Let's See How this Goes: Planning for a Lake Trip
My husband, son, mother, and I are going up to Appleton, WI for a lake trip with my extended family. This will be the first long planned car drive with my son (who is now 13 months) and we are trying to save any money we can. My extended is family is camping but we're "glam-ping" in that we are staying in a hotel. I want to see people and just experience Wisconsin in the summer. My Dad was one of 9 kids so I have about 22 first cousins and a huge family. In the sixties and seventies, my Grandparents and Great-Aunt and Uncle creating "Wandering Star Camping." Not lying, there were 16 kids and 4 adults. So they would go camping all over the country for weeks. There were so many kids it wasn't possible to do a really fancy vacay. The trip is usually at a national park out West. This year it's in Wisconsin which is a good distance so we feel like we are escaping Ohio and our day to day. I want Rhys to have the same kinds of memories that I had with my family. On our way we're stopping in Chicago to say hi to one of my best friends who we simply adore. I'm sure I'll blog about seeing her and Chicago (one of my favorite cities). We are also picking my mother up from my Grandmother's house before we make it to the lake. So a trip with multiple legs, a small child, and we're trying to penny pinch anyway we can-check. Let's see if we can do this.
We are renting an SUV because we got a discount (cha ching) and I need to transition to a "mom car." I want to keep my sweet tiny car but I want another kid and two carseats don't work in a tiny car. I park in a garage for work so I can't get a minivan because it would be too big. If you know of a good SUV for a lady who wants to reduce her carbon footprint let me know in the comments. Anyway, here's what the plan is. We're stocking a cooler full of water bottles (Target brand). I got a bunch of totes from Bullseyes playground to help me organize things. We got a ton of the little squeeze packets of baby food because they're easy and have fruits and veggies. I want my boy to have some semblance of nutrition on the road. Also, this was an idea that we got from some friends of ours who traveled across the country with their 13 month old. Thanks Chris and Olivia! We got the cheapest beach towel we could find. We got a huge bear shaped container of animal crackers that Rhys has already been drawn to like a month to the flame. I've got enough turkey jerky to last us if we wanted to drive to Canada! I also got my husband a stainless steel container for water because I am really really trying to limit my plastic intake. I know the bottled water is a bad thing but I've got a kid and I want to be prepared if we get stuck. I got mineral sunscreen because I know the kind with oxybenzone is bad for coral reefs and I don't know what it would do to the lake. I also splurged and got an after sun spray with aloe in it. It's Pacifica Blood Orange, apparently recommended by surfers. I was in that Target haze where you just see something cute and put it in your cart. I can hold off until I get to the makeup aisle. I am incredibly pale and my husband is not. My son seems to have my skin tone and we don't know if he tans or burns yet. We're not taking that chance. I also want to have something in case I do get burned. We also plan on hiking so I'm going to pack workout clothes. I have a giant sun hat and beach cover ups that cover my shoulders. I've also restocked my makeup wipes for my travel makeup case. My study abroad stay and being in a serious relationship with man in a different city for an entire year-I am pretty good at my own packing skills. Rhys has cute baby suits and we got him some sand toys. We have plant based insect repellant. I have my travel body lotions and makeup. I have little tiny Sephora palettes and I got a set of brushes on clearance from Sephora for my travel makeup bag. Seriously, have a separate travel makeup bag-it's a lifesaver. You get those little samples from Sephora-save them for your bag. It's nice to have something a little fancy for your trip. I am not a business traveler although I'm taking my first real business trip in August. Expect a blog about that! Washington DC baby! I'm presenting at the National Institute of Health. Anyway, we have a separate baby beach bag (this awesome bag I got at work for filling out a survey). Does anyone else have way... too much work swag? Mark and I saw a man collapse in an airport terminal. I was running to get help when I realized that I was representing the hospital I worked for with my duffel bag and my travel bag. I represented the hospital well.We got Rhys some baby flip flops. I'm excited to take him to a lake since he loves water. I think it's going to be a fun trip. We are leaving in a few days but I'm already getting my bags ready. I just want the trip to be as smooth as possible. I don't want to spend money when I don't have to and I know the best defense is to plan ahead. We'll try to keep our spending to a minimum. I'll let you know about Appleton dear readers. I haven't been up there since I was like 17 and looking at Lawrence College. I'm looking forward to just hanging with my family and spending quality time with them. My father passed away a few years ago and our family trips are things I cherish. I want Rhys to have those memories. I want him to know the fun of seeing your cousins and just playing in a lake or the ocean. My family didn't do the all-inclusive vacations. I just hope this trip works out well. I'll keep you all in the loop and I'll take tons of pictures. Love you guys. If you are in the Midwest, stay cool.