Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

These top 5 tips for surviving a long road trip with kids will help keep you and your family sane on your next fun road trip!

This summer has been full of fun memories for our family. From days at the beach, to drives up to Disneyland and Great Wolf Lodge, to a road trip to Washington State, we’ve seen quite a bit of excitement. But being prepared for traveling with kids in the car has been something we’ve worked on. And surviving a long road trip with kids takes a bit of planning. 

Since my daughter is newly potty trained the one thing we worried about when on the road with her is that she’d have to go #2 and not be able to tell us until we were too late and she got out of the car. Also, with the long 2 day ride to Washington State, we worried about how many stops we really needed to make and how many stops were just “fun” stops.

In preparation of our trip we decided to bit of research to make sure that we had a successful journey with three kids in the back seats. Since we’ve made this trek once before with our two older kid,s we kind of had an idea about what to expect. In an effort to make our next trip successful we wrote down a few things that helped us along the way.

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Here are a few ways to keep your road trip fun and successful with young children:

1. Make sure to pack a potty –

We simply placed our Joovy Loo in the back of the car. That way if we needed to stop and there wasn’t a place to do so, we could just use the back of the van. This helped us a lot when my son was working on things and just needed to sit on something other than his car seat to help him along when he was little and it worked perfectly for our daughter as well.

It also gave us peace of mind when on long stretches of road. We didn’t have to worry about not being able to find a sanitary place to stop (my husband isn’t as adventurous as I am and doesn’t approve of a 2 year old relieving themselves on the side of the road unless it’s an absolute emergency… just wait till we go camping!).

Potty Kit Necessities to Bring: 

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

2. Plan out frequent stops –

This won’t just give your child a chance to “try” to go potty but it will also give them a chance to stretch their legs and get a little energy out. By planning out where your next stop will be you might be able to quickly answer your children when they ask how long it will be until you arrive at your next stop. That’s much easier for them to handle then to say, “Oh, about 12 hours!”

You can also use pre-planned stops as points for conversation. By letting your children know what the next stop is, or giving hints to where your heading, you might be able to create a sense of excitement and adventure as you make your way through the trip.

We had fun picking out where we stopped and made sure to mix restaurants in with quick pit stops at gas stations. I also allowed the kids to pick out one “surprise” at each stop to make it more interesting to them as well. They sure did love the huge gas stations we found along the way filled with everything from fidget spinners to snacks to souvenir t-shirts. 

Pit Stop Checklist: 

  • Did everyone try to go potty? 
  • Do we need to re-load on snacks or water?
  • Did we take all of our trash out? 
  • Do we need to change clothes?

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

3. Create a fun pack filled with games and activities –

By creating a fun pack filled with new-to-you toys, activities focused on the age level of your child, and games the children can play in the car you can create distractions and, hopefully, reduce the amount of, “Are we there yet?” questions from the back seat. Surviving a long car trip with kids is no fun when they don’t have anything to do IN the car. 

Figure out some fun games you want to play with your child on the road. Consider simple ideas like finding an object of a certain color, finding a certain letter of the alphabet, or, depending on where your driving, looking out for different animals! By making the ride fun and entertaining itself, your child will be less likely to complain about being in the car and more excited.

We brought our fun activity backpack and filled it with the following:

Another great distraction for the older kids is a portable DVD player or tablet that already has their favorite games and movies downloaded. We grabbed a copy of The Lion King and Disney’s Star Wars Rebels: Season 3 (both out on Blu-ray August 29th) to keep our kids entertained on the trip. it helped to have both a movie and a tv series because we could switch from the longer movie for longer stretches of travel and the shorter episodes of Disney’s Star Wars Rebels while we went through smaller stretches or in between playing other games in the car. 

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Pro Tip: Finding fun crafts to go along with the movies you select are also fun! Check out these awesome Lion King crafts by clicking the button below: 

Download The Lion King Signature Mask Craft

4. Find a great local attraction to visit –

Take a look at a map and find a great middle point between your home and your destination. Are there any fun, quirky activities you can stop and do in between? Maybe a museum or a historical monument. By maping out a spot or two on the way to your destination you can talk with your children about what you might see, what they would like to do, and how you will spend your time at the next spot.

