Sunday, August 15, 2010

This Crazy Family Travels

I have always loved to travel. There's nothing more exciting than hitting the road (or air) and landing somewhere new! Adventure has always been a pleasure of mine. In fact, when I imagined myself with a family I envisions trips around the world, weeks of backpacking in the greater outdoors, and exploring new lands and cultures. Fast forward many years, and 3 kids later, and I find it hard to make it to the local park let alone camping or overseas treks.

This summer, with our house on the market (and my inability to maintain the order necessary for showings), we thought it would be a great time to travel with the kids to our home town in Michigan for a little R & R with the family.

It started with a two-leg plan trip from Pdx to Detroit through Denver. After lugging 3 suitcases, 2 carry-on kids cases, 2 laptop bags, one diaper bag, 3 car seats and a jogging stroller from the economy parking lot via shuttle to the terminal I was already exhausted!

Once I plane I could finally start to relax. Normally a family who heavily limits screen time, Elliot was most excited to have unlimited access to movies and his Leapster on the plane!
Michigan was HOT...seriously hot...and humid. But we didn't let that stop us.

One day my mom and I took all of the oldest kiddos to the movies! Of course I spent most of the time escorting people to the bathroom and delivering popcorn, but at least we were in the air conditioning!

At Greenfield Village Elliot got to make candles, and be a printing apprentice.

And Owen was thrilled for the train ride and real Round House.

Clearly I was having fun. I was so hot and this frozen cherry-dipped custard cone was the bomb. Or at least most of it was, apparently my eyes were a bit bigger than my stomach.

The best part was seeing the kids have such a great time with their cousins.

We were sad to say goodbye and head home after a fun filled trip.

The flight home was horrendous. More begging to get seats together on the plane, and a middle of the night lay over with the kids made me wish I had a prescription for Xanax. But by far the worst part was having all three kids crying hysterically for the last 30 minutes of our descent into Portland. When everyone else on the plane was deboarding, our most dramatic 6 year kept crying out "I need a wheel chair, I need a wheel chair". The flight crew was more than a little irritated as we finally managed to usher all of the kids off the plan and into the gate area. We were the last ones of off! Ugh.

Waking up this morning was brutal. Why it's so much harder to travel back from, rather than to the Eastern time zone, I will never understand. After picking up bagels for breakfast, Dennis took Elliot to pick up the dog from our friends house. Our friend had reported that the dog had some accidents (which he's never done to us) , but that he was otherwise having a great time. Since he was out this morning he left the door open for Dennis to get the dog. You can only imagine how pleased Dennis was to find a huge poop on the floor there when he arrived. After cleaning up, leaving $40 (and a note offering assistance) for a carpet cleaner, as well as a lovely thank you gift certificate, Dennis and the dog returned home. Within two minutes, the dog stole Dennis' sandwich of the kitchen table. WELCOME HOME!

Back to the real world! Work, keeping the house up, and lots of laundry and sleeping to catch up on!

Here are just a few reflections from our trip as a family of 5:
  1. Book your family flights directly through the airline and not with some discount online program. Otherwise getting seats together is ridiculous.
  2. Always bring your bathing suit when traveling to a warm climate in the middle of the summer (Dennis!)
  3. Get real when packing! I could have forgone many items which took up a lot of room (sweatshirts for 5...ahhh). Though I did get to show off all of my fabulous new Silpada jewels!
  4. Frozen custard is very filling
  5. There is a thing called a heat index...don't look at, it will only depress you.
  6. Nothing is better than diving into a cool pool on summer vacation!
  7. Be careful who you leave your pets with when your away (if you want to keep your friends that is).
How do you travel with kids? Does it ever get easier?


  1. Patty - you are awesome. Kudos to you for going through all of that and then taking the time to blog about it for our entertainment. So hilarious, I think I need a wheelchair.

  2. You are too funny :) I am sure your Shadow watcher is more than happy you are home. As for the Lowry girls however, they were vey sad to see you all go. Fiona and Elise kept saying all day yesterday how much they were going to miss Elliot, Owen, Mave, Aunt Patricia and Uncle Dennis!

  3. We still love you : )