Thursday, July 24, 2014

Traveling with the troops

We are enjoying our major summer vacation right now - traveling through the midwest on our way to Nauvoo, IL.  Our church owns a historic town there where they have restored buildings and put on musicial productions to celebrate the sacrifices of the pioneers moving west in the mid 1800's. We are currently in Kansas City, MO where there are a few more church historical sites to visit.  If we gave our children the choice between Disneyland and Nauvoo, they would choose Nauvoo. 

We take a big vacation like this every other year.  Every year would be too expensive!  Not to mention a lot of work. Just a few days before coming on this trip, in a moment of busyness, mostly due to getting ready to go on this vacation, Deanne said, "I need a vacation.".  I looked at her and she realized, "Oh yeah, we are going on one in a few days."  That just goes to show you that we don't view our family vacations as a "vacation".  Thus, the need to take a parental vacation after we get done with the family vacation.

That doesn't mean we don't have fun or enjoy being with the kids doing things in new places.  It's just full of work and logistical challenges.  But with those challenges comes many humerous circumstances that even we could not anticipate.  Here a few so far:

Kids hiding in the shower.

The look of an overcapacity hotel room.
1.   We can never tell the front desk at the hotels how many will be in the room.  We normally get two rooms, but we still exceed occupancy limits in each room by about 4 or 5 persons.  We can't legally reserve more rooms because you have to have someone over 18 years old in each room.  So either way we are against fire codes. We are in a Days Inn in Liberty, MO and we had the owner come in to look at a poorly installed bathroom door knob.  As I was with him in one of our rooms, Deanne asked with a little panic, "Does he have to check both bathrooms?"  I soon realized the cause of her concern.  She had packed about 5 kids in the other bathroom and shut the door to hide them while the owner was in the other room, afraid that when he saw the entire group, he would kick us out.  He did notice a few extra bodies around and becuse of the multi-racial mix, he must not have assumed we are all one family.  He asked, "Are they here for a picnic?"  I quickly saw a way to steer clear of our code violation and said, "Yes, we are going to a park for a picnic!"  Eviction avoided!


2.  Each morning we stuff the extra sleeping bags, blankets and pillows from the floor sleepers in our extra car so we don't tip off the housekeeping staff that we have so many bodies in the room.  We ended up bringing two cars because just before we left we had trouble with the transmission in our bus and didn't have time to get it fixed.  So the Impala in the forground is our daytime storage while we pile everyone in the van in the background for our small day trips.

3.  We visited the LDS visitors center in Independence, MO.  They have full time missionaries giving tours and information regarding the church.  They play a video about how families can be together forever that features a family who loses a grandparent. In her introduction to the video presentation, one of the missionaries invited us to watch a video about a "typical Mormon family like ours".  We had seen the video previously and we knew that the family in the video had 3 children. So at that point I whispered to Deanne, "A typical Mormon family like ours....minus 15!"

All in all, the trip is going very well and we are very thankful for the pool.  The humidity in the midwest makes it feel like a sauna to us rocky mountain dwellers.

More of our relaxing vacation later...



  1. Relax no; but fun yes; is what I would think. I am happy you have this opportunity and yes, a couple vacation will be important later for the two of you. Enjoy the precious moments on this one and we will look forward to hearing more exciting stories of your vacation.

  2. I think you need to appoint one of the kids in your family to be family vacation historian and write down all the crazy things that happen and what is seen.
    I'm the oldest of seven and I started writing blow-by-blow accounts of family vacations when I was about 14 because crazy things would happen or we'd do or say funny things or minor disasters would occur. I'd just use a little memo pad that I could keep in my back pocket.