You can also use these stops as teaching opportunities. By learning a bit about the spot beforehand you can tell your child about the history behind the attraction as well as why it’s such an interesting stop on your journey. Surviving a long road trip with kids takes a bit of planning when it comes to local attractions but there are sure to be some gems along your route! 

Local Attractions Do’s and Dont’s: 

  • Do – take the time to explore and learn about where you’re stopping
  • Don’t – spend all day unless already scheduled
  • Do – consider free or in-expensive pit stops that take an hour tops
  • Don’t – forget that delicious bakeries and restaurants can be considered local attractions too! 

5. Make Sure The Kids Are Safe And Comfortable

When traveling with young kids, it’s important to remember that while we want our kids to be comfortable, we also need them to be safe too. I have 3 kids in 3 different types of car seats right now. My 2 year old is in a 5 point harness, my 6 year old just transitioned out of her 5 point harness into a high back booster, and our 8 year old has now transitioned into a regular booster seat. 

To make things easier on us and allow all of these car seats to fit, we brought along the new mifold we received so that our son could easily transition from our van to my family’s car up in Washington State when we arrived. mifold is more than 10 times smaller than a regular booster seat and is just as safe. The foam padding technology provides extra comfort and stays cool, even on hot days. And since it was averaging about 80-90 degrees our whole trip, this was a huge relief for my son. 

The mifold is convenient for parents for travel and road trips but it’s also great for carpooling, taxis/ubers, etc because it can literally fit in my son’s back pack. how awesome is that? 

In addition to car seats, check out our Road Trip Safety Kit:

  • first aid – includes bandages, first aid ointment, tweezers, scissors, and an ice pack
  • every day medication – includes indigestion medicine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and allergy medicine
  • flash light
  • jumper cables
  • roadside assistance kit
  • 1 gallon water

What are your best travel tips for surviving a long road trip with kids?

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Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Things to Do With Toddlers at Great Wolf Lodge

Is Great Wolf Lodge a good place to stay when you have a toddler? Check out these things to do with toddlers at Great Wolf Lodge! 

The day after the big kids got out of school for the summer we surprised them with a fun staycation to kick off the beginning of summer. Over the 4 day getaway, we spent two days at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California. We’d never stayed at a Great Wolf Lodge and have been dying to try out the closest one to our house. So when I saw the opportunity to purchase a Groupon again (we missed the first opportunity), I jumped on it and booked a night. 

As we did a bit more research on our upcoming stay, one thing was clear: there is a TON to do for all age groups. Including toddlers. And once we got there, we found this to be 100% accurate. Not only were there fun things for the big kids, but for the small kids and adults as well. 

If you’ve planned a night at the Great Wolf Lodge, here’s what you should put on your list to do with your toddler: 

Things to Do With Toddlers at Great Wolf Lodge

1. Grab a puddle jumper or bring your own – 

While there are quite a few places your toddler can go at Great Wolf Lodge, safety is first. Make sure you either bring your own life jacket (or favorite puddle jumper) or use one that’s provided for you at the various life jacket stations. We preferred our own because sometimes they’re out of life jackets at certain times of days or locations and it’s easier to just grab our own. 

2. Park yourself somewhere close to the Cub Paw Pool – 

After enjoying an afternoon at the water park on our first day there (you can enjoy the park starting at 1pm on your check-in day even though check in is at 4pm) and exploring everything for the first time, we knew that as soon as we arrived at the water park on our full day at the park, we needed to snag a spot near our toddler’s favorite area: Cub Paw Pool. 

Now not only does this area have a zero-depth entry that makes it easier for toddlers and infants alike to explore at their own pace, it only goes to 24″ deep in the deepest area. There are age appropriate slides, water funnels, and fun splash areas that are sure to excite any little one. And parents can just relax (as much as one can when they’re in the water with kids) while their littles play around them and have fun. My husband literally sat at the bottom of a small slide as he watched our daughter go up the stairs and down the slide 100s of times as I took the other two to the “big kid” areas of the park. She seriously did not want to leave to go anywhere else once she found Cub Paw Pool. 

