All 3 kids loaded, trunk and backseat of our 2001 Toyota Camry packed to the hilt with camping gear, food for Robert as well as winter clothes, winter gear and all his tools in case he got a job right away. Blankets and backpacks full of busy toys for the boys packed at their feet and two suitcases loaded. We were prepared for anything and our car was showing it as the back end of the car was weighted down so much so it scraped the ground going over little bumps. 😲 We must have had everything loaded but the kitchen sink. 😀 You can never be to prepared! Or can you? 😕 😂 Anyone have any good packing tips for a week with two toddlers, one 3 month old baby, two adults in one car? I think I always over pack.
|William playing in the leaves or more accurately trying to throw them at me at our first among a gazillion rest stops!|
|Wyatt running off some energy at perhaps the 5th rest stop out of a gazillion.|
Every time Daddy pulled into a gas station for a cup of coffee or quick potty break it turned into an hour ordeal with William having to go potty and then changing two kids in diapers plus getting snacks out for them. Aye yai yai! Around 5pm we knew we would not be making it to Massachusetts that day so we started looking for camping places. We found a K.O.A around 6:30 that night but the price they wanted for a campsite was a bit on the steep side for tent camping so my husband advised we would keep looking. Around 7pm we see a sign for Shenandoah Valley State Park in Virginia so we head there only to reach it around 9pm to find out it was closed!!! By then the boys are cranky, Naomi just keeps crying pushing against her carseat straps meaning she wants out and Robert and I were running on fumes doing are best to keep our eyes open. Hindsight is 20/20, we should have stopped and stayed at the K.O.A two hours back. 😪 Further on down the road Robert pulls into a motel but they wanted $100 plus taxes for a one night stay so again we drove on. The boys start crying because their sister was crying and they can't stand when she cries. Her crying drives them up the wall, especially my oldest son William who hates loud noises of any kind. All of this is setting Robert's nerves aflame causing him to be snappy so I do my best to try and keep everyone happy, chocolate anyone? 😏 With a bottle made up for Naomi and her quietly drinking away, boys hopped up on chocolate Robert can finally concentrate on my directions for another motel that was further on down the road. Luck would have it the only motel/hotel we could find within our price range was a Super 8 motel. I don't know about you but I hate Super 8 motels as I've found they're always dirty and bug infested so I make sure we never stay at one well that is until now. 😒 Robert paid for the room which was like $60 including taxes which was $20 more than the K.O.A was wanting for a campsite. Shouldn't tent camping be cheaper than $40 a night?! Anywhoo, we all unloaded, Mama inspected the room and beds (I had to call the desk to change sheets/bedding on one of the queen beds due to questionable dirt/spots but other than that they looked like nice rooms which had an update. Retro's 70's theme going on) and we all had a shower and plopped into bed and fell right to sleep. Haha...yeah right, I wish that's what happened!! William and Wyatt ran all over the room, jumping on the beds and acting the hooligans and all Mommy and Daddy wanted to do was sleep!! Hmm...think it was all the chocolate to keep them quiet? Nah..😉
|William jumping on the beds and no amount of "Quit Jumping on the beds!" deterred him.|
We were up and at em' around 7am and left the motel around 8am. We made it to Springfield, Massachusetts around 4pm that day and went looking for a campsite. One should really do their homework before hitting the road! We found only 1 yes 1 place to camp as all the rest were closed for the Winter!!! Say WHAT!!? We definitely should have checked out campsites before leaving home as if we had it would have just been Robert making this trip and not our whole family! However, we were blessed to find Tolland State Forest which had a beautiful place to camp by the river only problem was they were closing the following day for Winter. We are a family who loves adventure and road trips but in looking back I honestly don't think any of our road trips have ever turned out excitingly well (that's a whole other blog post though). Well for this one glorious night we would camp by the river and the boys were sooooo excited to finally be doing some camping.
|Our beautiful campsite at Tolland State Forest.|
|Daddy & William setting up camp.|
|Naomi hanging out while camp is setup.|
|Raw Milk Free, Eggs $4, Campsite $10, Experience Priceless!|
That next morning we went to Local in Springfield and Robert signed the books for the upcoming jobs. They advised him when he signed he'd most likely get the job and should hear something back in 24 hours since he was one of the firsts to sign the books. Which meant we needed to stay as if they called him for the job he'd have to head out right away so he wouldn't have time to drive us home and get back in time.
In letting the waiting commence we wondered how the kids and I would get home, how we'd be able to pay for a motel, food plus Robert's expenses until payday two weeks from the time he got the job all on $400. We'd planned on camping since it was so cheap and a lot of fun but with all the camp sites closed for the winter it only left expensive motel stays. Do you think we planned accordingly and really thought this thing through before we all hit the road? No, me either!
Would we be homeless in Massachusetts, living out of our car during winter? If so for how long?
Stay tuned for the next installment coming within the week....