Saturday, September 6, 2014

Our 1st Family Vacation [Tennessee Bound with Lots of Little People]

Get to work, Thomas! You've got a family to pack!

Paul and I took a late, late, very late honeymoon-ish trip to California last March. Our 1st trip, of any scale, away together in 5 years.  It was so much fun to get away before the twins arrived and before I started staying at home, but mainly it was just so absolutely wonderful to eat meals uninterrupted, to finish conversations, and to stroll along the beach hand in hand. Bonus: stepping off the romantic beach at Santa Barbara into "tar grass" and using every last bar of soap & bit of cloth in the hotel to scrub black bits of grass and dirt and sticky death tar and nearly the skin off our feet also.

Ah, the twins were so easy to manage back then.

One thing we decided, an aha! epiphany if you will, while on our CA tour trip was that we wouldn't wait until vacation seemed an easy or timely fit for our family. Instead, we would be on the lookout for adventure & seize up opportunities to travel with our littles even if that meant it came with the tagline: "damn, that was a lot of work."

And now, a year and a half later and an iPhone completely maxed out on storage, I get to say that we did just that. We went. We saw. We did all the things with the little people. Enter me in an obstacle course competition of navigating public places with hungry, tired, and disoriented children, and I will not finish last!!!

We thought about renting a nice, luxurious SUV for our travels but then worried we wouldn't hit on that quintessential vacation experience of driving each other to the zone of insanity marked by twitching, snapping, or yelling things at people that don't make sense, so we stuck with our COZY Saturn Vue. This is the car we've patted our backs for keeping even with 3 kids and car seats so thisclosetogether it takes a Boy Scout badge to conquer correct buckling practices. A vacation with this vehicle? This was not part of the plan or dream or whatever we were thinking while gazing at each other in CA.  But there's that Anderson spirit, so after some trial run packing and coaching Thomas on how to carefully, carefully, carefully roll his clothes into tiny shapes, I decided to give myself more gray hairs it a green light!

We carefully navigated the storage issues for the trip. I asked for my mom's packing list, printed it off and then ruthlessly struck things off the list that we just couldn't space-wise afford to cram into the car if we also wanted to not strap Thomas to the roof. Books? Who reads! Not me! Umbrellas? Nope, that's where we're keeping the mini-med kit! Jackets? Forget it. We'll have little people hanging on us all day. We hardly need clothes.

Photographed below you can see naive children who have yet to venture into the wild, wild world of hotel accommodations (broken sliding mirrors! t.v.s at toddler reach! beautiful framed artwork for Thomas to behold!) and gas station food just perfect for little people to eat neatly & safely in a car so tight that we had to put their pack & plays at their feet & pretend it was a faux floor also just perfect for little people! So many things just perfect, I can't even tell you. <wink>

Maybe I'll tell you more about our trip soon. I'll have to think about it. I don't want to make anyone jealous by the abundant spread of benefits we seized in traveling with a set of one year old twins and a four year old, so it may take me awhile to cull my words. <more winking> <maybe some twitching>

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