Thoughts from the road

By Published On: July 2nd, 2014

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk, All that junk […]

McKinley_FirstHike_7-2-14Whatcha gonna do with all that junk,
All that junk inside your trunk? musician, entrepreneur, philanthropist … and the man who best describes my life as a parent.
Don’t worry, I’m not here to talk about my post-baby backside (although, believe me, it’s here—begging to be released from the prison that is my still-too-tight jeans). I just thought I would give you a glimpse at the literal pile of junk that’s currently crammed in my trunk. Pictured are a few of Bea’s must-have items, and none of Andy’s or mine.
My car is loaded to the brim for a reason: We’re in the middle of back-to-back road trips. That’s right, folks … two road trips with a two-month-old. I don’t know if we’re adventurous or nuts.
All things considered, it is good timing. Bea has had her first round of vaccinations, she’s sleeping in (slightly) longer stretches, and Andy and I are rested enough to weather the seemingly endless stop-and-go drive.
With this in mind, we planed a Colorado-to-Kansas-to-Texas trip over July 4th to introduce Bea to as many loved ones as possible. However, we knew taking an infant on such a long road trip could be tricky. Breastfeeding at seedy truck stops and the potential for blowouts—the tire or diaper variety—can dampen the spirit of even the most seasoned road warrior. So we decided to make a practice run.
Our first getaway took place last weekend, just a few hours up the road into the mountains. We took Bea on her first hike, we saw the local sights, and we ate wonderful food at amazing restaurants that didn’t seem to mind serving the antipasti over a snoring baby. It was a success! Armed with that confidence we’re now in the middle of trip number two and it’s going just as smoothly (except for one minor setback involving a loaded diaper and not enough wipes, but I’ll spare you the details).
We learned something on both of these trips: Babies. Need. So. Much. Stuff! We were in no way prepared for the insane amount of gear we had to pack.
I thought the first trip would help us weed out what we didn’t need for our longer, cross-country vacation. Nope. We used it all. The necessities for tackling daily baby duties combined with all the things Bea needs to enjoy summertime activities made a pile worthy of a U-Haul. Except we don’t have a U-Haul. We have a mid-size SUV that now looks like the Griswolds and the Clampetts decided to move to North Dakota and start a baby-making commune.
Even though we look a little hoarder-ish, we’re glad we can bring it all along. We’ll save the tough packing decisions for another time … like Bea’s first flight.
If anyone else is celebrating Independence Day by taking a good old fashioned family road trip, then best of luck! And if you see a white Toyota Highlander cruising down the road, windows obstructed and two wide-eyed parents with their faces smashed against the windshield, be sure to give us a wave hello.
(Side note: I’m aware of the slight irony when comparing my recent post about being afraid of gear to this one about packing everything but the diaper pail. It would appear that I’ve overcome my issues…ha!)