HOW-TO ROAD TRIP IN STYLE part one
by marta dansie of martawrites.com
practically every other weekend since the middle of may, we've been a road tripping family. dan, benji and i pile into our car (the one with the best gas mileage) and head out for an adventure. frankly the best part of living where we do is its awesome access to all things great. and when i say great, i mean the great outdoors. another factor is that our families live only a few hours away and we like to visit them while the ground is thawed and the road is not a skating rink. thus, the road trip has become our way of life. these shots are from our most recent venture to sun valley, idaho. i'll share a few tips i have found to be helpful along the road...
the wide open roads are so inviting. take a few hours of your saturday and head out while the sun is shining. there is nothing quite like country roads to get your mind off your troubles. if it's an over-nighter, we pack the bags the night before and set them by the front door for easy loading. i also get out the cooler and set it on the counter next to the fridge. i put my cell phone, keys, wallet, camera, ipod into my tote bag, prepped to go. the next morning, after a quick breakfast, we like to head out early while we are all happy and in good moods. we usually stop to fill the tank and splurge on a special treat to enjoy on our outing.
benji likes to bring his stuffed dog and puppy along. i always pack a small tin caddy to sit next to him full of items for convenience; a few board books with flaps, little cars, a drink, a slinky, a couple diapers, craisins and crackers. he is a super good sport with all our adventuring. i like to dress him in light comfy clothes and have a lightweight blanket handy for when he falls asleep. if he starts to melt down after being on a long car ride, we sing silly songs (i now keep a nursery song book in the car these days), do finger rhymes, tickle his toes or hand him something random like a plastic water bottle to play with. the strangest things can charm a toddler!
a giant tote bag is a must-have. (this argyle bag was a gift and is from Land's End.) i set it by my feet. (a small cooler with water, string cheese, granola bars and a piece of fruit to slice up and share gets tucked behind my seat.) these are a few items i like to tote on trips: maps, an itinerary or tips about the destination, a good book, a fun magazine (perfect to flip through and still avoid getting car sick), wipes and wipes galore, tissues, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, my ipod, sunglasses, pen and notebook, a camera, small pillow and socks. i'm serious about the socks, they make all the difference to kick off your flipflops and cuddle in. a blanket or sweatshirt is super luxurious for long drives. make sure you have an extra sack to act as your garbage receptacle. dan's army knife comes in handy too, from slicing nectarines to whittling marshmallow roasting sticks, it's the perfect item to keep in the car.
we are big believers in books on tape. i always go to the library and pick out a few for our road trips. i try to pick topics that will appeal to both of us. i always get five or six so we can be have our pick while we are on the adventure. we like listening to mysteries, westerns, historical books or comedies. when it's just me driving, i love listening to parenting books, cheesy romance novels or self-help books (as in religious books, business strategies, organization or artsy books). it's a great way to pass the time. you can read about one of my all time favorite books on tape in my raving review of nora ephron. p.s. still having a tape deck in our car means we still get to listen to awesome mix tapes! if you have any nostalgic tapes you'd like to donate, i promise to put them to good use.
do not forget your camera. i repeat, do not forget your camera. (i mean, unless it's a camera-less trip, which i completely get. that can be somewhat refreshing in and of itself.) however, if you're like me, you will love having your camera at the ready to snap shots on the go. you'll shock yourself in the photos that you can take blindly (not looking in the view finder). just snap them quickly and see what comes. i love drive-by shootings. it is one of my favorite mediums. and i say medium as if i were a real artiste. just be sure the strap is safely around your neck or wrist before anything accidentally drops in the lake, mud, ice cream dessert, etc. as you can see from the photo, i prefer road trips wherein i haven't a speck of makeup on and my hair is all tied up so we can have the windows down. now off you go, enjoy the nature show.
click this link to read road trip tips part II.
21 July 2010
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden