It's school vacation week. I'm taking my youngest to visit my parents out in Indianapolis. We're driving. My wife and oldest daughter are staying home. Rehearsals for multiple shows don't stop during vacation week. Shaina's in productions of Ragtime and Beauty and the Beast, and she's has got a dance competition coming up, and an audition for a summer program to practice for, too. So, Leah and I decided that since we're on our own, we might as well take a leisurely drive. My wife thinks I'm crazy to try and keep a nine year old cooped up in a car for two days in each direction, but after a very good day one I think it's going to be no problem at all. We have the DVD player, headphones, a couple of dozen DVDs to choose from; and about 50 CDs as well. Also, an assortment of pens, paper, craft materials, little toys, and -- of course -- a couple of teddy bears riding in the back seat with her. What more could one want?
We left home at 9:30 AM, and checked into our hotel at about 9:30 PM, but we had three long stops, and one short stop totaling almost five hours, so our total on-the-road time was really only seven hours. We were planning on stopping in to visit my brother-in-law in Pennsylvania, but something came up at the last minute so we couldn't do that. Instead, we detoured to my in-laws in New Jersey -- which took us a little out of our way, but we kept our stay there down to 90 minutes instead of the three hours we had been planning on spending in at my bother-in-law's. We still made it to our desired overnight stopping point in State College, PA at a reasonable time. To bad there's no pool in the hotel, though. I'll have sporadic connectivity throughout the week.
1. Henry02/27/2005 04:58:26 AM
If your wife thought you were crazy, I'd hate to know what she thinks of me. Some years ago, when my kids were small (I'm a grandfather now, but we're talking when they were pre-teen), we took them on what is probably the longest road trip imaginable, from Sydney NSW to Perth WA (that's Australia, for those looking to know what states I'm talking about). This is about 9,000 mile round trip, and we added to it by stopping in Adelaide SA for a night, a detour of "only" 1000 miles.
In total, 10 days on the road with 4 kids. Sounds like hell? But you'd be wrong. Ask any of them today and they'll tell you it was the BEST holiday they ever had. I bought an eight-seater Toyota, and we plonked one child in each corner with a box of toys between them. We travelled mostly early morning (it was mid-summer and in Australia that's hot), decamping at dawn, travelling maximum 10 hours, then finding a motel and going exploring till nightfall. Outback Australia is not exactly oversupplied with towns, so the choices of where to stop and eat are limited, but we "roughed it", BBQing over campfires every night. If anyone is looking to get to know their kids and vice versa, this is the way to do it. Magic times!
2. Jon Johnston02/28/2005 12:58:23 PM
how 'bout a PS2 hooked up to a TV set? That usually does it for us, doubles as a DVD player.
Hope you have a safe trip, Rich.
3. Danny Lawrence02/28/2005 01:23:16 PM
Click the link for a possible place to stop and check out. Don't know how much your youngest will like it, but I suspect you will
I'm sure thsi is the only place in the world yo ucan see and SR-71 and a YF12a
4. Richard Schwartz02/28/2005 04:51:45 PM
@Henry -- that sounds like a really great time. I admit you are far braver than I to have undertaken it.
@Jon -- We don't own a PS2 or any other game console, and have no plans for getting one.
@Danny -- sounds cool. I'll look into the possibility of making a stop there. Timing is everything.