I love to travel. I have always loved to travel. Growing up, I visited almost every state on the eastern side of the Mississippi. When I was in college I spent weeks touring Europe. In graduate school and beyond, I presented at conferences all over the country, including a few in the midwest. Today, I dream of one day visiting Yellowstone and Seattle.
When our kids came along, we decided to take them with us whenever we decided to go somewhere. Last year’s travel record was a fifteen hour road trip with two kids under age two, one of which was potty-training. It was quite an adventure.
When we found out my husband had to be out of town for quite a bit of time, we decided that the girls and I would join him, and, so today is day three of a two and a half week long stay at a hotel. The girls (now ages three and one), puppy, and I decided to come along with my husband on his work project this time around. We booked a suite complete with a kitchen and determined to stick to our wholesome eating practices, even while traveling. We thought we did a good job planning ahead for our meals. We brought down a bunch of food from our freezer and refridgerator so we would not need to buy a lot of groceries once we arrived. Plus, this way we thought we would not need to worry about sourcing the foods we prefer, such as grass-fed beef and such.
We planned on eating the hotel’s free breakfast every morning. Then, we were going to cook our own lunches and dinners to save money and our digestive tracts. Plans are wonderful. If it all works out the way you imagined it. If not, you are left with mere pieces of the plan and the challenge of trying to fit it all back together.
Day One: The girls and I arrived at the hotel to discover that our children can now escape out of hotel rooms. Fun. The fire alarm went off five times that first afternoon. It was their annual fire alarm testing day. Both girls and puppy were terrified. Girls walked around the rest of the afternoon holding their ears and looking up at the alarm on the ceiling. We also discovered the kitchen we will be using for the next few weeks does not have a oven. It has two stove burners, a dishwasher, a fridge, four large plates, four small plates, four cups, one sauce pan, one sauce pan, and four sets of silverware. That’s it. The wonderful meal plans I compiled for our weeks in the hotel were of little use when we do not have an oven. Major adjustments would need to be made. In the mean time, we ate dinner out. Girls had a difficult time going to sleep because they were both worried the fire alarm was going to go off. On a more positive note, I realized we could turn the deadbolt on our room door and children can no longer attempt to escape. Yay.
Day Two: Laundry. Ryan had been staying at this hotel for some time prior to our arrival so I decided we would keep busy and do some laundry today. Girls discovered they love running through the hallways of the hotel. Amended a few meal plans. Went grocery shopping. Found a local farm for fruit, milk and cream. Discovered I love the lime refresher at Starbucks. Dinner was take home prepared food from grocery store: Apple and Brie stuffed chicken, brussel sprouts and rice.
Day Three: Discovered hotel has made-to-order omelets as a part of the free breakfast! Mentally starting to get back on track. I am thankful I brought along my crockpot. Menu now includes a lot of homemade soups. Tonight’s dinner: Sour cream pork-chops, smashed sweet potatoes, and kale. All made, from scratch, by yours truly. Girls not napping regularly (or easily should I say). Seems they are permanently scarred by the fire alarm testing. I decided it was too ambitious of me to try and start potty-training our youngest before we left. She is now back in diapers until we return home. Today, I also discovered a cabinet in our room that I did not see before. The cabinet held a wonderful treasure: Measuring cups and mixing bowls. Hurray!
Despite our rocky beginning, I am optimistic that we can do this. People thrive in tight spaces all the time. So, for now, I am going to take a deep breath and get back to revamping those meal plans and my sanity…