Memorial Day weekend is a special time for our family. My parents bought a cabin 15 years ago and each year we make the trek up north to "open" the cabin for the summer. Typically this just means we put the pontoon in the water! There aren't many special things we have to do since the cabin is able to be used all year. Going for the first boat ride of the season is always exciting, and this year - it was extra exciting because we were able to put our feet in the water!
The trip was shorter than normal and our group was smaller, but it was great nonetheless. Sean wasn't able to make it so my Mom drove both ways with me to help with the boys - I'm not sure I would have been able to do it by myself. How exactly did we do it? Let me tell you.
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Snacks. Do not pack messy snacks!!! I prepackaged snack bags of veggie straws, animal crackers, goldfish, and cheerios. I also suggest applesauce pouches and cheese sticks. If your confident your kiddos will chew everything up, you could give them a beef stick or slice of lunch meat for some protein.
Books. I ordered a few new books for the boys, ones that make noise. These are the ones we got that they loved.
New Toys. The boys love cars, trucks and all things transportation. I bought them a 20 pack of matchbox cars, they loved them! It was also beneficial that there were so many, that way when they dropped them I could just grab another one to hand to them.
Rest Stops. I researched the rest stops along our drive and I found one that had a playground. We weren't actually planning to stop there because we were so close to lunchtime but the boys were absolutely restless and it was necessary for everyone's sanity. I think next time we would pack our own lunch, then the boys can get out and run around after eating. Another idea on where to find a play area would be to go to a school! We did go to lunch at Gordy's Hi Hat in Cloquet, they have a great playground and lots of outdoor seating.
Music. I use Spotify for my streaming service, I have the premium version so I can download playlists and listen to them without using data. I strongly suggest this. I made a special playlist for H&L including the following:
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme Song
Hot Dog Song from Mickey
Wheels on the Bus by Raffi
Animal Crackers in My Soup by Shirley Temple
Happy by Pharrell
The boys LOVE the water.
I can't wait for them to be able to watch a movie during long trips - they will be so much happier and content. Also, I'd plan on adding about 25% time on the trip. Our 4.5 hour trip took about 6 hours!!! They were really good on the way to the cabin, but the ride home was a little more tricky. I'll add more tips throughout the summer, as I know there will be more that I come up with.