I’ve been reflecting on our yearly holiday journey. It’s always an adventure getting ready for the Holiday drive home. If you’re lucky enough to live close to see your family on a regular basis, then count yourself lucky.

Sometimes the journey to see our family can be filled with lots of potholes. Twice every year, we load up the SUV and stuff in as many suitcases, toys, survival gear (on my husband’s insistence) and basically everything that we might possibly need into the car. Inevitably, there is always something we forget!

Once the car is packed at full capacity, the kids climb into their car seats and then we unleash the beasts into the car, which usually starts an immediate battle over who gets to pet which dog and for how long. After the dust settles, we hit the road!

We try to offer many bribes along the way. We have a variety of snacks, games, and of course the electronic gadgets to keep their minds occupied… all of the things that we never had when we went on road trips when we were kids. And of course, we remind them of this when they start whining of boredom along the way.

It takes our family two days to get home from Southern California to Idaho. The first day is approximately seven hours… of course leaving later than planned and getting stuck in rush hour traffic.

The next morning, Murphy’s Law prevails and my son vomits in the car just a few miles out of town. We pull over and try to find replacement clothes and clean him up as much as we can because of course, we have checked out of the hotel just 15 minutes ago and everything is tucked away.

Thirty minutes later we are back on the road again and luckily this was the last of it. After an exhausting eleven hours on the road, we collapse into the house and where smiling faces and wine awaits!

Merry Christmas

The trip is a whirlwind of scheduled meetings with friends and family. Our dance card is full before we ever hit the road.

However, it never fails that someone provides the irritating phone call that we haven’t made an effort to make it over to their place to see them. I think to myself, really??? We just drove over 1000 miles in two very long days to get here. Can’t you get make the extra six miles and come see us?

All in all, we had a great time spending ten days with our family (well, most of them) and friends. It was definitely worth all the headaches, smells, sounds, and complaints in the car for four days overall. Somehow we made it without going to the ER, because really, what is a trip home without an emergency room visit?

But alas, our trip has ended and it’s time to get back to the reality of early mornings, no more free babysitters (thanks Mom and Dad!) and time to load up the car again.

How is it possible that with all the Christmas presents and hand-me-downs we gave away, that have run out of room to bring more stuff back? I have a secret that I’ll tell you, but shhh, don’t tell anyone else! We donate all the extra gifts that won’t fit!!

We also make the kids pick at least one or two presents from their stash to donate to the Toys for Tots Program. It’s a great way for them to learn at an early age to give to others.

What do your Holiday Road Trips look like?