After scrambling like crazy to get everything done that we needed to (and I do mean scrambling!) we were able to leave on schedule last Wednesday from Abbotsford. The van and trailer were loaded up and we started off!
I spent quite a bit of the trip sitting in the back between the boys - it was surprisingly comfortable and SO handy when Silas was fussy/hungry/thirsty.
Playing at the park in Revelstoke - a road trip tradition.
(Click here to see a similar shot from last year.)
Silas' meeting with an oreo cookie...
Our first day of driving was the longest and we pulled in quite late to our friends house in Cochrane, AB. We spent the night and the next morning with Craig & Janelle's family of 5 that is pretty much a mirror image of ours (boy, girl, boy - all around the same age as ours).
Micah & Nathan:
Keziah & India:
Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a picture of Silas and his little friend, Jax :(
Our 2nd day of travel was C-O-L-D. Last year southern Alberta was the hot spot on our trip. This time it was as cool as 6 degrees and windy and rainy all day. Erik and I agreed that, with the wind, it felt colder than winter in BC. Brrr. So, because of the nasty weather, our stops that day were very brief. We were almost to the 7 hour point of our day when I realized that we hadn't taken Silas out of his car seat once! And he was so content - I figured we'd better just let him be :)
Apparently we passed through the AB/SK border just hours before the rain washed out that section of the Trans-Canada. Crazy! And we made it to Herbert in time for a late supper at Erik's grandparents' house.
We stayed 2 nights in Herbert and spent part of our "day off" exploring Erik's grandparents' old farmyard near Hodgeville, SK.
The farm house.
Old siding (I thought it looked kinda neat :)
Micah took this one:
Erik was feeling nostalgic:
Water pump in the barn:
One of our "finds". We considered taking it with us but, in the end, decided to leave it.
As we climbed into the van the last morning in Herbert, we got our first taste of the prairie mosquitos. A few of them managed to find their way into our van as we left - causing a panic attack by the older 2 kids. At this point we figured we'd better prepare them for the bugs that would be waiting for us in Manitoba...
All in all, travel went amazingly well! Now that we've got some experience with driving across the country we've come up with a good list of helpful hints for road-tripping with kids:
- be sure to pack lots of snacks, lots of movies, and lots of wet-wipes (having several packages of wet-wipes strategically placed around the van is even better!)
- make the kids try to go to the bathroom EVERY time you stop (even if they say they don't have to)
- if there is a baby/toddler who needs entertaining/feeding along the way, and you have an extra seat in the back... use it!
- and if you have to stay up in the front seat, put kids snacks into little zip-loc bags that can be tossed back to them (I promise, your aim will improve with time and practice!)
Stay tuned for the "Summer in Manitoba" edition of my blog. I hope to blog a little bit more frequently now that we're settled in :)