Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We are leaving Friday night for a fun beach vacation to the Gulf Coast. Every other year, my wonderful parents treat my family, my sister's family, and my two brothers to a vacation. We all get to cast our votes to where we might want to visit. We've been to the great St. Louis sites, the beach in Florida, Bar Harbor, Maine, and Disney World. We've voted to head back to the beach, since the last time we were there, there were only four grandchildren. Ross was only 13 months old when we went last, so I'm excited for the other kids to have a chance to play at the beach. Anyway, we found a great 6 bedroom/6 bath condo on the beach near Pensacola.

My dad travels the country for business usually on a weekly basis, so he can really rack up the frequent flier miles and hotel points in a hurry. We've usually always flown, but we've voted to save up his frequent flier miles to use in two years so we can all fly to Hawaii or Puerto Vallarto (that's my vote so we can put our passports to good use!) or some other tropical paradise. So, we're driving the 11 hours to the beach this time. I have to say, I'm VERY NERVOUS (I know, I know... I'm a wimp!) about the trip, especially with Mallory!!!! She is NOT a good traveller. The longest our kids have ridden in an automobile at one time is 5 1/2 hours. Since they've never travelled in the van this long, they don't know what to do either. We do have a DVD player, but I don't want them to be vegging out watching it the entire time. We'll of course pack lots of toys and books which they all love, especially Mal & Drew.

I've been on a search to get some other ideas to help keep them entertained, and I found a GREAT website! It is called StoryNory. They have over 100 children's audio books you can download for FREE! I've already filled two hours worth of stories, and I'd like to try to get some more. As I've been downloading them, the kids have been BEGGING me to let them listen to them. Yay! I've told them they will have to wait for the trip.

Anyway, just curious if any of you other seasoned travellers have any suggestions for me. Do you have any tried and true methods for keeping your kids and your self sane on long car trips?