The children and I are on the road again!
Well, that makes applying lessons learned pretty darn quick. (ack!)
So, yes, The Spouse helped pack the kids dinners, snacks, and drinks. (Thanks, Sweetheart!). Later, when eating on the road, the six-year old wondered why his sandwhich was so small, compared to his siblings. "Well," I said, "It looks like you asked to have all the crusts cut off and apparently only wanted the center of your sandwhich." "Hmmph!" he puffed. "You know I'm still going to be really hungry after I eat this." So, he ate. And then had a snack, followed by some fresh fruit and then a lot more snacks.
I packed all my food (including the infamous "just in case we get delayed dinner"), went to work, and afterward, we hit the road and arrived at our destination after several hours. Learning from the earlier trip, I was determined to not $2/visit our way down the highway, but we found a rest area and not even a partial fill up of gas was needed. Before we knew it, ththree-hourur drive was over: let the playtime with cousins begin!
Hotel/Motel/Lodgings in the Deep South in the summer must include a pool. This one's was suprisingly miniscule and felt quite crowded with our family and two addiitional children (8 in the water total), but the kids didn't seem to care. My sister brought snacks to share at the pool. We adults did not swim, but the kids burned up good energy shrieking and cavorting in the water.
The hotel provided fresh snacks as well: complimentary hot tea or coffee or cocoa, and for the youngsters there was even fresh cookies and milk. We hung out in the hotel "living room/foyer" for several hours playing board games (another smart sister move) and catching up since our last visit.
And that's the point of a visit, correct? To spend time together and act goofy together as you unwind and put down your guard and pretenses? It is not about being entertained or entertaining. It is about being able to enjoy the moment, the chaos, the lack of agenda, and for that to be perfectly, completely O.K.
(photo from Trip 1 earlier this week: Ft. Pickens Beach, Florida)