3. Enjoy a fun splash area that older siblings can have fun at too at Fort Mackenzie – 

While Cub Paw Pool was perfect for the toddlers and infants, if your toddler is a bit more adventurous, let them splash and explore around Fort Mackenzie. The older kids can enjoy the medium size slides while the younger kids take turns trying to shoot water at passersby or stomp around in the big puddles. But watch out! That bucket on top of Fort Mackenzie does fill with water and tips to empty every few minutes. 

You may be surprised to find that after your toddler tries out the small slides in Cub Paw Pool that they ask to try the medium sized slides over at Fort Mackenzie! Maybe. If they’re daredevil 2-year-olds like mine…

4. With life jackets on, enjoy the waves of Slap Tail Pond’s wave pool.

There are lulls in between the waves (pictured above) but once the wave machine starts going, the littles LOVE trying to jump over the waves closer to the shore as the big kids swim in deeper. This pool also has a zero-depth entry that makes it easy for all to enjoy. And your little one might surprise you by asking to be taken further into the waves. Just make sure to hold on a bit tighter as you go in deeper. 

5. Looking for some sun? Enjoy the rays (with sunscreen lathered on, of course) at Raccoon Lagoon. 

Another zero-depth entry pool that gets to about 4 feet deep, this pool has two entrances on either side that offer fun play areas for toddlers to explore. The big kids will take over the center of the pool where the basketball hoops are but that’s ok, the edge is closer to the restaurant and drinks! 

In between splashing in the water and played with the water funnels, our 2-year-old munched on a delicious corn on the cobb snack from the Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grill. I couldn’t pull all of the kids out of here but sadly had to as our day was coming to a close. You can stay the full day on the day you check out but we were ready to dry off and head to our next adventure by then. 

6. Staying a second night? Make sure to head down for storytime. 

Some littles may be in bed by the time this starts (I believe it was 8 or 8:15pm) but both of our girls headed down with dad to check out The Forest Friends Show followed by Great Wolf Lodge bedtime stories as told by one of their Ambassadors of Fun. Don’t forget your camera because after Story Time, meeting Wiley, Violet or one of the Great Wolf Kids characters is an unforgettable memory you won’t want to miss – and a pretty cute one too! High paws are always welcome and definitely encouraged.

As you can see, there is plenty to do at Great Wolf Lodge when you have a toddler. And some things we didn’t even get a chance to do! Good thing the whole family was in agreement that we’d have to come back soon! 

A few highlights I didn’t mention above but the toddler loved: Pizza from Hungry Like a Wolf for dinner, Donuts from Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, brownies and fudge at Bear Paw Eats & Sweets, the mini carousel and candy claw at the Northern Lights Arcade, and ending our trip with a souvenir wolf from the Buckhorn Exchange Gift Shop. 

Don’t forget to book a Wolf Den room if you have more than one cub! The bunk beds were a huge hit with our kids. While one night may be great for a lot of families, we’ll be booking two nights next time we head up so we can enjoy more of the amenities offered. 

Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? What was your favorite part? 

Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Baby

This shop featuring road trip tips and Huggies has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SkinCareForBaby #CollectiveBias

Road Trip Tips- Traveling with Baby

At the end of April, Norah and I will pack up the car, swing by to pick up my mother-in-law, and head up to Laguna Niguel for Mom 2.0. Then a few months after that, the whole family will be taking a road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for Type A West.

With all that driving, I wanted to make sure I had all of the essentials needed when taking a road trip with a baby. These road trip tips (and essentials) will make these long journeys with baby easier. And since I’m prepping ahead of time, there won’t be a rush to grab everything we need at the last minute. But if you are running around trying to grab what you need for your next road trip with baby, I have a great check list just for you!

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - keep an entertaining kit handy

Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Baby

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - pack the essentials for baby

Pack the Essentials

I don’t like hauling a large diaper bag with me anywhere. So I keep the important things in the car and then the car serves as home base for our needs. The same goes for when we’re on the road. Instead of keeping everything in a huge bag all jumbled up, I put the essentials in a nice tray container that we can keep in the trunk.

