We are 24 hours off our big trip of the year, so many parks!  But because of the intense traveling the last few weeks I’ve been behind in posting, we will be back on schedule next week, I hope!  Here are 5 things I learned on this trip:

1)  The $2.99 I spent at a thrift store on the Trolls soundtrack was simultaneously the best and worst use of cash EVER. I bought it for Lemon after she selflessly purchased stuff for her brothers and didn’t have enough left for herself.  Wild Thing is apparently consoled ENORMOUSLY by Poppy.  It would have been better had he not made up his own names for the songs, because it was difficult when he was screaming “POPPY DRIVING SONG” to figure out what he meant, much easier to get to “POPPY SPIDER SONG,”  but we eventually got there.  There were parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and Indiana where Poppy kept him in a lulled, semi comatose state, even if everyone else wanted to claw their ears off.

2) I am the only person in my family who likes the license plate game. It turns out everyone is really just counting down the minutes until they get screen time. Also children seem to have no concept of population density.  “LOOK ILLINOIS, I SAW AN ILLINOIS!”  Yeah, buddy, we are in ILLINOIS.  “LOOK MOM, ANOTHER ILLINOIS!”  Insert Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, etc .etc. ad nauseam.

3) Children can trash anything.  Our van was new (to us, but immaculate) and it looks like the trash heap from the Fraggles, except instead of offering wisdom it’s a bottomless offering of rage.  This shouldn’t be news, but I really had more faith in my system. Though the system is kind of mom-intensive so it eventually broke down.Basically detailing just needs to be added into the travel budget, because as I am literally at the end as I find trash that I was assured had been “thrown away at a gas station.” Also this puts a severe kink in my desire to do tiny car presents as a way to break the boredom.

4)  Headphones into a DVD player/videogame system are MANNA from Heaven.  It’s like a date with your spouse!  Especially if you put the tricky nosy kid in the back, then no one can hear you and isn’t pretending that they have the headphones to listen covertly.  Some of those later drives with everyone asleep or plugged in are some of the best times I’ve had with my husband in years. If there was wine it would have definitely been a date, except you know, driving.  So maybe not a date.

5) Laundry is the devil.  I knew this, you know this, but in the end it’s always here and there is just so much of it.  Sighh.

So we are now sitting at our house with our mound of travel bags and bins piled just inside the door.  Our cats have meowed themselves hoarse at our return and our dog seems to think that six inches in an appropriate distance to allow his family to get from his body.  All the children are plugged into something until it’s time to go reunite with grandparents and cousins, so I can sip coffee out of my Find Your Park mug.  Happy day!


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