Man does it feel good to be home!
A few things went wrong - but overall we had so much fun!
- The first day, our fuel pump went out. Jimmy did so good getting the van looked out by a trusted friend/mechanic. We spent hundreds that day fixing things. A fuel pump is not something you can really check. It just goes out. One thing we did learn was to never let your gas tank get below a quarter full. It has to work hard and it settles and clogs up the filter which can burn out the pump.
- I took some fun new activities and "prizes" for the kids, but they still had a really hard time getting used to sharing the back seat. Being in such close proximity, really wore on both their nerves. Next time I need to be even more prepared to keep them busy/entice them NOT to argue/discipline when they do.
- In our mind there are 3 levels of places to stay. (I'll go into that in a future post.) Last time we were at the stripped down level. That worked, but was tiring. We decided, with the baby, we would step it up a level this time. I think we have made the decision to step it up even more next time. On our down days and rainy days, we really could have used a pool. Most places we stayed did NOT have a pool.
- Take an extra bin!!!! We acquired a lot of stuff. Some we bought, some were gifts. We let them float around for a few days, but it was TOO much. We had to stop at a Walmart and buy a couple bins to organize. We have TONS of bins sitting in our garage, but because we weren't prepared, we came home with a couple new ones!
- DON'T bring a giant cooler! Last trip, we were preparing nearly all our own food, so we needed it. This time, we pretty much only had a handful of waters in it and every once in a while - some leftovers from dinner that they couldn't part with. Took up a HUGE amount of space and by the second week, we were using it as storage for things like baby food pouches and such.
- Don't go overboard on car snacks. We tried to stop about every 2 hours for the baby. That is about all she could handle happily before she wanted to get out and move around. We were never in the car over a meal - so why did we need to bring a bunch of snacks??? Next time I won't.
- By the time you've driven 1500 Miles, you might want to check your oil. One minute our light popped on, and the next minute the van was shaking! LUCKILY, we were RIGHT across the street from a Walgreens! Whew! Someone was looking out for us!
- Take an atlas! I know it is totally old school. Jimmy didn't think we would need a map of ANY kind. He has a fancy pants phone that has GPS. Well, we don't have UNLIMITED 4G. We have a limit. We never come close to hitting the limit. In our first day of the trip, we got an alert that we were within 10% of our limit. Other time, the internet or the app wouldn't work properly. Another Walmart run and we had an atlas. I am a GREAT map reader ;)