How do we know if our kids can handle a lengthy trip from home? We don’t. It’s always a little nerve wracking when trying out something new with kids. Luckily mine are pretty easy going and have always loved road trips. And with our big trip to South America loosely planned for September, I decided to do a test run and fly from Alaska to Oregon to visit family, buy my long needed mini van and then drive the Alaska highway through Canada back home. I mean, what could be so difficult in traveling alone with a 7 year old, 5 year old and 10 month old alone?  I must say, it was remarkably easier than I though it would be and I was relieved to discover it. The biggest thing I learned was to go slow. Take time for good kid breaks. And don’t try to force a schedule. When everyone is relaxed about delays and pop up possibilities, we all have fun.

imageBefore I left, I asked for the assistance of my niece in transporting my kiddos to Oregon and she happily joined us on our venture. And as most kids do, they loved the late flight. I made sure to get us seats as far forward as possible and after takeoff my boys quickly claimed some empty rows to get cozy in. Alaska air has always been my airline of choice but these days I’ve been testing out Jet blue, who only fly to Alaska in the summer, have cheaper fares, are less crowded and more spacious. It’s hard not to be a fan of this new to Alaska airline. image

It’s the ass crack of dawn, but they are so happy. Kids are amazing. Welcome to Portland!

Rest stops and creative kids menus are vital. Truly, it doesn’t take much to put a smile on thier faces. While in Oregone we did a few road trips to the coast with family and it’s hard to go wrong at the beach.

Tide pooling was a favorite and we found scores of scuttling crab under every rock. I told them to watch the pinchers!image

And here’s the sad face of an unhappy morning in the tent. It took a little cuddling and the right snack to cheer up.image

We had a lot of good weather and I taught my boys to catch snakes in Aunt Judy’s back yard. It may have been as much fun for me as the boys. As a child it was one of my favorite perks of visiting my Aunt in Oregon.


My cousin Cheryl took me wine tasting near Buxton, Or. My youngest is still wary of strangers and wouldn’t tolerate beingimage separated from me but we didn’t let that dampen our moods and who says you can’t go wine tasting with a baby anyway? She happily crawled around our feet the whole time and became part of our girl time adventure. Before I left my awesomely creative cousin helped design decals for my new mini van and made the idea become reality. I love the way it turned out!  It was sad when it was finally time to hit the road and say goodbye to my family but exciting to start another adventure in travel. Now to drive from Oregon to Canada!



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