a single germ.
Fifth, stop to enjoy nature whenever possible.
I decide a "nature hike" is in our future. We spent some time walking on some paths behind the rest area, finding wildflowers and such, to avoid the puke. The kids are now feeling great and spend some time running around and singing.
We return to the car to find the RM had put just about everything that got hosed in the garbage! He got permission to use the janitor's closet to get cleaning items and a large laundry sink to wash the car seats. Holy crap. All of those activities and books and cards....gone. And, I wasn't going after them. I am amazed he didn't pitch the car seats...thank goodness I had packed two packages of Clorox wipes. He got the hose that I had washed my hair with and washed out the car and followed up with the wipes.
Last, go with the flow, it's vacation!!
Now that everything was clean, it was wet. So, we got out our picnic lunch out and waited about an hour until the scorching heat dried out the car. We have 2 books for the kids to read. No napkins, no wipes, no gargbage bags, no extra clothes, no Clorox wipes, and very little hand sanitizer left. On the up side, my car has never been so clean and the kids were tired and ready for a nap.
Postscript: The kids slept until we reached Savannah, I didn't finish my book (it was a casualty of the barf-a-thon) and THE Princess later fessed up to eating 6 powdered doughnuts....which she no longer likes.