Traveling with family is best viewed by looking at individual moments, not as good days and bad days. We took our little women on their longest road trip to date, an 8+ hour drive, to Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine.
The trip was intense in one moment, then hilarious, then heart-stopping and gorgeous. In one moment, I found myself full of joy and reverence for natural world and my family. In the next I found myself wondering what the hell was I thinking planning a camping trip that would have me freezing in a tent perched on a platform by the water with three girls who refuse to pee in a port-a-potty when the nearest bathroom a 1/4 mile away?
I had blisters on my feet from my new L.L. Bean’s in less than 24 hours from – no, not hiking the most amazing trails overlooking the Atlantic – but from the uphill walk to the bathroom.
The upside? I drank my morning coffee (that Dave made for me) here:
And my girls loved swimming in the ocean here:
I don’t have a photo to remember the heart-stopping moment of our visit to Acadia National Park. I was too busy gripping the seat of the car to grab my camera while we drove up a winding mountain road that allowed us to see the coast and the little islands popping up out of the Atlantic. It was incredible and terrifying.
We laughed a lot. I only cried once, when the two young ones were taking turns melting down, screaming that they wanted to go home right now. I told them that “people travel from all over the country to see this place, so you better enjoy it.” Then I turned to Dave and said, “because I’m never taking them anywhere again!”
It was a down moment. I’ll still take them every place I imagine they will like. It was followed by a good moment.
The mini-van became the bathroom shuttle that night, running every hour until 11pm and resuming service at 7 am.
Dave informed me that “you are supposed to rough it a little” when you’re camping. I don’t know what he meant. To me, this was roughing it. Do you know how damp everything inside the tent gets when you camp on the water?
It’s okay though, because then you get to open your eyes to this view:
So if you are planning on taking an amazing trip with your children, my only advice is this:
Enjoy the beautiful moments. Let go of the crappy moments. Accept that there will be both.