Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A PSA from Me to You

When we lived in Colorado, we used to drive to Lincoln City, Oregon for family vacations.  My in-laws had (and still do) a wonderful "home away from home" there. It's the kind of place where you can go crabbing, walk to the beach, and stuff yourself with clam chowder- my favorite place in the world. It would take us 6 days round trip to drive our pack of wild Indians there-and we looked forward to it each and every time. Weeks ahead of leaving, I would scour the library for tips and tricks for road tripping with little ones. (I know I am so giving away my age here. How in the world did young mothers survive before Pinterest?? We were just amazing like that, I guess.) 

This summer we went to Washington, D.C. as a family trip. I was scrolling through the pictures and it got me to thinking. How come there are no articles with tips and tricks for traveling with teenagers? That would be some seriously valuable information. Our trip to D.C. was first-rate and I feel like it's my humanitarian duty to pass along the steps that made it this way.

 I have always been a bit skeptical when experts suggest bringing other people on family trips - mainly because we are already our own biomass. However, this trip, we had my BFF and my oldest boy's buddy with us and it was a blast. The key to this success, I think, is that everyone in my crew really likes both Cissy and John.  They are funny, easy going, and kind. So pick wisely - no one likes to travel with a Mariah Carey.

No trip is complete without photos. The great thing about being a tourist is everyone around you is also taking pictures. When someone asks if you want them to take your snapshot- say yes! Here's your chance to finally be in front of the camera instead of behind it.  

But here are a few words of wisdom when it comes to getting shots of your older kiddos. You need to exercise restraint here- two or three stabs at a time, tops. These guys have a notoriously low tolerance for "Just one more shot, sweetie. This time put your arms around your brothers and smile real big." Get in and get out of there, Lara Croft-style.

       Last but not least, a short list of do's and don'ts:

1) DO buy more food than you think you need. Then double it.
2) DO ask for 3 times the amount of towels they provide. Trust me, I'm a professional.
3) DO NOT schedule anything to happen before 10am. This will always end badly.  No sunrise activity is worth it. 
4) DO NOT forget to relish these days with your family. It is a gift to be treasured - even if they do leave a mountain                   of soggy towels on your floor.

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