At long last, the time has come for our first family vacation as a family of three! We originally had planned on Myrtle Beach for a full week, but thanks to some confusion about the dates of the husband’s doctoral class, we canceled that. By the time we realized we could still go away this week, our place in Myrtle Beach was booked, so we debated awhile over Florida, Kentucky, and other options until we settled on Traverse City, Michigan.
Pros: the scenery is supposed to be gorgeous, it’s a MUCH shorter drive (only six hours versus sixteen to S.C.), we should get to see my brother and his fam on the return trip, it shouldn’t be terribly hot, and we’ll still be staying in a hotel right on the shore. With a one-year-old, a shorter drive and a shorter stay sound wiser to us. The kiddo is a great traveler and has been to quite a few places already, but I wouldn’t blame him if he lost it after being cramped in his car seat for sixteen hours, so six hours seems a much safer bet.
I’ve already taken the lil’ guy on two two-night trips since summer break started, so the packing is all very familiar. It’s a lot more fun this time, though–my husband wasn’t able to join us on the two little trips, so I had to prep everything and pack the car by myself while keeping the little one entertained and safe. Tonight was nice, though; I was able to organize my bag in peace while Liam and his daddy played together.
Anyone who has traveled with a small child, even for one night, knows the sheer VOLUME of stuff you have to bring. Really, there’s not much difference between going away for a night and going away for a week or two. A few more clothes, but that’s it. Either way, we need the Pack’n’Play, stroller, some toys, the diaper bag, clothes, sippee cups, snacks for the road, the baby’s white noise machine with the little light projector of sheep and the moon and stars, disinfectant spray for the hotel room, med kit…yikes, as I type this up I’m trying to remember whether or not we actually remembered to pack all of this! Our car is not huge (Pontiac Vibe named Jack Black), but we know we can fit everything if it’s packed strategically.
The plan is to wake up early (6ish is early in summer), quickly load up ol’ Jack with our bags and paraphernalia that are pretty much ready to go now, and get the kiddo ready, hoping he’ll go back to sleep once we’re en route. We want to drive about halfway and then find a nice rest area or town to stop for a couple-hours’ break. We’ll see what happens when that alarm goes off. Wonder how much longer every little task will take than we expect? Whatever happens, we’re looking forward to getting away together, just the three of us. I’ll try to keep updates (with pictures) coming throughout the week!