As I sit here, at 8:30pm (EST) composing this blog post, I feel super accomplished, and exhausted. We did a LOT of stuff today, most geared toward preparing for our next adventure to New England. More than anything, I want to eat some ice cream, read my book, and go to bed, BUT all of this preparing stuff is fresh in my mind and I wanted to share how Ruby D and family get ready for the road.
I need a week to even think about what the trip is going to be like. How long is it? How much food do we need? How many meals should be planned out? Recipes? Groceries? How will the weather be, and what type of clothes should be pack? What cosmetics do we need? How many pairs of shoes should we bring? All of these thoughts need to whirl around in my head, and I need to make a million to do lists, and modify them every ten minutes for a good 5-6 days before I feel able to start actually shopping and packing. That being said, I then need about two days to prepare and complete the packing process. I start with slowly gathering food on our dryer. It piles up as I find it or buy it, and cross it off a list somewhere.
I start with the most important: FOOD. Weekly, whether or not we travel, I always plan out our dinners, and shop for exactly what we need. We never waste, and leftovers are for lunch the next day. We generally follow a macro diet, and so carbs, fats, protein, and greens are all measured out. This is easy enough to do at home, but tough on the road. I've planned for this trip to be 90% macro diet for us, so we'll see how that goes. More on that in a separate blog post!
This trip is going to be a LONG one for us (YAY!!!) 10-14 days on the road. We plan to go from Northern VA to Lancaster, PA, then stopping in Philadelphia, onto NY, CT, MA, RI, and finally, Maine. We've been to VT this summer already, and will drive through NH to get to Maine, and our end goal of Acadia National Park. That means 10-14 dinners on the road, and it is easier to know ahead of time what we're eating instead of planning on the fly. That means my first step, always, in road trip preparations, is meal planning, and writing down recipes and grocery lists, and accounting for any meals we can budget to eat out. Here is my list for this trip:
These are in no particular order, except the first 4 are the ones I have all the ingredients for. I didn't want to buy chicken, and leave it in our truck fridge for 9 days. I have all the recipes written down, and we can shop every 4-5 days for fresh food. If we are home earlier, then great, I'm ahead of the game. If I need to scrounge another meal or two, then I can while Brock drives. If you're interested in specific recipes, see future post about the macro diet, OR send me an email or leave a comment below!
For breakfast, Brock always does oatmeal. I'm having protein shakes and tomatoes, and Ruby does hamsteak, green beans, and shares our breakfasts.
Lunches: sandwiches (ham, or pre made chicken salad) for Brock, Ruby and I do yogurt.
Snacks: Toddler trail mix (see our Instagram page!), goldfish, RX bars, lara bars, baby food packets, and nuts.
Ok. Now that we'll eat... what will we wear? Ruby LOVES packing her clothes. She's a big helper!
Heading north in the summer poses challenges. Days can be nice and warm (although not so humid as the mid-atlantic), but nights can be down in the low 50's. Covering all our bases, we pack shorts, t-shirts, pants, leggings, long sleeve, sweats, socks and warm hats. Two pair of shoes per person, and swim wear for Ruby, just in case, because you never know. We don't have enough room to pack for 10-14 days, so we've planned to do a laundry stop or two. 3 towels, loads of pillows, underwear, too many diapers and wipes, some blankets, and a few ball caps and we're packed. I bring extra clothes for Ruby, because well... she's a 17month old. And you always need extra clothes for little kids. No, she did NOT help me fold this for this pretty picture... I had to do it while her Papa distracted her!
Cosmetics. Ugh. Space takers. We bring tooth brushes, toothpaste, our trusty Primal Pit Paste deodorant, some witch hazel, a small container of sugar scrub, small container of sugar scrub, Ruby's snot sucker and saline, children's tylenol, baby powder, Ruby's butt cream, sunscreen, bug spray, children's Benadryl, a few select essential oils, a razor, and chapstick. That sounds like a LOT, but while on the road, ANYTHING can happen, and we'd rather bring a bit extra then find ourselves unprepared. What do YOU and your family pack for the road?? I'd love to hear how we compare, and if we've been forgetting anything.
Entertainment. Why in the world would we need to worry about packing entertainment when we're out exploring the country?! Because our kid goes down for bed between 7-8pm, and while sometimes I do fall asleep by 8:30pm (not embarrassed at all to admit that) but sometimes we adults just aren't ready to go to sleep, so we sit up in the bed of our trusty camper and watch iPads, read, and just hang out. That means needing headphones, and appropriate charging gear. Also, we've set up an iPad holder for Ruby in the car so if she gets really cranky, we can put on a nature documentary for her. (That's about all she gets to watch, plus the occasional Sesame Street..). We're pretty anti-TV for our kid, and we've never tried this before, so we'll see. It is our last resort, since we have books, toys, and coloring for her to be occupied.
Finally: what chores need to be done before leaving? At a minimum, trash gets emptied, the fridge emptied of perishables, and laundry gets done. On a good day (today), I get clean sheets and towels up for when we come home, vacuuming done, and a quick clean of the bathrooms. I love coming home to a clean house, so I try to make that a priority, but it doesn't always happen. The morning we leave, we turn the water off, and the AC gets turned off and a few windows cracked open. We also make it a point to unplug most stuff from outlets. What are your pre-trip rituals that get done in your home? Am I the only neurotic one who tries to vacuum before leaving home for a while??
And then... we hit the road! Safe travels!