This week we are on vacation, meeting for a family reunion at a resort camp near Mt. Rushmore. Thursday after work, we packed up the van (including up on top), took showers, ate dinner, got gas, and eight of us left at midnight. In addition to me and the four kids, my parents and a good friend were off.
My strategy actually worked! The kids slept most of the remainder of the night. My dad drove the majority of the time, with my friend and I giving him short breaks. We ate breakfast and drove some more, ate snacks in the car for lunch and kept driving until mid-afternoon. The only casualty was a seatbelt that quit functioning after one of the rest stops.
After checking into a motel in Colorado, the kids went swimming with my friend, while my parents rested and I went to get the seatbelt checked. Yep, retractor broken; needs to be ordered. Nope, they can't order it for a dealership closer to our destination.
On Saturday, we drove a couple of hours, checked out a candy factory (that made the kids' day), ate lunch, and drove a couple more hours. We had a much better motel that night in Wyoming, and we went swimming at the local Y.M.C.A. before dinner.
Sunday morning we drove the rest of the way to our destination and checked into our cabin, a quaint log structure with three bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, and small living room. Other family is staying in two larger cabins. I think we will total about 30 when all are here.
Today my friend, the three older kids, and some cousins checked out the reptile garden and had a blast! My parents watched BB, who took an extended nap (YEAH!), and I went into Rapid City to get the seatbelt situation resolved. A new one is ordered and should be here Wednesday. I also picked up food for dinner one night this week, as each branch on the family tree takes care of dinner for all on one evening.
What did I forget so far? Socks (easily fixed this morning) and my cord that connects my camera to my computer (so no pictures until we get home, boo hoo). All in all things have been marvelous, much better than I expected for such an extended road trip with so many packed in to the van!