We are back!  Slept in our own beds and woke up to our own house.  There is something slightly crazy about driving 12 hours with two kids to spend 48 hours with family.  I talked about this with lots of people; 12 hours is our max drive and if planned right it isn’t too bad.  Less hours are certainly desireable and, we have nap trained kids who want to seep from 12-2ish so this is my ‘method’ for driving;

1. leave an hour before lunch that way your first stop is for lunch about an hour down the road. (leave 10:30)
2. post lunch there should be 2 hours of sleeping time (3 hours of driving down)
3. have snacks to hand out to waking up kids and they should be fresh enough to just play for a bit stop for diaper/potty in the next hour (4 hours driving done)
4. movie or toys etc until around 5:30 (7h on the road, hopefully 5.5h driving time) – eat dinner
5. drive another 2 hours, stop for a quick rest stop and change into PJ’s (10h out, 7.5 driving)
6. hopefully that was the last kid required stop and you can just drive from there until you get where you are going.
 My experence is that if you stop a couple times for short periods that it all feels less epic, but, if they are sleeping during a schedualed stop we don’t stop.  Usually we drive a tad faster then estamated by map programs so we make up time lost to stopping.  The other thing I like to do is have good car food just to keep people busy and if they rebel against the fast food.  On the way home we stopped at a grocery store in the middle of Kansas and picked up apples and yougart etc.  It was a nice little side trip and we got the fresh stuff we could not have pre packed.
The destination part of the trip had its ups and downs to say the least.  I’m not sure how to react to the very negative stuff.  On the positive side the cousins all got along well and I liked seeing my sisters and parents.  The weather was nice, I met cool friends of my sister, and we even played football on the lawn.  (drama alert) The bad was very bad and that might have been the last time I see my sisters family, it is definitely the last time I go to Oklahoma.

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