Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Family Road Trip: Lessons Learned

This was our second year in a row driving from New York to Maine for a vacation. While the voyage wasn't problem-free, it was a big improvement from last year — when we were contending with 100-plus degree heat, bumper-to-bumper traffic, chipped teeth and serial vomiting.

We learned some lessons from the previous trip and made sure to hit the roads at less busy times. (We left early Saturday morning and returned the following week on Sunday afternoon — rather than on Labor Day).

We also lucked out with our rental car, which somehow had Texas license plates. I believe this convinced fellow drivers that I might be packing and made them BACK OFF. (However, the fact that I was driving a Kia Sedona minivan may have decreased the intimidation factor.)

Two of the three kids did vomit at one point or another during the trip, which wasn't ideal. (I hope for better than a 33 percent success rate next year.) But we tried to keep a plastic bag nearby at all times.

I also learned that letting two small children run free in the cavernous New Hampshire liquor outlet was unwise. Several wine bottles were knocked from the shelf, and the fact that the glass didn't shatter when they hit the floor will forever be considered a family miracle.

Next year I also may invest in an E-Z Pass. The tolls along the Eastern seaboard are relentless and it's frustrating to stop and interact with a human each time. It's almost worse that the amounts requested are so small.

Photo courtesy of MassLive.

At the end of the Massachusetts turnpike, the toll taker asked for 50 cents. (50 cents!) Lady, in New York it costs $15 just to cross a bridge.