Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Monday, July 15, 2013

Keeping the Children Entertained While Travelling Cross-Country


Dad entertaining the troops
Long, long, long driving days ensued when we took the family of seven camping across country, from New Jersey to California.  Oh, we tried to break the driving days up a bit with smaller side trips, the beginnings of the Oregon Trail in Missouri, Arches National Park in Utah.  However, we were excited about getting out west and seeing the Sequoias and Redwoods and the Pacific Ocean. 

Aside from our other travelling fun and games [read it here], we all longed for the chance to stop and stretch our legs and breath in the outdoor air.  Rest stops became fun stops.  While I walked around the rest stop, the children all ran after their father to the gazebo of vending machines in hopes that he’d buy them something, like they didn’t have a van loaded with snacks and food. 

My husband was buying coffee, the fuel of many long distance drivers.  The children crowded around my husband at the vending machines, chattering away as he put the money into the vending machine.  They continued to chatter as he made his selection of coffee, sweetner, and cream.  But the chatter stopped as the coffee sprayed out from the machine and they all jumped back about a foot.  Then the sweetner spritzed out.  Then the cream dribbled into the machine drain. 


“How do you like that,” their father said.  “No cu…”

Just then a cup shot out from the machine and landed onto the concrete.

My husband returned to the van empty-handed, the children belly-laughing in his wake.

“Where’s your coffee?”  I asked him.

“They’re all out,” he said climbing into the driver’s seat, but he couldn’t hide the smile.

“The coffee squirted out of the machine before the cup,” our son reported through laughter.

The twins giggled.

“What?”  I asked.

“Yea, Mom,” our oldest said.  “The cup came out last.”

“After the cream and sugar,” the second oldest informed me.

We all climbed back into the van and buckled up.  My husband pulled the van and trailer away from the rest stop and entered the highway once again.  I watched him.  The children’s laughter filled the van.  The smile never left his lips.

“They should put a note on that machine so others don’t lose money trying to get a cup of coffee,” I said.

“Remind me to bring a cup to the vending machine at the next rest stop,” he said.  And then he laughed.  He laughed so hard, his eyes leaked.  So did mine.

That comic episode kept us going for the next few days of driving.

Do you have any funny driving stories to share? 

7 comments:

  1. You seem to drive some extraordinary distances on your camping trips Victoria Marie. The longest drive I have done is 500 miles which took around 12 hours and I was a lot younger then.

    Vending machines do play up from time to time and getting the cup last must have been a source of much amusement.

    Bill
    http://www.walksintameside.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, Bill, it was. It helped the children with the monotony of the long drive. Several of our camping trips with the children required thousands of miles to see the natural beauty of the land and sea. Several trips out west [from the east coast] and up into Canada and out to Newfoundland. I wouldn't trade my memories for anything.
    Thanks so much, Bill, for stopping by my Camping with Kids blog. Please stop by again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always, always, enjoy your blogs. Have a great vacation

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Marie, for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. Please visit again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is hilarious. I actually was at Walmart the other day and saw that they had a coffee cup machine. I didn't know they had things like that. I wish I had some funny driving stories.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was hilarious, Michelle. I was glad I didn't drink coffee. I thought only driving rest stops had coffee machines, not stores, because I thought they would rather have fresh coffee in a café-style restaurant.

    Thank you so much, Michelle, for reading my blog post. Please stop by again.

    ReplyDelete