Sunday, October 16, 2011


One year ago we took the 5,000 mile drive from PA to UT to NM and back. When we faced another great trek for the Hoffman Family Reunion (Wyoming), Grandpa&Grandma H.'s anniversary(UT), a visit to GrandmaGreat(Alberta, Canada) we wondered. Mike&I presented it to the children in 'kid council'. Drive or Fly? It was the question.

No question for the children. They shocked us by opting immediately for another caravan across the country. Their biggest reason, once we climbed in the car we were TOGETHER ...all the way there! Oh, and the hotel swimming pools are fun ;).

So facing the challenge of packing everything up and then ON to the excursion (Heather our amazed cheerleader witnessed the wonder - we left our home before she and boys did) we loaded up and headed out.

One trick of the trade my sister-in-law had taught us a few years ago as she gave us a HUGE bag full of gifts upon our driving out of Utah toward PA. "Open one every 100 miles or so" she said. Our reward. It was so fun, exciting, a way to rejoice in our progress, it kept things fresh, engaging and interesting. Thank you!!!

Heather and I hit Walmart at 11pm the night before our trip and gathered the goods. A couple bag fulls of 'tiny treasures' and I was equipped. The children age 10 and down delighted in the surprises.

The first few hours I thought, 'when can we have the next surprise?' echoing in the backseat would cancel out the good of the goodie bag, but soon they adjusted to the schedule (and sometimes I could even pull a little more time between new toy time).

Just what we needed, these trinkets kept the kids happy and busy. (Dollar items for most.)

Even the big kids were thrilled when 1/2 way through our journey they earned one surprise each (a new book, new headphones - I thought of them.)

I couldn't believe it when we neared, finally, our PA home once again and I pulled out the last of the entertainment 3 hours away. NICE.

We had made it to Wyoming, Utah, and Canada and back and had 5,000 miles of memories to keep. HURRAY!!

Next year anyone???

P.S. Top entertainment items for travel (we found by experience)

1. Bendables (you can decorate the windows with these! Big kids got in on the action!)
2. Crayola magic paper&markers (no color unless on the paper).
3. Kid scissors, gluesticks, and paper (OK, a little messy but cleans up fast & worth it, entertains for hours)
4. Somehow still nothing beats singing silly songs for keeping kids happy on the road.
5. Walmart had plastic lap boxes one can draw on and keep tools within. ($2)

Little kids say their favorite was: squinkies.
Hottest big kid series of the summer: "The Great and Terrible"

Of course, modern day technology always helps when one gets desperate - pull out the Leapster and the laptop movies when all else fails!

Happy driving!

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