This past weekend the family took a quick trip to Philadelphia. I love Philly – it’s rich with our nation’s history, has so many great museums, loaded with public parks, lots of interesting outdoor artwork and of course, it’s the home of the cheese steak!
I’m also not one to pass up an opportunity to stay at a hotel, because it’s one of the only places where mom can relax because someone else is totally responsible for making the beds, laundering the linens and cleaning the bathroom.
Wait-did I just say a mom can “relax”?! Spending a few nights in the relatively close quarters of a hotel room with two small children involves a lot of patience and tolerance…as I was quickly reminded!
It all started out so promising – mom, dad and kids in the car ready to go off for a new adventure! We hadn’t even been on the road for five minutes when the peanut gallery (aka my two kidlets) started in:
“Mom, he hit me”
“Mom, she took my toy away”
“I don’t like this song, can you put on some Lady Gaga”
“I’m so hungry”
“I have to go potty”
“This is so boring”
“When will we be there”
I must have said “no,” “stop it” or “use your inside voice” about 100 times each on that car ride down. The Hubs kept telling me to “stop being so tense,” “ignore it” and to “cool it” – but even he was getting on my nerves!
Things calmed down once we got to Philly and had some lunch. The City of Brotherly Love worked its magic and we had great afternoon. We visited the Liberty Bell, took a tour of the US Mint and watched a group of kids take part in a Military Muster (my kidlets didn’t want to “join the army” they just wanted to watch the others march) followed by a refreshing dip in our hotel pool.
It wasn’t until we returned to the room after dinner when the kidlets started to act up again. They fought over which side of the bed they would sleep on, what pillow they got and which blanket they’d sleep with. Luckily they were pretty worn out and drifted off to dreamland without incident.
But on Day 2, they pretty much picked up where they left off. The Hubs and I tried to make the best of it. The day started off with a fun ride on a Duck Boat (a land/sea trip thru the city), but we had to leave the Independence Hall tour because the kidlets were not exactly absorbing the importance of the historical place they were in, which to them was just an old building where they couldn’t sit down!
However, a trip over to the Reading Terminal Market for lunch, a leisurely walk to visit some outdoor sculpture gardens, a rain delay at an outdoor pub and another refreshing dip in the pool seemed to make things better.
But dinner touched off a new round of sibling meltdowns and their crankiness was starting to rub off on me as well. I was ready to call it a night-and ready to head back home after this long weekend that was getting longer all the time.
Luckily a new day, a new beginning and the return trip home was okay. I think The Hubs and I may have planned too much for our two-day trip for our kidlets- and a couple of nights sleeping in a strange room can be a bit much. Sometimes we forget that they are still very young and can get over stimulated pretty quick. Couple that with my son having a sinus infection and not really feeling like himself, it was inevitable that we had some tensions and meltdowns.
I think the key to our next trip, which is our annual shore vacation, will be short spurts over the course of a few days – not just one or two days to do it all. And hopefully we can have a do-over in Philly some time very soon.
Now it’s your turn to share. What is your number one tip when traveling with kids?
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