Saturday, July 7, 2012

Life's a beach...

One of the advantages of having parents who retired to the beach is that well, you get to go to the beach for free! So not long ago we once again descended on visited Nana and Pop-E's house for a week. The boys have such a fun time visiting because there is so much to do and see in Beaufort, NC. They live just a block away from the water front and everything is side-walked. That means Charlie gets to walk as long as his little legs will carry him (and when they fail, he has Pop-E to carry him.)

The only downside...a 6-7hr car ride to get there (depending on how many times you have to stop). Without kids and if you don't stop, I think it's only 5.5 hours but rarely does that happen with us anymore. We did get smart this year and get a video player. That helped Charlie some but since Cole is still facing backwards, he had to just be entertained by his mommy.

How do you take such a long car ride with toddlers? Well for one, come prepared. We had snacks, drinks, movies and toys for them to play with. In adddition, we only stop if we have to. That helps us get there as fast as possible instead of prolonging the torture trip for them. Some think you should stop and let them stretch their legs but I say get there as fast as possible (but don't speed or do anything unsafe). We also opt to travel at night on the way there so they will sleep some. Most of the time that works but not always. On the way home, we travel around lunch and don't let them take a  morning nap. By this time, they are so tired from playing all week they usually sleep for a few hours of the trip.

This was Charlie happily munching on ice (his new thing thanks to Pop-E) on the way home...nice and peaceful.

And this is Charlie one second later as he dumped it all over our lap...but those few minutes he as quiet and happy made it worth it!

And cute little Cole forced to sit backwards and look at a seat the entire trip. Soon buddy...soon and you'll be able to face forwards.

Daniel likes to put his headphones on and listen to a book on tape. (or book on ipad) I would rather read or look at a magazine. And since Charlie was watching a movie with sound, it worked out perfectly that Daniel could check out.

And then there's me...trying to read and entertain the kids. I finally moved to the back seat part way through the trip so I could regulate entertain the boys as needed. 

 But I have to say, it's not as bad as one might expect. As a parent, I would highly recommend driving if it's less than 6-7 hours. Just prepare that they will get cranky, time it best with the child's schedule and bring entertainment.

Once we got there here are a few pics of the adventures. Cole got moved down the lower seat in the stroller which let him see better. Boy was he a happy camper! 

This one may be one of my favorites. We eat like kings when we are there since mom and dad are such fabulous cooks (recipes to come). One night we had a roast and one of the best parts are the bones. Cole and Daniel went to town...Cole has no problem diving in to any kind of food. Hmmm...who does that remind you of (like father like son?)

And then there is the fun of learning to look for bugs (or ants). We learned to say "shoo shoo buks" (and no, that's not a typo...Charlie can't say his "g's" yet so it is a "k" sound instead. 

 Charlie also loved playing with the lawn mower that Nana bought for $1 at a yard sale. Best buck she ever spent! We are afraid of the "momo's" in real life but this play one wasn't scary.

And who could resist the sunset walks on the waterfront at night (or early in the morning if you're woken up by say a 9.5 month old that gets up with the chickens).

Anyone else been to Beaufort, NC? Have any travel tips for long car rides with toddlers? I'm going back in a few weeks with just kids. The sitter is off for a week so we enlisted the help of Nana and PopE once more.

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