I am not a crafty person. I don't really knit. I don't make furniture out of old wooden pallets I found by the side of the road. I don't make my own pinwheels to stick into the mini cupcakes I'm planning on serving at my summer party under the tree in my backyard that I've lit up with lanterns made out of vintage mason jars. I mostly use my PinINterest account for sarcasm.
Then, Jon and I decided that a three week road trip with a 7 year old and a 4 year old through five different states would be an AWESOME idea! We'd stop and see things like:
|A GIANT hamburger, french fries and a shake on top of a building!|
|A GIANT teapot gas station commemorating everyone's favorite scandal: The Teapot Dome!|
|A GIANT John Wayne statue. Because GIANT statues of the Duke should be in every state.|
|And really, any place that came with a sign like this.|
|Because, let's face it, where else but a certified geological site could you dress up as a pioneering paleontologist?|
But, like most parents, before we left, we asked ourselves, how are going to keep the kids from the constant whine of "MoooOOOooommm! DaaaaAAAAaaaaddd! When are we going get to the house they dynamited out of the huge rock mountain? You saaaaiiiid it had a trading post and a zooooo!"* And, then a week before we loaded the car and hit the open road with a cooler full of Dr. Pepper for Jon and a coffee mug full of caffeinated fortification for me, I had a brilliant idea!
No more whining!
No more questions!
Utopian Road Trip Bliss Would Ensue!
The kids would get their own maps!
Step 1: Go to AAA and load up on at least a dozen Western States maps. Because, let's face it, you need to cut them up and you're not the measure twice cut once type.
Step 2: Cut out the states you need. Then cut them again. Because, seriously, you're not a spacial person. Don't forget the map legend. The kids will definitely be referencing that at least three times a day! Especially the four year old.
Step 3: Tack it all together with scotch tape. Add a sticker you found under the table. To make it even more awesome.
Step 4: Highlight your route. Circle all the good stuff!! GIANT John Wayne statues! Fossil beds! Houses made out of rock! Museums! Geological sites!!!
Step 5: Find all that packaging tape left over from your last move and tape that bad boy together! Because nothing is more valuable than durability on 1500 mile car trips! (Except for caffeine. And Cheeze-Its.)
Step 6: Stop. Notice how pretty and shiny the tape makes the map. Take artistic photos for posterity.
Step 7: Trim all that excess tape. Whew! You'll be glad for one less sticky mess to clean up in the car at the end of the day.
Step 8: Take one more artistic photo. Man. That juxtaposition is simply amazing!
Step 9: Fold for easy insertion into the little one's seat pockets. Marvel at the indestructibility, user friendly design and compactness of your creation. Treat yourself to a well earned cup of coffee.
Step 10: Sigh. Mutter, "Whatevs" and cross compactness off your To Marvel At List. Drink your coffee anyway. You have a three week road trip with kids coming up. Might as well start caffeinating now.
And, if the maps don't bring all that promised bliss and harmony, find a hotel with a pancake machine.
Nothing seems quite as bad after a morning spent watching pancakes materialize with the touch of a button. A TOUCH OF A BUTTON PEOPLE!
*This is a real place. And it's for sale. Anyone interested in going halfsies? Or, maybe more realistically, 75thsies??