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I am very familiar with piling the kids in the car for a family road trip. Flying my husband and I and our five children across the country to visit relatives is very expensive so we drive instead. My parents live in Wisconsin and my husbands’ parents live in California. Now that we call Spokane, WA home we make sure we visit both families once a year. Planning two family road trips a year isn’t easy, but they are a lot of fun.
We took our last trip out to Wisconsin this past summer. Madison, WI is just 1,625 miles straight down I-90 from Spokane. With five children this trip was a piece of cake! Well, maybe I am not completely telling the truth, but we sure had fun.
By the time we got into Idaho we ran into a terrible rain storm. Visibility was poor and you bet I was saying a few Hail Mary’s as we drove through that storm. My two youngest children slept right through the sound of the rain pounding on the car. When we were a few miles through Montana the clouds cleared and we enjoyed the scenic views of the mountains.
Montana is a beautiful state. But rest areas are hard to come by in big sky country. Our three year old was just starting to get used to going on the potty instead of in his pull ups when we left for this trip. I will never forget all the countless times he told Daddy that he had to go potty. Nearly every time my husband made him hold it just a little longer due to the lack of rest stops in Montana. I am proud to say that my son did not have a single accident on the first day of our road trip.
We stayed in a little hotel in Butte, Montana. Butte is a beautiful town surrounded by the mountains. We could see the Lady of the Rockies Statue, a 90-foot (27 m) statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary from our hotel window. This statue is dedicated to women and mothers everywhere, and stands on top of the continental divide, overlooking Butte. Someday, I would love to see Our Lady of the Rockies up close.
On our second day of the trip to Wisconsin we drove through the rest of Montana and on into North Dakota. I remember passing miles and miles of sunflower fields as we drove through North Dakota. North Dakota is the leading producer of sunflowers in the United States. In mid July these flowers were at their peak and were just gorgeous against the landscape. North Dakota seemed to go on forever. Shortly after sunset we finally made it into Minnesota.
By that second night I could tell that the kids were getting tired and anxious. They also had trouble adjusting to the time changes. We ate dinner later and let the kids stay up a little later. This different schedule helped their bodies get used to the time difference.
I don’t remember the hotel stay in Minnesota very much. I was too tired to remember. But I will never forget all the construction in St. Paul. I-90 was closed and detoured through downtown. It looked like they were building a light rail. We almost got lost until I spotted a sign pointing toward I-90. We thought we would be getting to Madison by 6 that night but after going through the construction it looked like our arrival was going to be closer to 8.
That last day of traveling was exaughsting but well worth it. We finally arrived at my parent’s house shortly after 8pm. The sun was still out so the kids ran around at the park across the street.
If you are planning on taking a road trip with small children be prepared to stop every couple of hours, pack plenty of healthy snacks, take lots of photos and enjoy the adventure.
Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the Chief Marketing Officer for Talbert Nutrition LLC, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge. Follow her on Google+.