Monday, May 19, 2014

The Only Thing Grandparents Really Need to Know About Traveling Halfway Across Country with 2-year-old Twins

Sorry about that super-long title, but I wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting when you opened this blog post.  I am a fan of truth in advertising!

We wanted to surprise our daughter for graduation by bringing our son's family with us for the festivities but because of scheduling, they would have to drive straight through the 20-or-so hour drive.  Since we knew from experience that toddlers appreciate lots of travel breaks, we offered to take the boys with us.  We were planning to spread the trip over 3 days and wouldn't be in a hurry, so we thought it would be the perfect solution.

As travel time approached I recalled more vivid details of our travels with our own children... and I got nervous.  I asked my husband many, many times "Will it be okay?"  He always answered "Yes, we will be fine."  My follow-up statement was "But I want to do it well."

The day before we were to take off I was worrying about contemplating our schedule.  I hadn't yet gone into panic mode (can you say travel anxiety?) but decided that it was a good time to have a conversation with God.  As usual, I did most of the talking.

I blabbered on for a few minutes, and when I finally took a breath to listen, the only thing that I heard was "ENJOY!!!!"  Funny how God uses so few words to respond to my barrage. 

So my theme for the trip was ENJOY! 

We picked up the boys a bit before scheduled but all of us were ready so that was fine with everyone.  Their parents had told them that they were going to Arkansas with Grandma and Grandpa.  They were so excited about "Aw-saw!"  So excited, in fact, that they said "Aw-saw!" about 50 times in the 15 minutes it took them to fall asleep in the car.

Liam saying "Aw-saw".  Levi realizing that there was a television screen in front of him.  That DVD player came in handy on the trip.  "Bickey" (aka Mickey Mouse) was requested... over and over!
When they awoke from their brief nap, they both asked "Aw-saw?"  No, not yet, guys.  We still have another, oh, 19 hours or so to go.
We brought their polka-dot puppies for comfort.  These are not their "babies" that they sleep with in bed, but they do in a pinch.


After driving around the dreaded Washington, D.C. beltway, we drove a couple more hours and stayed overnight in a hotel.  This was still not Arkansas, but the boys were thrilled that the trees right outside our window were "HO-HO" trees, meaning they were wrapped in colorful Christmas tree lights.
Grandpa, Levi, and Liam all slept quite well.  Grandma... not so much.  But I made up for it by napping several times the next day!
The boys were quite glad to have their favorite DVDs to watch (Finding Nemo is NOT one.  They preferred reading.  I'm good with that!)


Now just so you don't get the idea that everything was happy and la-dee-dah, I want to assure you that it was not.  There were a few meltdowns moments of distress along the way.  When they occurred we would stop as soon as we safely could and get out for a run-around and something to eat.  A few minutes out of the car seat and they were ready for the next leg of the trip.


We heard "Aw-saw!" much less frequently as time passed.  I can't say that I blame them.  It isn't the most fun drive.  Nor is it the most exciting destination.  If they could have articulated it I think they would have said "WE WERE MISLEAD!"
Just to help you recover from those sad little faces above...

After a long day of driving, we finally arrived in Arkansas (the boys were totally unimpressed when I told them) and stayed the night at a hotel in the town of our destination.  We had a large room with a good amount space for us all to spread out and play, but the lack of HO-HO trees was kind of a bummer.
The next day, Mommy and Daddy finally arrived and their little family was back together.  We were all quite ready for it.
And, our mission was accomplished. We ENJOYED!!! 
Oh, yeah, and our daughter was completely surprised .


  1. LOVE the photos. I can see the differences in their faces now, but they are beautiful, even when they are crying. You were brave.

    1. I'm rather partial to them, Aunt Oneida. Thanks. Their resemblance is sometimes more, sometimes less. Here lately it has been less.

  2. LOVE the pictures of them holding hands! So cute :)

  3. What great parents/grandparents you two are! You give so much and being able to withstand the challenges enables you to reap the rewards! The boys just get cuter all the time.

    1. Thank you, Aunt Betty! We sure do love those little guys. They bring us a lot of JOY :-)

  4. Those are some happy faces!! Precious! :D

    That was a l-o-n-g road trip for toddlers. (What am I saying? That would have been a l-o-n-g road trip for ME!) How wonderful that you were able to enjoy! How gracious of God to put that on your heart!

    Congratulations to Amelia...and to all of you!

    1. It is quite a trip. We've made it 7 times now and I have to say this was the most fun (AND the most tiring) of them all. Thanks so much, Cheryl!