Christina M. Currie
Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Even with these gas prices, when you're planning an 800-mile car trip, your biggest concern is how to keep a 6- and a 7-year-old fully occupied.
Things like Dramamine and Nyquil cross your mind, but in the end you opt for the two things no small travelers should be without - a pillow and a DVD player.
Really, anything to get me out of 800 miles of "I spy."
I do have to say that my girls are amazing travelers. They can get out of bed before sunrise and travel for six hours before they even think about going to the bathroom (I have an aunt who just wants to throttle me when I say that).
Still, I wanted to cover my bases, so I did throw down $180 for two portable DVD players.
They were in use for two movies in 1,700 miles - hardly much of a return on my investment.
The pillows were a was better use of my money.
And, we arrived at Lake Powell well-rested and energetic. The girls didn't even complain during what I explained to them was the "administrative" process - time when we adults are trying to figure out inconsequential things like where we're going to sleep and how we're going to get there.
My girls were first introduced to the administrative process in Florida, when each foray into DisneyWorld had to be discussed, arranged and planned.
Kids hate that part.
All they want to do is get started doing what they came to do.
They want to eat don't they?
You want to change clothes, right?
Seven-year-old Katie isn't really a fan of camping. She's much too refined.
"Is that one of those bathrooms that you have to hold your breath in?" she asks whenever she sees an outhouse.
She wouldn't know. She didn't use those facilities the entire time we were at the lake. I shudder to think what we were swimming in. Actually, I don't think about it.
As we headed back home, we decided to stop and stay one night in a campground around Moab. After two days in a tent (one of which in my tent because she thought the waves were going to wash her away), Katie was not excited about that idea.
"I like hotels better than camping. You don't have to worry about squirrels eating your food. Hotels have real beds and places you can put your clothes," she said.
What, they have floors? Because that's mostly where Katie's clothes end up.
But, the minute we pulled into the beautiful wooded campsite and Katie saw deer comfortable enough to approach within 20 feet, she re-evaluated.
She can't handle bugs, but was charmed by the small green caterpillar she caught. The bathrooms were so well constructed that she could breathe naturally and her tent was big enough to stand up in and had a window that overlooked the fire.
She decided camping wasn't so bad.
Of course, we were prepared for camping in the desert, not in the mountains, so I did have to cover them up in the seven beach-sized towels we'd brought because blankets were in short supply, but they managed it a lot better than I did.
I, despite the fun I heard outside, was committed to staying in bed until the sun hit the tent.
Would've been a long wait.
There's nothing better than a long weekend and an even longer car trip to learn about and connect with your children.
But I'd still recommend a DVD player.