Roadtrip Recap: Traveling with Three Little Kids

We took a roadtrip to Florida a couple of weeks ago. You may not have noticed, since I was all professional and set up blog posts to publish automatically while we were gone. But while you were reading about Alice’s Search for New Parents and an Update on Painting our Fireplace Mantel, I was sipping cocktails and relaxing changing diapers, wiping sand off of little toes, building sandcastles and feeding kids on the beach in Florida.

It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.

Rather than pay for four plane tickets and somehow figure out how to pack light with our family of five, we road-tripped it in the minivan. All 13 hours of drive time. And it was… pretty great (thank goodness for the DVD player)!

Even Steven’s mom (aka Bing) met us there. We offered her a seat in the minivan – but she opted to fly. Smart lady!

It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.

It’s a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. We track major events, the cost of gas, the route we took. My great-grandma used to track trips in her journal – I have some great information about her trip to the World Fair in Chicago in 1933.  My grandma used to keep her trip journal in her car – and update it with each new adventure. My parents used to use a fresh notebook for each trip.

And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn’t resist to continue the tradition.

Some highlights…

Day 1

8 am – Goodbye Cincinnati – Florida here we come!

8:30 am – Alice poops

8:40 am – First movie of the trip – we made it a whopping 40 minutes.

9 am – Miles: “I’m having a rough time. The beach is too far for me.”

9:34 am – Even Steven asks me to rub a tight spot on his back. I think it’s going to be a very long trip.

10:13 am – We realize that we’ve created a lot of confusion by naming our oldest son Miles.
Even Steven: “We’ve gone 100 miles.”
Miles: “What?”
Even Steven: “We’ve gone 100 miles.”
Miles: “Why do you keep saying my name?”
This conversation is repeated several times throughout the trip.

1:20 pm – We’re in Tennessee
Miles: “Are we going to see people playing tennis?”

3:45 pm – Impromptu pit stop. Alice pooped down to her ankles and all over her car seat. Now riding pantless. All windows are down – STINKS!

6:06 pm – Arrived at our hotel in Birmingham. Night is fairly uneventful with all five of us sleeping in the same room. I wake up at 3 am and Alice has crawled into Miles’s bed and is snuggling with him. So cute! And then Even Steven sneezes LOUDLY and wakes up all three kids. (I mentally photoshop his head onto a variety of bodies while I help kids fall back to sleep.)

It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.

Day 2

8:28 CT – Leaving the hotel. We’ve been up since 6 am. Miles yells penis very loudly in the hotel lobby as we’re leaving. It’s definitely time to hit the road.

9:38 am – Miles needs to poop. We stop. False alarm.

10:10 am – Miles needs to poop. We tell him to hold it.

No record of whether or not we ever let him poop…

1:25 pm – We have arrived! Santa Rosa Beach, Florida!!
Average fuel: 25.7 mpg
Distance: 742.9 miles
Average speed: 56 mph
Total time in car: 13 hours, 16 minutes
Temperature: 81 degrees

It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.
It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.
It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.
It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.
It's a tradition in my family to create a trip journal on long road trips. And since this was our first family road trip, I couldn't resist to continue the tradition.

Return Trip – All in One Day

8:45 am – Goodbye Florida!
Even Steven: “Only 741 miles to go!”
Miles: “What?”
Even Steven: “Only 741 miles to go!”
Miles: “Why do you keep saying my name?”

10:10 am – McDonald’s breakfast. YUM! Total is $6.66 – Yikes!

10:39 am – First movie of the return trip.

11:49 am – Realize that we left Miles’s stuffed Woody doll at the condo. Quick call to ask them to look for him. (They never do find him.)

12:10 pm – Quick run into Walgreen’s to buy socks for the kids so they can play on the indoor playground at McDonald’s during lunch.

1:47 pm – Nearly killed by a girl texting and driving. Simon is fussy!

3:18 pm – After a brief nap – Simon still fussing. Trying to make it to the next rest stop.

3:58 pm – Back on the road after a pit stop. Simon cut a tooth. No wonder he was fussy.

4:01 pm – Pretty sure I’m getting a migraine.

4:57 pm – We’re in Tennessee! It’s definitely a migraine.
Miles: “Where do you watch tennis?”

7:38 pm – Back on the road after eating dinner at the Cracker Barrel. It’s cold! Only 240 miles to home!

10:15 pm – Boys are asleep. Alice is singing. Coffee for Even Steven.

12:21 am – So close! Only 10 minutes from Cincinnati – but stopped in a traffic jam. TIRED!

12:28 am – Even Steven looking for Christmas music on the radio. What? Luckily – he doesn’t find any.

1:07 am – HOME!
Average fuel: 23.9 mpg
Distance: 757 miles
Average Speed: 59 mph
Total Time in Car: 12 hours, 44 minutes
Temperature: 45 degrees Brrrrr

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About Anna Luther

Hi, my name is Anna, and I'm here to share my stories, make you laugh and help you feel better about your crazy, messy, fabulous life.

6 thoughts on “Roadtrip Recap: Traveling with Three Little Kids

  1. I am reminded why I will not be making a 300 mile car trip with my three kids next week. Staying at home sounds like a much saner idea…

  2. I like the idea of keeping a trip journal! Sounds like a fun trip (except for the poop in the car, hehe)!

  3. WE can no longer be friends. Anyone who can post a picture of themselves in a bathing suit (and look as good as you) can no longer be my friend. Period.
    Ok, call you tomorrow.
    BTW, Love Simon's shark outfit! 😉

  4. Hilarious account. Many years ago I road tripped from MN to FL with my mom and 2 girls. The oldest was not quite 3, and the baby turned 1 while we were there. It was actually a great time to travel, what with all the diapers. Less potty stops!

  5. Sounds like a great trip!

    My grandparents also went to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933 and also kept a journal. Their car ran off the road and turned upside down–but nobody was hurt; the big news was, "We had to pay **$5** for a man with a wrecker to come turn the car right side up again." Can you imagine?!

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