Half an hour into our drive to Ogunquit, Maine, my five year old asked the infamous road trip question: "Are we there yet?"
Yup, travelling with young children—whether by plane or car or train—is no walk in the park. Unless your walk in the park involves children, in which case, you know exactly what I am talking about.
We were prepared for this eight hour road trip, though. Thanks to my good friends at GM Canada, we got to travel in the new Acadia Denali, a huge vehicle with plenty of room for all our belongings. The best part? The built-in DVD player that my children made excellent use of. That, and the ipad.
And frequent stops. And plenty of junk food.
The best part about travelling in a vehicle (versus flying on an airplane) is that there is no such thing as 'over-packing'. I kept sneaking things into the truck, just in case. Like that extra pair of shoes, just in case...
Packing for the kids is challenging, but I've learned from all our past vacations that the more stuff you cram into the suitcase for them, the better it will be. Because kids get... dirty. And they go through at least two outfit changes a day, even if the majority of the day is spent in the ocean or by the pool. Ice cream spills, spaghetti sauce all over crips white shirts, and chocolate melted into little hands rubbed onto shorts means it's best to over-pack for them, too.
I have to say, though, my boys did amazing on this long road trip. They always travel well.
Even though my three year old decided to fight with the customs lady, because he didn't want her to look at him.
"Stop looking at me! Close my window! ARGH! Right now daddy, right now!"
And even though I had to break out the hazmat suit to take my children to the bathroom in some random truck stop off the side of some highway, USA.
"It's okay, little D. You can use the toilet here just as long as you don't touch a single thing and wash your hands for 10 minutes after and try not to inhale, either. OH MY GOD WHAT DID YOU JUST TOUCH? Don't touch ANYTHING! Ready? Go!"
"What do you mean you don't have to go to the bathroom anymore?"
I think I'm still recovering from too much Purell inhalation (and the shock of finding out the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial on our drive down) but we all survived.
My boys became experts at playing Fruit Ninja and negotiating who gets the ipad for how long on the trip.
Even though those negotiations include yelling, hitting, and screaming. They've going to make excellent world leaders one day.
I'm thankful my husband drove the entire way, so I could nap when the children were busy watching movies and playing games on the ipad. (What? Isn't that what passengers do on long road trips?)
We had an amazing family vacation, blessed with perfect warm and sunny days.
Our resort was beautiful, with an ocean view and two pools the children made good use of.
We enjoyed the town on our nightly walks, visited the Nubble lighthouse in York, and looked at the boats in Perkins Cove.
We also found the most amazing Mexican restaurant a few blocks from our hotel, with huge open windows overlooking the ocean. I felt like I was in Mexico, only much safer!
We ate plenty of ice cream.
We took trolley rides, shared stories, and laughed a lot.
I watched my five year old become fascinated with taking pictures with my Canon, and I even heard him ask for a better lens. A great hobby to have, no?
Of course, no family vacation is complete without a bit (or a lot, depending on who you ask) of fighting and yelling. Even with that, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Except maybe I would have packed a few more dresses because while I over-packed for the boys, I really under-packed for myself this time.
If you've been to Maine before, you'll know that no visit is complete without several trips to the amazing candy shops that are on every second street corner!
I felt happy and relaxed on this vacation, and very complete. Being with my family, inhaling the ocean air, and allowing myself to eat carbs were all contributing factors to my happiness.
It really was a picture perfect vacation.
With amazing views...
And good times...
And memories to last a lifetime.
The only downside to vacation? All the laundry that you have to do when you return home. As soon as I'm finally finished putting away all the clothes, it'll be time for me to pack again... for San Diego!