Janesville61.7°

Because getting there is half the fun

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Laura Feit
July 6, 2011

With National Lampoon’s Vacation theme song playing in my head (You know the one “holiday rooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaddddd…..” by Lindsay Buckingham). I hopped into the family truckster along with my parents, niece, nephew, and my kids at o’dark-thirty - one of my dad’s sayings. Destination: Rapid City, SD.

I LOVE family vacations and HATE long car rides. Yep, this one was a doozey. Luckily my parents broke up the 800+ mile drive into 2 days with a few planned stops (Wall Drug, of course) to keep us from all going crazy.

I brought my summer reading buddies – James Patterson and Nora Roberts to keep me company and help stave off the claustrophobia and boredom. If you’ve ever driven that far west it’s a whole lot of flat and corn fields until the west side of South Dakota. And the kids brought, well, Best Buy: DS game systems, personal DVD players, MP3 players and a collection of games, movies, and song that could supply a small store.

Lucky kids – what I would’ve done to be able to watch movies in our Chevette as we trekked across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula over 2 weeks! My sister and I entertained ourselves by pinching each other if one of us “crossed the line” between the seats, played with our Barbie dolls, and those silly miniature plastic “car games’ with the tiny metal balls that always pop out of the slot with every pot hole. UGH! Looking back I wouldn’t blame my parents if they had left us on the side of the road with all the bickering we did.

I’m all for anything that makes the long car rides easier – for kids (and me). I had fun sharing earphones with my son and nephew while squishing ourselves even closer together to watch a movie on the 9 inch screen. Whining was minimal, despite the close quarters, and the “are we there yet?’s” didn’t start until about an hour before we reached our campground. What can I say? I couldn’t stop myself! So, how do you handle long rides in the car with the kids?



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