Who’s ready for a road trip? This girl.
Last summer we traveled for ten weeks and it was glorious.  The Bear was a one year old toddling machine and the Pearl Girl was just a glimmer in my eye.  We hiked all over Colorado and New Mexico and loved every minute of it.  This year our budget kept our adventures more limited, and we have a new baby.  Even these circumstances couldn’t keep us contained for long.  My amazing parents rented a beach house for the entire family (I’m the oldest of four) in Navarre Beach, Florida.  We miraculously made it work with our budget, mostly due to money coming in from this blog.  Let me pause here to say thank you.  Seriously, thank you.  I love telling stories in my little corner of the web, and every time you visit it helps support our little family.  I’m not sure if you know that it actually makes a difference in our budget, but it does.  It really does.  Thank you.
The Pearl Girl was ready to roll.  She did so well 98% of the time.  She has a gypsy soul like her mama, I can already tell.  The number one key I’ve found for traveling with kids is well timed pit stops.  We try to make our stops count and do the big three every time (gas/food/bathroom) as well as run time for the Bear and leg stretch time for the Pearl.
A mall in a teeny tiny town in far east Texas provided serious energy burn off for the Bear.  He sprinted up and down the mall as I nursed the Pearl on a nearby bench and Jed chased him.
Enjoy the ride.  We had the Bear searching for gators in every mile of Louisiana swamp we drove past.  There is beauty in almost every landscape
We packed a backpack full of books and toys for both kids, and pulled them out whenever the natives got restless.  We sang songs and did a puppet show and when all else failed we put in a DVD.  For the first time we used separate headphones for the Bear with mixed success.  He didn’t really like wearing them for long, but did use them long enough for Jed and I to enjoy a few Dave Ramsey podcasts.
We had planned to stay in a hotel on the way, but were blessed with the hospitality of a friend’s parents in Lafayette, Louisiana along the way.  Zeke and Becky Ducote welcomed us in to their home with open arms on the way out AND back, and we are forever grateful.  They loved on our kids, fed us, and gave us beautiful beds to sleep in.  If you can ask to stay with friends or friends of friends, I highly recommend it.  You will always be more comfortable than a hotel and you never know how you might be blessed by the visit.
This is the Ducote Family’s backyard.  Isn’t it beautiful?! It backs up to the Vermillion River.

Isn’t this front porch the dreamiest?  I could just live there.

How do you keep you sanity when traveling with kids?  Tell me in the comments section.

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