Monday, July 21, 2014

Perkins Pack in Pagosa

WE DID IT!  2 adults, 6 toddlers, 18 hours in the car (each way), and a week at Gammy and Pop's house in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

A few weeks ago Dave and I decided we did not want to miss out on our annual summer trip to Pagosa.  We knew we'd be fine once we got there since we could stay with my parents and that'd be 4 adults around all the time.  We just had to survive the 2 travel days (yes, we drive 18 hours in one day). So, there was the goal.  Just live through the travel days.

Much like last year, my mom really helped us out before we even got there.  She was able to borrow 6 pack n plays and quite a few toys and books.  She also bought 2 plastic toddler sized tables so I didn't have to bring booster seats.  All of this saved us TONS of space in the van which was essential as it was completely crammed with stuff anyways.  I followed all of my tips I wrote about on Houston Mom's Blog and glad I did!

This year I was so excited that the kids are 2 and officially old enough to take motion sickness medicine.  As we learned last year Caroline has a tendency to get car sick.  So as we pulled away from our home at 4:45 am with 6 groggy kids, I decided to just see how it went before giving out the Dramamine.  BAD idea.  It started about 7:30 am with Andrew and the tell-tale sound of vomit.  This is about the same time they all started throwing off their bibs I planned to use as vomit catchers.  A few minutes after Andrew, Caroline joined in on the fun.  Then it was Leah.  Then Allison.  And Caroline and Andrew decided once just wasn't quite enough.  In the mean time I was busy administering medicine and cleaning up.  Then it hit me in the middle of bouncing between rows.  As I grabbed the closest plastic bag (I travel with PLENTY), Dave looks in the rear view with a slight panic and says, "I'm pulling over!  We need a break!"  All by 8 am.  NOT a good start.  Turns out a little break was just what we needed.  Cleaned everyone up, medicine kicked in, we were good to go.  After that things went much more smoothly.  The kids were not interested in the toys I brought, but were entertained with music and a few interjected books and songs performed by yours truly.  Oh, and the snacks.  I pre-made all of the travel meals and snacks so we wouldn't have to stop for food.  This worked out great!  And nothing was very messy, unless you are Allison Perkins who can turn anything into a mess.  This time around we had Eggos, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, apple slices, pretzel sticks, cheerios, raisins, chewy granola bars, and mini marshmallows.  And my personal secret candy stash to use as needed.  Throughout the entire day of driving we only made 2 big stops where we let the kids out to walk around (about 5 min each, 2 kids at a time) and change diapers.  They hated being put back in the car seats, but we had no time to waste!  Honestly once the vomiting was under control, the rest of the 1st travel day wasn't too bad.

As we were driving, Dave and I questioned whether it was worth it.  As soon as we arrived at the house, we knew it was.  The kids had a BLAST!!!  They immediately dug into all of the toys and ran around squealing (I'm sure it had nothing to do with freedom from the car seat).  We let them play for awhile then did a much needed pajama change (they travel in pajamas) and off to bed.  The 5 were in one room and Leah stayed with Dave and I.  They all slept so well the entire trip- even naps!  I really think they were just that worn out from being so busy the whole time.  The kids truly enjoyed being at the house.  From the basement to the deck to the driveway to the living room- they ran around everywhere.  It was so nice to let them play outside and not worry about heat strokes!  They did everything from sidewalk chalk to coloring to inflatable pool to library time to playing at a local park to throwing rocks and having a picnic on a lake.  They handled transitions well and had so. much. fun. the entire time.

Driveway drawing

Library Toddler Time

throwing rocks in William's Lake

Picnic at the lake

Eating at Gammy and Pop's

Running around the deck
Dave and I also had a wonderful time and were sad to leave.  We LOVE it there!  What was nice about staying with my parents is that we all got a break away from the kids at some point.  One morning my mom and I went on a hike to a gorgeous lake.  The next day Dave and my dad went fly fishing; they were supposed to catch our dinner, but came up very very short ;)  As an early anniversary (7 years!) date, Dave and I were able to hike to the top of Table Mountain to soak in 360 views and later that evening go out to dinner just the two of us.  A rare treat indeed!

Dave on top of Table Mountain

Dave's big catch

Beautiful Crater Lake- where my mom and I hiked
The drive home was a tad quicker at 17.5 hours, but much less fun.  One reason is that we were headed back home to work, to-do lists, and mountains of laundry.  Another reason is that 3 of the kids were SO. WHINY.  Here were the positives I could think up: it's only 3 of them being whiny instead of all 6, they were only whiny from noon-8:30pm not the entire trip, and snacks quieted them down for a very short time.  Needless to say, they ate a ridiculous amount of snacks that day.  My entertaining skills worked a bit, as did pointing out trains and trucks and playing cds.  However, a few times I did have to hide in the back row where the whiners couldn't see me.  You do what you gotta do people.  We were very glad to pull into our driveway and put those kiddos straight in their cribs!

Are we there yet?

To wrap up, we had a wonderful trip!  We cannot wait to go back next year and every year after that.