Road Trip Checklist For Baby - resized

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - diaper changing stationHuggies Little Snugglers ready to go road trip

 

Restock The Diaper Changing Station

As I’ve shared before, we have a diaper changing station in the trunk of the car. Not only does it make life easier when we’re running from one thing to another during the week, it also helps to have a changing station on road trips as well. No changing table in the bathroom at the rest stop? No problem! And when the kids get older, I even take a little potty in the trunk too!

I keep a good stock of Huggies® Little Snugglers in there (about double what I’d normally have) and a new package of Huggies® Natural Care Wipes. And next to the diapers is a first aid kit, a trash can, and a changing pad. Super easy to throw together and keep stocked before we leave on any trips. 

And, of course, I pack a full bag of diapers and wipes for our destination. 

 

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - pull out cloth wipesRoad Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - wipes container with cloth wipes

Make A Fun Entertainment Kit

This entertainment kit is not only easy to make, it probably contains things that you can find in your house right now!

Here’s what you need:

  • empty Huggies® Natural Care Wipes container
  • soft new-to-baby toys
  • cloth squares (can use old cloth wipes, wash cloths, or an old t-shirt cut into squares)

Add the soft toys to the bottom of the wipes container. Then take the cloth squares and fold them onto one another. Put the cloth squares on top of the toys and put the first square through the hole at the top then close the lid.

This not only keeps my baby entertained (she can pull OUT the cloth squares and then try and get her toys) but also provides some toys for her to play with when we get to our destination also. And the toys also serve as fun entertainment when we have to stop and stretch our legs or eat a meal.

Road Trip Tips Traveling with Baby - hidden soft toys

What are your tips for taking road trips with baby?

We’ve been a Huggies® family since we started using disposable diapers. And the Huggies® Little Snugglers are awesomely designed to help keep baby’s skin clean & healthy. The Wetness Indicator in Sizes N-3 is a color-changing indicator that lets you know when your baby’s diaper is ready to be changed. Super convenient when on the road or on vacation. 

You can find both Huggies® Little Snugglers and Huggies® Natural Care Wipes at Walmart in the baby aisle and they’re super budget friendly – the lowest price diaper pack is $8.97. 

Huggies at Walmart

Hiking with Toddlers and the @Boba Air Baby Carrier

One thing I’ve come to realize more and more with two children is the necessity of baby wearing. Not only does it allow me to do more activities with my kids, it also allows my family the opportunity to explore and create new memories in places that a stroller just can’t go. Including hiking with toddlers.

This Summer my family and I made the trek up to Mammoth Mountain for a mini vacation with just the 4 of us. Not only is Mammoth gorgeous this time of year, there are so many things to do out there! We took this opportunity to take the kids camping in Yosemite this time around. And while our camping trip was definitely memorable, it isn’t one I’d like to repeat any time soon.

Not only did I end up needed emergency dental work due to the altitude pushing up a crown of mine (abscess under the crown), but the mountain air was just too cold during the night for little ones.

But we did get to take advantage of some great hiking and exploring while we were in Yosemite and Mammoth! So ignore my puffy face and enjoy the gorgeous views we were able to take in. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy all that we did without the help of our Boba Air.

Disneyland with Infants and Toddlers

After being asked a few times for tips and tricks to visiting Disneyland with an infant and toddler I thought I’d finally just write everything down in a post. My husband and I have been annual passholders since before we were married. He actually proposed right next to Snow White’s wishing well.

So Disneyland has always held a special place in our hearts. And it comes as no surprise to those who know us that we would frequently take our little ones to visit the park. Both kids have been going since they were newborns and we’ve never felt limited or held back because of them!

Here’s what we do: 

Bring a small umbrella stroller

Both kids use it and switch when the other is walking (or the youngest is in the Boba carrier). Invest in a swivel hook like these if you don’t already have one. It makes carrying bags around so much easier. We have one on each side of the stroller. If you really don’t want to bring your own stroller then you can easily rent one from Disneyland starting at $15 a day. Just remember you can’t take it with you outside of the park (and that includes Downtown Disney).

