Saturday, August 22, 2015

The secret to actually enjoying a trip with (my) kids

A few weeks ago we took another 500 mile trek back down to L.A. for a dear friend's wedding and again we went in the car. With 2 whiny kids. In particular, one tiny but loud and extremely inflexible dictator-tyrant (aka, a two-and-a-half year old).

This time, however, it was a thousand times better than the first trip we took a month ago. For starters, we rented a giant SUV instead of just going in our compact sedan (this gave us the room to road trip with our lovely friends):

All we're missing here is the tiny tyrant-dictator in the back with me.

Also, I finally figured out what car activities actually work:

Forget fancy toys, just get masking tape. Lots and lots of masking tape.

And sticker dots.

For 2 year olds, the Melissa and Doug "water magic" coloring books are fantastic. And the good ol' smartphone selfie camera is always entertaining for a few minutes (but have fun deleting all those photo bursts of your toddler's blurry nose).

I now have 1000 photos of essentially this.

Another great perk we had this time was spacious, beautiful hotel rooms. Apparently toddlers like to nest in down as much as baby birds!

Kinda unbelievable how long "nesting" occupied Noah.

And the food. Omg the food. L.A. rendered me unable to button up my pants for a few days. But it was totally worth it.

Korean BBQ - I still dream about you.

The wedding we attended was a glorious affair - at a beautiful traditional church with stain-glassed windows and classic architecture. Every design detail was impeccable and just quirky enough to capture the sweet goofiness of the bride and groom. Sigh, if only I got to enjoy it...

Here's my experience of the wedding under El Dictator-Diablo:

At least I had a pretty corsage to look at.

But all in all, it was a great time. And my number one tip for a successful road trip with little kids? (cue the drum-roll)...

Go with friends!

This awesome kid was THE BEST toy my kids could have had and provided us with hours of endless chuckles and silliness. He single-handedly saved me from having to play with Judah and Noah for hours.

Uno, bionicles, minecraft, angry birds - this kid entertained like a pro.

But seriously, our sweet, kind, generous travel companions made all the difference, especially this lovely lady who not only watched my kids so I could get ready in a leisurely way every morning, but also plied me with drinks at night.

My matron saint of good times.

Sorry sweet friend, you have to travel with me forever now.

Now that I've tasted the good life, I can never go back!

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