As a family of 3, it was nothing to pack up a few things and take off in our car or crossover. As a family of 5, it takes days of prep work, list writing, losing lists, re-writing lists, shopping for mega boxes of diapers, baby food, formula, packing enough baby bottles, clothing for 5 and on and on! We drive a Grand Caravan, much to my chagrin (bye-bye crossover), and it was packed to the max. We even had to buy 2 roof rack travel bags, which were also stuffed.
We took a long awaited and much needed family getaway up "North" in our province of Ontario. Sitting on a beach or on the dock was something we longed for and my husband and I realized the last time we actually took more than a week to ourselves was our own honeymoon 4 years ago! How sad is that?? In these 4 years, we've spent so much time in hospitals, at home or in doctor's offices and specialist's offices, that time has been one big blur and vacationless.
I drove the 500+ kilometres there and back. The whole way I was worried about losing one of the roof top bags, but things were strapped down very well! Aside from that worry, my only other worry was how our 3 kids were going to cope with over 5 hours of driving. We learned that our 3 boys have no problem with long drives, no motion sickness and they were so calm and patient. Our oldest son, the only one that talks as of yet, finally asked "Are we there yet," when we were about 1 hour away from our serene destination. That, I think, is amazing!
We filled our drives with some "I Spy," looking around for moving or still objects along the highways. I had bought our oldest son some of those colourless markers, which only make colour on special paper. Who ever came up with this idea was a GENIUS. I didn't have to worry about ink leaking all over our son's carseat or the van's upholstery when he dropped a marker or two, which he was bound to do...and did. Colouring entertained him a bit. For the most part, however, he was interested in what we were passing by as we drove, what the name of the highway or road was that we were on, he talked about things he saw and was an awesome kid the whole way.
The back area of the van was packed with as much stuff as possible, while keeping it as safe as possible. The stow and go carseats in the back of the van are a Godsend (most people that know me will be shocked to hear me praising this vehicle)! If we didn't have that extra space to pack, we would have had to have a trailer attached to our beast of a van. Our oldest son thought it was hilarious when he was in the back row looking at all the "stuff" surrounding him.
We were able to take our twins to the beach for the first time, which was so wonderful. At 15 months, the twins have just finally figured out how to sit without support, so they'd sit there for hours sometimes, watching what was happening in the water or on the beach, and flirting with all the ladies that walked up to them and started cooing at them. They had their fair share of sand splattered in their faces by an over-excited older brother. One of the twins did a face plant into the shallow water he was sitting in and that was the end of that! Other than that, our vacay went off without a hitch.
The babies sleep amazingly well anywhere we go and they did the same on this vacation. Even without the comforts of their own cribs and darkened bedroom, they were able to adapt to the playpens we asked them to sleep in and the not so dark bedroom that was theirs for a week.
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