We choose not to bring our double stroller because 1. we’ve heard of others getting stolen and 2. it’s just too bulky to lug on and off the tram and/or busses. If you bring your double please make sure to bring a stroller or bike lock with you just in case.

Pack snacks in a lunch bag & bring a reusable water bottle or two

That way you can snack as you go and fill up the water bottle at any restaurant or food line (just ask them to fill it up and take off the lid… we do this to save money and never buy sodas). These don’t need to be stored in lockers if you don’t want to. You can just hang it from your umbrella stroller or put it in the basket underneath.

Buy meals to split

Lets face it… most places serve meals that can easily count as 2-3 servings. Why not take advantage of the big portion sizes and split your meals amongst each other? We usually buy two meals and split it between the four of us. Sometimes we get a kids meal for the kids to split (they also have toddler meals most places… just ask!)  and a meal for us to split or we get two adult entrees and share. In the end we pay about $15 for the whole meal when it could easily be $30+.

For breakfast we always get a parfait and a cinnamon twist inside the bakery to share. It’s more than enough food for all of us. And I get my coffee from the coffee & tea place on the right hand side of Main Street next to the snack cart because they give you free refills all day with your receipt. If you want a nice place to sit down and eat for dinner check out Downtown Disney before you head back. Or you can eat outside the park at one of the restaurants around Anaheim.

And since we pack snacks we usually allow our children one or two treats inside the park. One of our son’s favorite treats is a fresh popped box of popcorn. The whole family can enjoy it and there’s more than enough to satisfy everyone. When we’re leaving the park we can’t help but stop for a sweet treat in the bakery or candy store. We usually buy a box of cookies for the road and a small chocolate or sucker for the kids.

Take advantage of the baby care center

It’s located at the end of Main Street has quite a few amenities for their smallest guests. Here’s what they have to offer:

  • Diaper Changing Stations – these are not your hard surfaced, bathroom changing stations. Each station is a padded, comfortable area with more than enough room for a squirming baby and your diaper bag. They have disposable liners to put under baby to insure each change is germ free.
  • Small Toilets – right next to the changing stations there are two small toddler-friendly toilets to make going to the restroom a lot easier for our little ones. These are potties that the kids can actually touch the ground while sitting down. Makes potty training a LOT easier.
  • Feeding Station – Need a quiet place to nurse or feed your child a bottle or are you away from baby and need to pump? This is the perfect place to do so in peace. There are comfy chairs to sit in and there’s even a curtained off area for more privacy. There are also high chairs available for the babies on solids!
  • Diapers/Accessories – if you’ve forgotten anything at home have no fear, the Baby Center has diapers, formula, wipes, baby food and much more for sale at a reasonable price. I remember having a horrific morning at the park and going through every single diaper we had in the bag. Thank goodness for the Baby Center! No need to turn home (or to the Target down the street).

Make sure to get commemorative pins

First time at the park? Celebrating a birthday or other celebration? You can go to City Hall on Main Street when you first get in the park OR if there’s a line at City Hall just ask any cashier in the stores on Main Street for a special button to make your toddler’s day.

Packing Extra –

We always bring a sweater or jacket for each kid but store an extra set of clothes in the back pack just in case. These are lightweight, easy to store outfits that won’t take a lot of room in the bag. It does get chilly in the evenings so we always keep a pair of warm clothes in the car in case we’re coming back for the evening.

Rides! –

Just about every ride at Disneyland (save for a few “big kid” rides) is toddler and infant friendly. And you’ll find a ride for every age in every land. That’s the magic of Disney! Some of our family favorites are the Disneyland Railroad, Casey Jr., It’s a Small World, The Haunted Mansion and Astro Blasters. So don’t hesitate to jump in line and enjoy the excitement!

I suggest going to Fantasyland either right when you get to the park or in the late afternoon because there’ll be a lot of people rushing to the “big” rides first and it’s less busy. Also, a great time to ride without lines is parade time. Everyone’s lined up to get a great spot on Main Street and the lines for the rides are near non-existent.

