Monday, July 14, 2014

Uniting the World & Some Travel Tips

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and excitement and emotion.  I've been in a different city--Nashville, Kalamazoo, D.C.--the past three Wednesdays.  For someone who usually thinks going to the library down the street or staying out past 9 p.m. is an adventure, these past few weeks have been huge.

Traveling teaches, it opens our minds, it's all kinds of good.  For example, while I was in D.C. I discovered a universal truth that comforted me.  As we made our way to the monuments in the ridiculous heat we passed all different kinds of people--different shapes and sizes, colors, nationalities.  One thing was the same in a every family we passed, behind every sweaty mother and father was a teenager rolling their eyes.  Every family.  It didn't matter what shape, size, color or nationality...annoyed teens roll their eyes to every mom and dad.  Truth.

Now that the World Cup is over and the world has nothing to gather together and celebrate or commiserate over, maybe this universal truth is where it's at.  Parents of tweens and teens in the world unite.  Let's hold hands and raise them in solidarity and say together "we may be different but we are not as annoying and embarrassing as our tweens/teens think we are, together we will get through this crazy ride of parenting tweens/teens."

Here are a couple other things I learned from my travels:

Traveling to D.C. with $60 and a gluten problem doesn't have to make you depressed.
Moms Clean Air Force paid for our plane tickets and hotel in D.C., otherwise we could not have gone on that trip.  We are still broke from the road trip we took a couple weeks ago.  So I took $60 and hoped for the best.  We spent money on the train ride from the airport and the rickshaw ride when we simply couldn't walk anymore. The kids wanted souvenirs and I simply told them "the story you have to tell people and your life experience here" were their souvenirs. Ha!  Honestly, they were a little bummed that they couldn't get the sparkly White House pen or the piggy bank with the Capitol Building on the side, but it didn't last too long.    

As far as the gluten problem, JT has Celiac and literally can't eat at many restaurants.  In fact, he has such bad cross contamination issues it's pretty impossible to eat anywhere.  He can't simply ask for the "burger no bun."

So I checked a suitcase full of gluten free food on the flight to D.C.  I hated to pay the $25 bag fee, but it was worth it in the end.  And you can't carry on these food and drink items.  

Udi's bread is our favorite.

We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and dinner, along with pretzels and apple sauce and chips. For breakfast I packed Fruity Pebbles (not my favorite choice for the kids, but it works in a pinch) and soy milk.  I packed paper plates, plastic bowls, plastic spoons and knives.  It worked out great.  We ate almost all the food and I didn't have to check my bag on the way home.  No depressed people in our party.
We had dinner in our hotel room while watching HGTV.

We also found great picnic spots outside to have lunch.

Smart phones can save your ass and enhance your traveling experience.

Forgot your flight info? Don't worry, look it up on your phone.
Have no idea where your hotel is in relation to the Lincoln Memorial? Um, the magic map on your phone does.
Want to know if a certain gum is gluten free? Google on your phone can tell you.
Miss your husband and want to tell him how amazing all of your adventures are right that minute? Dude, text him, send him a picture or actually call him on your sweet smart phone.
I would never want to travel without one.  And luckily airports, hotels, rest areas and restaurants are usually happy to let you power up your phones so they don't quit on you.  

Reading stands the test of time.

A book is just always a good idea when traveling (or really any other time).  My kids love it, I love it.  
I told him to look up at the sunset.
He did, and then went back to his book.

Lucy can tune anyone out when she reads, even her three brothers.
Got any travel tips?  Universal truths?  Tell 'em to me.  We leave later this week on yet another adventure and even though like the old Johnny Cash song, I've been everywhere man, I could use more/any/all help.


  1. I love that you can make it work no matter what the circumstances are :)
    Reading totally stands the test of time! I never travel without reading material.

  2. I love that you packed all the food for your trip! It makes it even more of an adventure - sort of city survival. We usually pack snacks and water - I don't know of any trip we've gone on with kids that I didn't have some sort of bag strapped to me with our snacks for the day.