Family Vacation Part 1: Travelling Wilson Style

Date August 21, 2008

Our Big Summer Odyssey this year was in our Honda Odyssey and took us up to Ottawa for a couple of days and then on to Rangeley, Maine, for a week. I drove back with the family as far as Providence, RI, on Monday and then flew back to return to work. Julie and the kids hit The Breakers in Newport, RI, then friends and family in Connecticut and New York, then on to Hershey, PA for some chocolate touring, and back to Columbus on Thursday.

We’ll trickle out some pictures and details of the trip over the next week…or so.

For me, I spent all of 16 hours at home over a 15-day period. I made a business trip to Austin the week before our vacation, got back home on Friday afternoon, and then headed out for vacation at 6:00 AM on Saturday morning. Julie had everything pretty much prepped and packed up by the time I got home on Friday.

This included:

  • Plenty of snacks, including powdered donuts and a plan to pick up Bruegger’s bagels on the way out of town on Saturday morning
  • A new tandem DVD player — one of the two portable ones we already had was pretty much dead, while the other one was a little flaky but still working; all three kids are now: 1) old enough to be entertained by DVDs, and 2) old enough to not want to watch the same thing as their siblings; so, with the new addition, we had enough to keep everyone happy
  • Changing the “normal” kid seating in the minivan — putting Alana in the back seat with Benton so that he could help her out as she swapped out activities, and moving Carson up to the middle (where he could, as he put it, “be closer to Dad so we can talk better”)

The best laid plans only go so far, but things went fairly smoothly overall:

The story(ies) behind the picture above:

  • That’s the one non-new DVD player…and it died within an hour of us getting on the road; all in all, that didn’t turn out to be too much of a crisis
  • Powdered donuts…consumed within an hour (see picture below for further lip-based evidence)
  • Bruegger’s…opens an hour later on the weekend; but, as Julie stood at the door and realized that it was locked because we were a half hour early, the guy inside came over and let her in; we were limited to plain bagels…but they were as fresh as possible; the little cup next to Alana above has cream-cheesed pieces doctored up for her consumption

Carson, still holding the last of the powdered donuts and enthralled by the movie he was watching (the new players strapped to the headrests of the seat in front):

Despite the sugar and movies, it was an early start to the day, and after lunch, I snapped one of the pictures that Benton would be mortified to find I had posted on this blog (so…shhh! Don’t tell him!):

That’s it for the kids, but there were some interesting clouds in the sky as we drove through New York:

We made it on through to Ottawa, where we spent two nights. Overall, it was a long day — capped by some delays in getting to our room once we arrived at the hotel. But, we made it. Tomorrow…The Wilsons Check Out Canada’s Capital.

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