And if you want to catch a parade, don’t worry about sitting to save a spot to watch it. There’s always room for more people right as the parade starts.We actually don’t even look at the parade times and more likely than not we “run into” them as we’re going from one attraction to the other. We also usually stumble onto other forms of entertainment around the park. There’s always something exciting in the form of music, laughter and dance going on in every land.

Whether it be the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe, the marching band on Main Street (with Conductor Mickey) or the Jazz Band in New Orleans Square, there’s never an end to the awesome entertainment found at Disneyland.

If you have any questions about your upcoming trip to Disneyland I’d be happy to answer them! Email me at simmworksfamily (at) gmail.com and I’ll answer as best I can.

Mammoth Family Trip: Day Five

Daddy letting E try his hand at driving… on our way home 🙁

Our view for miles and miles and miles and miles…

We had a few pit stops

And E kept us entertained… Yes, he wanted to clip his own toenails 🙂

All in all our first family vacation was perfect. It wasn’t Hawaii but it was such a fun time. We got to bond and play for 5 full days. With Daddy working E only sees him at night and on the weekends so being with him for this long was really a joy.

I was so nervous about the driving and during parts of our trip being in the car really sucked but all in all E was a trooper and did great. I can’t wait to see where we’re going next year!

Mammoth Family Trip: Day Four

Eating Cheerios before we headed out to feed the fish

Feeding the fish and ducks

He dropped some bread

Getting ready to throw

Playing outside while waiting to be seated for breakfast at The Stove

Joseph drinking his iced tea out of a mason jar

E polished off a whole piece of cinnamon roll french toast

My breakfast skillet. Sooo good!! And I got a side of biscuits and gravy instead of home fries. I ate all the biscuits and gravy and 1/2 of the skillet… definitely a hearty breakfast!

Joseph’s waffle. So fluffy and good!

The faultline… multiple earthquakes caused this fault and it was pretty cool to explore. There was even snow on the ground still in some shaded areas.

E and Daddy crossing the bridge

One of the many lakes of Mammoth Lakes… this was the dog beach and we actually went back so E could play in the water and admire all the local doggies.

Another view of some lakes

I loved that there was a tunnel for cars AND bikes 🙂

We ended the day with a bit of window shopping at the Village

And no shopping trip is complete without some Ben & Jerry’s. He was kind enough to share with us when we asked…

Mommy and Daddy got a treat too. Daddy shared with E but Mommy didn’t 🙂

Mammoth Family Trip: Day Three

Being silly on the drive to Yosemite

The view as we drove into the valley

Tunnels! One thing I remember from my trip as a kid to Yosemite

A waterfall on the side of the road

So happy to be out of the car!

Bridal Veil Falls

The view from the bottom of the falls

Yes, I know my shirt isn’t the most flattering but at 90+ degrees I wasn’t going for cute, I was going for comfort.

So silly!

Rainbow Falls

Half Dome

Our visitor at lunch

Dada! Dada! Squirrel!

Close up

Our lunch… YUMMY cheeses & meats with fresh homemade bread & lots of marinated mushrooms, peppers & artichokes

Dessert!

Half Dome

A surprise sighting as we were leaving the valley

In the mountains right past the entrance/exit of Yosemite on the South side

Cheese!

He was having a conversation with me as I was taking his picture

Mammoth Family Trip: Day Two

For our second day in Mammoth we planned on checking out some local sights and taking a hike or two. So after feeding the fish (again) we headed out to the bus station where they take you to Devil’s Postpile & Rainbow falls.

The view we woke up to

Fishies first thing in the morning

Feeding the fishies gold fish

Yes, my son tried to eat the flowers

And than picked one and kept stuffing it up his nose 🙂

Looking at the Mammoth

We got an 11:30 bus and they drove us through the area. It was beautiful and the wind felt great. E fell asleep on the bus but luckily I had him in the Ergo so it wasn’t too hard getting up and off. We started hiking to Devil’s Postpile and just as we got there E woke up! Perfect timing!

