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moving right along (dugga doon, dugga doon)

July 21, 2011

I have pitch-perfect childhood memories of riding in the back seat during interminable family road trips, listening to the Muppet Movie and Annie soundtracks on eight track tape (my father also threw in a little Roger Whittaker and Willie Nelson for diversity’s sake).  While I’m confident my sister and I still know every word to every song recorded on each of those chunky cartridges, it is this quintessential road tune that has worn a track through my brain this week:

Indeed, someone please fetch us if we end up in Saskatchewan, as this is the route to Austin our little family will be taking on Monday:

The long blue line.

Two adults.  Two preschoolers.  One fifty pound dog.  One mid-sized sedan.  One thousand, three hundred and forty-four miles.  One gigantic maybe to be chased.

In the words of Lou Reed, this is the beginning of a great adventure (though, apologies to Lou, I’m not sure our kids are yet ready to appreciate New York).

At any rate, I’ll post a little from the road, but (apologies to you) I’m not sure how well my synapses will be firing after long days and cramped quarters.

In the meantime, I welcome any and all suggestions about making this trip as painless as possible. What’s on your consummate road trip soundtrack?

In exchange for your help, I offer an additional tip for moving with young children:  Buy far more bubble wrap than you think you will need, and hide it really well.  Bubble wrap is expensive catnip for kids.  Learn from my mistakes.

I hope today finds you steering in the right direction, footloose and fancy-free, and ready for the good times.  Thank you — always — for showing up.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris S permalink
    July 21, 2011 12:11 pm

    Have a good tour of the old south. I’ve done that route a couple of times from east TN to Austin. I’ve also taken the “high road” through TN and Arkansas. The low route you are taking is a little more scenic… maybe bring a little rain with you? We in Austin would greatly appreciate it.

    • July 22, 2011 5:02 am

      Hey Chris,
      We’ll do our best to bring along some rain, and thanks for the good wishes! We will all have to get together once we are settled in Austin.

  2. July 21, 2011 8:39 pm

    Best of luck on your travels! We are doing a round trip in the vicinity of that many miles in August, but with the promise of stops along the way. Unfortunately, I have little advice to make the road trip more fun. The methods we have used in the past to combat trapped-together-for-460-odd-miles-in-one-day-insanity with a varying degrees of success are not music related as my daughter, much like me, is a yapper and the music just gets in the way of her running her mouth… no doubt you already employ most of these, but FWIW:

    – I spy
    – Scavenger hunt (we do it on-the-fly, but you can make a little clip-art paper of stuff to find along the way if you want to be all organized about it… I just say, “now let’s look for a red truck/yellow sign/church” etc.)
    – The travel DVD player – sometimes the silence it brings to the backseat is the best possible soundtrack after a couple hundred miles
    – Dollar store prizes (we give them as we hear crankiness set in and we always take a ton of these but admittedly, the novelty does wear off at some point)
    – Magic color books – those ones that have the clear marker – if they’re on sale, Kohls is often a good place to get these from a price point of view
    – Snacks – what would we do without snacks?

    We’ve also taken to “play stops” at places like Chik-fil-A, IKEA, or ‘real’ playgrounds, if they’re easy access from the highway – we do I95 most of the time, so actual parks/playgrounds are not often in the mix for most of our trips. For our next trip, in August, I’m also planning on marking colored dots on a map for Immy so we can tell her “now we’re at the blue dot” so she can start to get a sense of the map, since she usually just asks us why the road on the “map” is pink and we’re not on a pink road… glorious GPS!

    • July 22, 2011 5:04 am

      Great ideas, Jade — thank you so much! I really like the marked-up map activity. Best of luck to you and your little ones on your August road trip. 🙂

  3. Dawn permalink
    July 22, 2011 8:42 pm

    Just wanted to say that North Carolina’s loss is Texas’ gain. I wish you a safe and pleasant (well, as pleasant as possible) trip!

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