road trip with kids – the good, the bad and the ugly

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Vancouver, British Columbia to Cannon Beach, Oregon – 6 hours driving – on my own with the two kids.  I planned this trip without my husband out of spite. Yes, it is true. I had been dying to do this family road adventure for six months, but grew increasingly frustrated with the fact that my husband had a conflict with every date I suggested.  I’ll show you, I thought. I’ll go without you while you are on your annual man trip.  Ha!

Trader Joe's road trip snacks So off we went the other morning.  First stop a latte, second stop Trader Joe’s for some road snacks, and finally, the open road. Yes, truth be known, I put a movie on for the kids in the back seat, but tried to alleviate my guilt by having them watch Planet Earth DVD’s.  I cranked up the tunes, and belted out 4 hours worth of top 40 hits, courtesy of a variety of radio stations I had never heard of.  It was a sunny day, and things could not have been more perfect.  I was in love with life, in love with road tripping, and in love with my wonderful children. With the wind in my hair, it was as if I were channeling that independent woman from my youth, who would never hesitate to go it alone by bus, by train, by plane, or even by camel.  I know, I wasn’t exactly alone on this trip, but we certainly aren’t putting the “T” in team yet either.

After 4 hours on the Interstate 5, I turned onto a secondary road and announced to the children that the movie was now going off.  It was time to enjoy the scenery.  This is where the tone of the journey changed, and I swear, the exact moments a bank of clouds rolled in.

The chatter began:

The scenery isn’t even that good Mom.
She keeps poking me and making weird sounds.
I hit him on accident.
It’s not “on” accident. You need to fix her grammar Mom.

And then there was me:

No, a dog and a person cannot make a baby puppy combo.
You are just scratching your nose, right?
I’d prefer you use the correct terminology for your anatomy.

I found myself making all kinds of empty threats.  As if I were seriously going to skip the ice cream shop, or forbid them from watching movies on they way home.  I had flashbacks of a 5 day road trip with my parents to California as a child. There were no DVD players for us back then.  We had magnetic chess and a rug hooking kit (right up there with macrame in case you missed that trend). I remember being bored to tears and fighting with my sister incessantly. Every so often my dad would threaten to “give us something to cry about”. Ah…those were the days.

Back to road trip 2013. Of course we eventually made it to Cannon Beach. The clouds parted just in time for happy hour on this stunning expanse of sand.  We look relaxed and content, right?  My glass of TJ’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir, quickly consumed in the room helped.  Wish us luck on the  way back !

Cannon Beach Oregon Road Trip

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a guide to cannon beach, oregon – with kids

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