I promised my sister that I would road trip it with her and her offspring in July. Her husband had a busy slate at work and since the drive from Kirksville Missouri to Salt Lake City was a measly 21 hours she figured she needed some help. I think she overestimated the amount of help I would be … Since I was already in Omaha she drove up with the four kids herself. When they arrived they kids stumbled through the door in excitement that they only had to stop 5 times in the first hour!!!
Our plan was to leave at 4:00 am for the 16 hour drive West. That quickly turned into 6:00 am with a box full of donuts a head full of prayers that the kids would remain sleeping for at least the first 15 minutes. Thankfully we did some planning ahead to keep everyone happy(ish). I scoured the dollar store and purchased heaps of items that we could surprise the kids with when the were right on the brink of meltdown – but keeping them from tipping over. The items included hill-billy teeth to be worn at each of the rest stops, inflatable microphones for a car-oake hour (which quickly turned into whack-a-mole), laffy taffy joke time, and of course some Macklemore.
We made it to Heber Valley Utah before sunset (mainly because it was the height of summer and the sun was out until 2:00 am … ) We had a great week keeping the kids busy. Sightseeing in Salt Lake City, fishing, swimming, being cowboys (putting the kids on a horse and walking them around in a circle), lighting stuff on fire (it was the 4th of July), taking them to the movies (so I could take a nap), visiting the BYU Bookstore (even though neither my sister nor I went there), meeting up with friends (who also don’t live in Utah but all happened to be there), hiking (carrying kids on our backs), and eating a lot. We even headed down South to St. George, so we could melt under the sun, where we spent more time swimming, making small children go down scary water slides by themselves, watching the pool get cleared out due to a Caddy Shack incident (not the fault of any in our party), and do more hiking (carrying kids on our back in the desert).
I learned a few things on this trip.
- Kids are easily bribed with Skittles
- Macklemore “Ceiling can’t hold us” is just as entertaining the first time as it is the last … oh wait, the kids are still listening to it
- You should really go with your gut on areas of town and rest stops because sometimes it’s just better to risk running out of gas before you hit the next one …
- I’m all about healthy eating, but I can easily be switched to being all about throwing McDonald’s at the kids to keep them happy
- Audiobooks and earbuds really help you tune out the rest of the car (did I mention how many books I made it through??)
No matter how hard we tried at making the trip fun and exciting the favorite parts of the trip were the whoopie cushion given to a child within 30 minutes of arriving home and playing with a cat …