We took a few pictures and looked around the area. We let E eat some snacks and drink some water as he explored. He loved watching the birds, squirrels and other wildlife. And he especially loved the water.

Devil’s Postpile

Another shot

Daddy & E… Sadly all of the pictures of Mommy & E were blurry 🙁

Squirrel!

I love my apple carrot crushers!

Enjoying the raging water below them

Testing out the calm stream… man was it cold!! But it felt good after our hike.

E wanted in on the action…

And loved it so much he wanted to get in

He would squat to play with the water and than kept grabbing his behind wondering why it was wet too 😉

So much fun!!! BTW… the ladies in the background were super nice and friendly with us. They had E laughing so much. They were in the middle of getting pictures taken out there and were “icing” their knees and ankles. They played sports and had all sorts of injuries (I’m definitely familiar with that!).

The snow made an M on the mountain!! Maybe it was on purpose?

Family picture in front of the Mammoth

A small hike in our backyard meadow (not even a quarter mile from the door of the condo) was a fabulous way to end our afternoon. We saw more wildlife and enjoyed the sound of the creek that ran through the meadow.

E LOVED hiking and looked so proud every time I looked back to snap a picture. He really is a little man now!

The view

He was so proud of himself on the walk… he did it all by himself! (and isn’t my husband handsome??)

Water!!!

Hanging out with Daddy watching the water

Why all the pictures, Mom??

Ducks! (as he’s signing duck)

Baby ducklings and their mom

Watching the ducklings

Bunnies!!

Come here, bunny, come here…

After our meadow walk we decided to go out and grab a bite to eat. MMMMM!

YUMMY buffalo burger from Burgers in Mammoth… if you go up you have to try this place 🙂 I fell in love with their bbq sauce (homemade… yes, I asked) and almost asked to buy some to take home but they didn’t have it jarred.

E sharing our milkshakes. They were kind enough to split one big milkshake into two manageable ones so Joseph and I could both partake (and switch off sharing with E).

After his busy day he was exhausted! Isn’t this bed cute??? It was built into a little nook in the wall and they even had a side protector so E wouldn’t fall out. Too bad I left my pillow (the one E’s sleeping with) at the condo 🙁

Mammoth Family Trip: Day One

We began our journey a bit off schedule. I had asked Joseph if we could leave super early so E would sleep most of the way and we wouldn’t throw him off his schedule too much. But my loving husband chose sleep over leaving early…

We rushed to get everything into the car and than went to change E’s diaper and clothes for the ride. We realized we didn’t have the snappi for E’s prefolds. And I needed that snappi… Prefolds were what I was counting on as my main diaper source while on vacation since we have more of these than any other type of diaper.

With a phone call to Grandma Ann we found the snappi and made a detour before hitting the road. Once we had our snappi in hand it was off to the 15 north!

About three hours into our drive I was starving and E needed a break so we stopped by a Denny’s even though Joseph doesn’t quite care for it 😉

I didn’t realize how much this magna doodle would save us on this trip… it kept E entertained for each meal at a restaurant. We now plan on bringing it to every restaurant no matter what looks we receive from other restaurant goers. Much better than a screaming child and a cold meal!

E kept us entertained on the whole way up… he made funny faces and learned lots of new words (see the left hand side of the blog to see all his new words!)

This is the road we saw for quite some time…

And finally a glimmer of light in our long journey! Food! We stopped at Schat’s Bakery for a sandwich, some cookies (ok… for those who know Joseph… lots of cookies) and a few other pastries.

E even got a pony ride!

When we started to see snow on the mountains we knew we were close!

We finally arrived at the condo that Joseph’s Aunt Louise graciously let us stay in and E was ready to explore! Luckily there was a pond filled with fish right outside the screen door ready for him to play with. And, as we found out later in our trip, there was even a bigger pond just beyond this one with DUCKS!

A view from the back of the condo

And a shot of Joseph trying to wrap up a few things for work before storing the laptop away for the weekend and enjoying himself…

We were so exhausted after the drive that we may have passed out at around 8:30…



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