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An Impromptu Road Trip with 4 Kids and 2 Dogs. What Could Go Wrong?

amanda 1I can’t recall a family vacation we’ve taken where someone has puked. Maybe that’s our thing. We’re the family who pukes while traveling. Aren’t you jealous that you’re not us?

Last weekend was Mother’s Day. My husband had asked a few times in the week leading up to it what I wanted to do but I hadn’t come up with an answer for him. The 5 year old had a baseball game on Saturday morning so I was just assuming that we’d hang around and not do much of anything. But then we were sitting at lunch after the baseball game and I got the burning desire to see the ocean. I mentioned the idea to my husband and he was all in. Because who doesn’t love an impromptu road trip with 6 people and 2 dogs?

We ran home and while my husband mowed the lawn (obviously), I got packing and worked on finding a hotel that had availability and would take the dogs.

By 4 PM we were loaded into the car and on our way to Bodega Bay.

We hadn’t made it over the pass when I heard a funny gurgling sound coming from the back and turn around just in time to see the 14 month old puke all over herself. “OH SHIT; SHE’S PUKING!” I believe were my exact words. My husband pulled over and we hopped out. He went to work cleaning up the puke soaked car seat while I stood the baby on the side of I-80 and undressed her. Each time a truck went whooshing by us, the noise scared her and she screamed bloody murder.

It was at this point that I realized that I had forgotten to pack diapers and wipes. Because I am a parenting genius. Thankfully I had an old pack of wipes in the glove box. They were completely dried up but were better than nothing in a pinch. And I’m pretty sure the spot we were in qualified as a pinch.

Because I hadn’t packed an excess of clothing options for any of us and I couldn’t be sure that she wasn’t going to spew chunks again, I decided to buckle the baby back into her car seat wearing nothing but her diaper.

We made it to our hotel without much extra fuss.

Amanda 2When I had called the hotel to make the reservation, I made sure that they had adjoining rooms available. Because 6 people and 2 dogs is a lot of bodies to fit into a single room. While I had been explicit in my request for adjoining rooms, what I had failed to do was make sure that the rooms had 2 beds each. They didn’t. And the hotel was out of 2 bed rooms. So there we were, 6 people, 2 dogs and 2 beds to split between us. Things were going swimmingly.

I bribed the 3 big kids that if they laid nicely in the bed together, they could watch TV even though it was after 9 PM. So they piled into bed together and only beat on each other a little bit before they fell asleep. Meanwhile, my husband, the baby, the 2 dogs and I were put together like puzzle pieces in the other bed. The baby finally fell asleep (after midnight!) while my husband and I sat in bed, watching HGTV and split a 12 pack of Bud Light.

The next morning we got up and headed to Walgreens before breakfast because we had run completely out of dried up wipes by then (but were somehow still good to go on diapers that I kept finding randomly throughout the car) and I had also realized that I hadn’t packed sunscreen. I’m the best. While I was in there, I grabbed a bucket and shovel for each of the kids to play with when we got to the beach. And good thing I did because the 3 year old was able to puke directly into her bucket on our drive from the hotel to the beach. And I was able to safely carry said bucket of puke with us onto the beach and deposit it directly into the Pacific Ocean. No muss, no fuss.

The beach was chilly and windy but that didn’t stop anyone from having fun. The kids even went in the water! They built sand castles and found sand dollars and I got to spend Mother’s Day looking at the ocean. After a few hours we piled back into the car and headed for home. The baby screamed for most of the drive home and the older kids bickered about anything and everything, forcing my husband to use a napkin to make ear plugs for himself in an attempt to drown out the noise but no one puked so I guess that’s an improvement.

I wanted to punch each of my children in the neck at least once that day. But I love them to bits and I am grateful that they (and their amazing dad) agreed to take me to the beach to celebrate Mother’s Day.


About Anna Thornley

Anna Thornley
Anna Thornley is a Jersey Girl living in the Wild West with her husband, their three children (with another one on the way) and two dogs. She desperately misses the beach and humidity but tries to remember to appreciate the beauty of the mountains. She works full-time outside of the home and is generally frantic in her attempts to keep everyone (and everything) moving in the right direction. Her house is a mess, but everyone in it is happy and loved—so she considers it a success. Anna spends almost all of her free time doing laundry. Her family loves to spend time together watching football and playing outside. Anna is still trying to come to terms with the fact that her family expects to eat dinner every single night. Follow Anna on Twitter to keep up with all her family’s antics: @rudeytudeymama

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