It is early Sunday morning. The pie is cooling for the family fourth of July picnic. The potato salad is chilling in the fridge. Friday morning we leave on vacation. I can't wait. I love to travel. And this area we are headed to is new to me.
Yesterday I printed out packing lists for everyone. I keep an excel spreadsheet - check off list on file. I just adjust the number of outfits and hit print. I make notes on my list and update it when we return. This really keeps the number of things forgotten to a minimum. And, I don't have to pack for the kids.
I printed out maps for me. I like a back up for the GPS. I looked up coupons and discounts for the area. Made notes of possible activities and prices. I checked out restaurants. I updated the address sheet for postcards (oldest will miss her first vacation). All in the comfort of my p.j.'s.
The kids pulled out the atlases last night and tried to guess the destination. The correct guess gets a little extra spending money on the trip. I limit spending money. This way I don't hear I want, I want, I want... they really think about it and make pretty good choices.
We don't tell them where we are going. We made the mistake once early on and after talking to bio she slammed it so bad they didn't want to go. So, all of our vacations have been a mystery destination. Their clues this time. We are driving, we will be gone a week, we do not have passports, they have never been to this city/town before and they will be in the car 16 hours (so it takes 8 hours to get there). The packing list has the number of hours they must amuse themselves in the car. I do not have a DVD player or lap top. This means MP3 players, books, sketch pads etc. They also know from the clothing that they will be some place warm and that we will be hiking.
And just in case the stumble across this blog ..... I'll fill you in when I get back.