Friday, March 15, 2013

Our Trip to Canada

Our Spring Break trip is centered around a drive up to Canada to visit my family (followed by a trip to see Brad's family in Indiana on our way home).  When we travel in the camper I try to bing a lot of snacks and some items to make sandwiches but that isn't always easy on the go.  This time I decided to try to plan ahead!!!  Preparing for our 18 hour drive (more with stops), I decided to make lunch, dinner, and breakfast for the next day.  I wanted to use up a lot of our leftovers as well as make meals that were easy to prepare, grab, and eat while on the go.  For lunch I made sandwich croissants where I took a roll of Pillsbury croissants and put cheese, ham, tomatoes, and bell peppers in the middle before rolling them up and cooking them!  This made for an easy to eat, non-messy sandwich alternative!!!
For dinner I made these great "left over" muffins!  Inspired by something I'd seen on Pinterest I prepared the base by mixing 1/2 cup of Bisquick, 1/2 Cup of Milk, and 2 eggs together (put about 1 tablespoon in each muffin cup) on top of that I add what I had in my fridge I needed to get rid of; peas, cook crumbled sausage, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cheese and then I topped them with another tablespoon of the mixture!!  These were AMAZING!!!  So yummy and a great way for kids to get some veggies while on the road!!!  For breakfast, I scrambled up some eggs with bell peppers and tomatoes (can you tell I had some of these to get rid of before we left town?!?!) and I added those to the Pillsbury croissants (2 triangles per pocket) and I topped the eggs with Feta cheese before folding up to seal!  Perfect breakfast on the go that I served with cold coffee for Brad and I and fresh fruit salad that I had pre-chopped!  I'm not much of a planner so I was SO proud of myself for having 3 meals ready to eat while we were on the go!!!
Our original plan was to head where it was warm for Spring Break and go somewhere that was about a 10 hour drive so we could make it in a day.... our plans have changed a bit and so a trip up North to visit my family and Brad's family became our new plan.  The trip to Guelph, Ontario Canada is 18 driving hours from our house to my family's house and we were determined to make it there as quickly as possible... but we figured we'd end up getting in around 8pm on Friday night.... we left Thursday at 1:30... after Addyson's gymnastics class, Owen's early dismissal (well I picked him up a bit earlier), and around Brad's lunch time.  We wanted to be able to eat lunch in the camper to save time and we knew the kids would be ready to nap soon after lunch!!
And we were right!!!  The kids fell asleep soon after lunch helping us "eat up" some time without them asking "what state are we in now?" over and over again... for us to give the same answer over and over again.... we had to drive ALL the way up Missouri which took all day!  This was our first long trip with Ethan at this bigger age and I wasn't sure how it would go... I use to nurse him down and lay him in the pack and play... he doesn't nurse down anymore...so he screamed in our ears as he fought sleeping... then he sat down and fell asleep sitting up... and then I finally got him to lay down and rest.... awwww...... finally they were all sleeping!
Not only were we hoping naps would help pass the time, we also invested in an iPad mini to help with that too... we knew we had this trip planned as well as a trip to Canada this summer where I will be traveling with the kids by myself... so I figured this would be a good investment to help me and my sanity!!; )
Dinner and a movie is also a good form of entertainment that keeps the kids engaged for 1.5-2 hours at a time!!!  We had dinner passing over the Mississippi River... and those leftover muffins worked like a charm!!!  They were perfect!! Easy to eat and minimal on the mess!!! 
This night we had planned to try to drive 8 hours which had us stopping about 9pm.... but Brad was on a roll and the further we went this night made our drive the next day that much easier!!! 
 So.... we drove... or Brad drove while I changed the kids over to jammies, settled the kids down, and dozed on and off (.... after 10 I wasn't a good co-pilot).  About 11:30 we pulled over to boondock in a Walmart parking lot to catch some zs.
After exactly 6 hours of sleeping, I looked over and Ethan was sound asleep and Brad was wide awake.  He suggested getting up to start driving and off we went!!!  Being in the RV and boondocked makes departure SO easy!!!  Brad got in the front seat and off we went!!!  The kids woke up while we drove, I got breakfast dished out (again, super easy thanks to my prep), and we had iced coffee to drink to kick start our morning giving us time to get a couple of hours under our belt before our first stop!
My 3 boys during our morning drive.  Ethan spends most of his time in the pack and play and he is happy to stay as long as the big kids are entertaining him... so some times they'll get in the pack and play with Ethan to help keep him company!
And me, I go back and forth... this picture is taken from my co-pilot seat!  I'm in the back to potty kids, change diapers, dish out food, get drinks, change the movies, read books, and help entertain Ethan and give him a break from the pack and play.
We also try to keep Daddy involved so he doesn't get bored... poor guy drove the WHOLE 18 hours... so it is really important to keep him engaged!  Addyson is good at checking in on her daddy!!!
After burning some energy, it is time to put on a movie and chill out!!!  And that's just what they did!
 Getting sleepy... but still fighting it... getting him to sleep on his own wasn't any easier the second day!  But really, we didn't want him to sleep... we were SO close to the boarder that we actually stopped for lunch and one last stop before buckling up to cross... we also put everyone in seat belts/ car seats to cross the boarder.
Crossing the Ambassador Bridge into Canada... and WAY ahead of schedule!!!!
And soon after, they were all napping.... notice how Addyson is in her clothes?  She is the only one of the kids that changed today!  She always asks to change into her clothes or jammies.... Owen could just stay in either or all day!!!
I told them all that they should rest because when they woke up we'd be really close to Opa and Nina's house... I even guess and told them we'd be about 10 minutes away.....
and I was right!!!  They actually woke up when we were getting off the highway at the stoplight at the off ramp... that always happens!!!  It is if the change in movement/ lack of movement and hum of the motor wakes them up... so they had just enough time to eat a snack before we got to Opa and Nina's house!!
For the record, we arrived at their house at exactly 3:30 (or 2:30 Arkansas time) so it took us exactly 25 hours to get there and we made it 5+ hours sooner than we had hoped for!!!  That felt great!!  I was so excited to get there with enough time for us to unpack and have the kids play while it was still light out and way before bed time!!!
So unpacking was our first task... and Addyson was our helper!!!

She even carried heavy bags upstairs for us... despite me urging her not too... I'm so afraid of stairs and the kids falling... it is going to be a long week because our kids love the stairs at Opa and Nina's house!!!
The second thing on our list every time we walk in the door is a cesars!!!!  Drinks for everyone!!  And Addyson always helps Nina make them!!!
While we were getting ready to sit back and relax, TeeTee Becky came home!!!  Opa was also home early!!!!  Perfect timing... I was worried we wouldn't see my sister until Saturday since she has to work Friday night....
Instead, we got to "Cheers!" with her before she rushed off to work!!!
So glad to be here and starting our vacation!!!
We all are!!!
Addyson calls herself "Opa's girl!"
Aren't they so cute together!!!
Happy start of Spring Break!!!  Just so thankful we made it here safe and sound and in great time!

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