Fifteen days ago we packed up our SUV and drove south towards California for our 2012 Rau Family Roadtrip Vacation. My kids were practically jumping out of their little bodies with excitement and anticipation of the adventure ahead. My husband and I were a bit nervous about such a long road trip since this was our first with kiddos and we’d be gone for such a long time.
Together, though, we had everything planned so nothing could go wrong (that was the goal at least). I had every meal and snack detail planned out so that we could eat healthfully and save some money. Sure, we ate out a lot, but our days on the road, including our very first one, often included lunch that we made and packed.
My husband had all our hotels and activities carefully planned – San Francisco Giants baseball game, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Monterey Bay Aquarium, three days at Disneyland, two days in Yosemite and visits with different family members we don’t get to see often enough.
As we drove our last few hours today the kids were talking about how excited they were to see our dog Oliver (and it appears that he was equally as excited to see us!). My husband and I talked about how wonderful the trip had been and how we wouldn’t have changed anything if we could do it again. There are family members that we didn’t get to see that we, of course, wished we could have, but overall the trip was so much more than he and I ever expected. Every day was full of fun, adventure and lots of laughs – with little if any arguing, bickering or yelling (yeah!!).
If only every family vacation could be this ideal, right?
When we got home this afternoon, my first assignment was to make the kids lunch since it was already after 1pm. Unfortunately, one look into our empty fridge as I began to unpack our not-yet-eaten food is all it took to send me into a serious nesting situation. Could I really have missed cleaning the house?
The kids weren’t starving and quite content loving their dog so I scrubbed every last inch of the refrigerator – it might be cleaner than the day we brought it home! I have to admit that I’ve opened the door more than a handful of times tonight just to check out my work. Not that our fridge was ever dirty or gross, but it’s just so stinking clean that it shines now!
Of course, after my husband emptied our car he wasn’t too thrilled to see that I’d taken on an organization project instead of feeding the children or helping him out. But just wait until he looks in the shiny fridge!
ps. One of the great benefits of a long, mostly unplugged family vacation is having the mental space and time to think and reflect, which I did a lot while we traveled. I’m thrilled to be taking on a few new projects for Feed Our Families that I look forward to sharing with you all very soon! Stay tuned for some new resources and ideas that I believe we’ll all find helpful.