Road Trip 101

So, we just drove approximately 3,000 miles on our first big family road trip.

What kind of people decide that driving from Pittsburgh to Key West with your just-potty-trained 2 year old is a good idea? Brave people. Or crazy people. There were moments of both, let me tell you.

Good Ideas
1. Going to Florida in September/October, and traveling midweek. No crowds, no traffic.
2. REI pack towels. Packs so small and quick drying. In my opinion, better than beach towels.
3. Not making reservations anywhere. The mild uncertainty was worth being able to change plans in accordance to each of our needs. And the weather.
4. Camping at Bahia Honda. Despite the nasty seaweed everywhere. It is a really beautiful park.
5. Stopping at the world's cheesiest alligator park in the Everglades. Paying three dollars to have our picture taken with an alligator. Taking Laurel on an airboat ride (she looks so cute in a life jacket!)
6. Frozen cauliflower, Margaret's cherry tomatoes (dried), over corn pasta. Best meal we cooked.
7. Nokomis Beach - we stopped there on a whim on the way up Florida's west coast with the intention to let Laurel run around while we ate some dinner. Met a crazy old hippy who called me Earth Mama and gave terrible career advice to M. And then watched a bunch of other hippies and yuppies and conservative retirees gather for a drum circle, before we drove off into the night.

Bad Ideas
1. Giving your two year old a frozen Key Lime Pie on a stick to eat in the car.
2. Packing markers in the keep-your-kid-busy-in-the-car bag. Thank goodness they were washable.
3. Not getting maps in advance. Mostly we picked them up in welcome centers along the way, but in our enthusiasm to avoid Atlanta traffic, we entered Georgia in the, errr....rural part. No welcome center. And then stayed in the rural part. And then became bored of the rural part. And then stopped at the saddest Waffle House in the world with the saddest two year old in the world, while we tried to plot our course into a metro area of some type.
4. Not bringing a canopy of some type to put over the picnic table at campsites. It's definitely on our list of things to add to our car camping supplies.
5. Trying to be egalitarian and letting your kid have every third pick on the radio, because the only thing she wanted to listen to is her French music. "Tout le monde aime les bananas!" Thank you, Aunt Mary, for the Charlotte Diamond CD. It was awesome the first 20 times.


Anonymous said...

I love Bahia Honda! Went there last year, so beautiful. Seems like you had a memorable trip, and the pick of Laurel with the key lime pop pre mess is adorable. :)


Anonymous said...

I am delighted that Laurel likes French songs. Is this the same CD with "Je suis une pizza" ?? Charlotte Diamond has lots of CDs. Perhaps it's time for some new ones.

How about:
Fais pipi sur le gazon
Pour arroser les coccinelles....

Betty Giles said...

Cocoa, please let us know the next time you are planning a trip to FL. We live on the left coast, south of Tampa , just a few miles from I 75. You could spend a fee nights with us, enjoy the pool, and hike in a park where photos of alligators are free.
BTW your blog writing has inspired me to start one of my own:

1st Wife