Ocean Front Property in OK-lahoma
It rained significantly last night and we awoke to a lake outside of our door. DOT informed us I-40 was closed due to floods and people are being rescued with the rising river. We found a route to take and were able to get around the road closures. We thought it might be helpful to share some tips we are learning along the way, particularly because there is a heavy rain advisory for the next few days and we will be in the car a lot.
1. What to Pack – Don’t pack more than a week of clothes. And think in layers. One long sleeve tee shirt. One sweatshirt. One rain jacket. Sandals, like Chaco’s, have been life savers as they dry easily and can be cleaned. Less clutter is better, especially when staying places only one night.
2. Car Snacks – Keep a bag of fruit and a variety of snacks. A small cooler of ice is super helpful, and we have a gallon jug of water that we refill when we hook up, rather than buying a new one each day. We have water bottles that we refill and also use for hiking.
3. Car Activities – Rotate and structure activities for the kids, not giving them a chance to get bored. Downloading audiobooks through the public library has been really great and gives us a chance to listen to them together.
We have all loved John Grisholm’s, Theodore Boone series, as well as the Genius Series, by Ted Gutman. The Genius Series includes road trips, so it was super fun to hear about places we visited.
4. Forced Breaks – Take a look at Trip Advisor and Road Trippers to get ideas for places to stop nearby. Often the kids don’t want to get out of the car, but we all feel better after a quick adventure. And, when one person has to use the bathroom, we all try!
4. Plan for Longer – Pulling a camper, potty breaks and adventures all add up, so add time.
5. Avoid Overplanning – Trying to do it all will exhaust everybody. It’s ok to have a list of activities, but listen and observe your family’s pace. Sometimes the quality of the adventure is more important than the quantity of adventures.
6. Take an Old School Map – Yes, they exist and have been great to have perspective, especially when we didn’t have cell access. The kids also have a map where they are following along. We are trying to learn the capitals too, but admittedly haven’t been super successful.
7. Remember God’s Gifts – It’s easy to still be “busy” on the road. There is always something to plan! We were given a Young Life devotional to help us to stop and be thankful. The kids take turns reading the Bible verses and the devotions have given us a chance to go deeper together. Honestly, these days help us to pause and reset our perspectives. And, we all have to remind each other!
8. Take the Scenic Routes – Remember it’s the journey not the destination. Incorporate both city and national park destinations, so that everybody is excited. Brady loves Chicago and the big city life. Piper loves Jackson Hole with land, quiet pastures and animals. The city tours are perfect and are a quick way to get to know an area with little time. While there, try the locals foods!
Go to the ranger activities at parks. We always learn so much and our park service does such a great job.
Take bikes! We have had a blast riding them together, discovering paths, riding downtown, and visiting shops. Bikes can serve as an activity themselves.
9. Use the Pot in the Instant Pot – Yes, I forgot. I was making salsa chicken and noticed liquid coming out of the bottom. Then, I remembered I forgot to put the chicken in the pot. Luckily, Steven helped me to clean out the motherboard and avoid electrical shock. When used correctly, the Instant Pot has been perfect! We made dried beans and rice, chicken dishes, lasagna, etc. And, just for the record, the salsa chicken was saved and the green chili enchiladas were great!
10. Keep Pushing Through – It’s inevitable. Bad moods come, we all get tired, voices are raised, and then it passes. It’s important to keep pushing though it and remind each other, it’s just a momentary challenge, stopping it from taking over, and setting the tone for the whole day. Without a lot of “personal space,” or alone time, it’s our job as parents to push pause, and climb our family back out of our funk.