Wednesday, 14 September 2011

How I Survived My Family This Summer

How I survived my family this summer

Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. I really do. And I love hanging out with them. However, when a recent opportunity came our way to take a family road trip to Florida, my first reaction was “Wow, how long do we have to be in a car together??” After all, I have the kid who breaks into the never-ending “Are-We-There-Yet” chorus when our travels exceed the 15 minute mark!

As part of a recent media fleet excursion to test the new Chevrolet Orlando, we packed up our bags and headed on a fantastic whirlwind adventure that included stops in West Virginia, Georgia and finally, Orlando (Get it? An Orlando to Orlando??) I was thrilled about the opportunity, excited about the events planned along the way… and terrified about the 23 hours of fighting & fidgeting – and that’s just from me!

Now, I’m not usually the type to flip ahead to the end of the book, but let me just say… we not only survived but actually had an amazing time. In fact, we’re even talking about planning our next road trip – which would only be possible because of the tips & tricks we learned on this trip.

1.    Never underestimate the power of the electronic babysitter! My son’s favourite part of the vehicle? The iPad propped up on the back seat! Sure, I’m all about limiting screentime in the comfort of my own home, but on a 23 hour road trip? Bring on those Angry Birds!

Happy kid? Check!

2.    Keeping connected! I admit it – my first car didn’t even have a tape deck. So imagine my surprise when this car actually came equipped with a USB port! While I was happily debating whether my phone or my iPod should be the first to benefit, Dear Hubby already had his laptop up & running and was halfway through his first report. Hmm… not exactly as I saw it playing out, but we were well on our way!

Happy husband? Check!

3.    Sing out loud, Sing out strong! The way I see it, if I can’t knock off a few Angry Birds, or surf the web to find the nearest Starbucks, then the radio stations are all mine. And, of course, the luxury of controlling the XM Satellite Radio means hours and hours of pure ‘80s bliss (much to Hubby's chagrin!). Time to channel my inner Cyndi Lauper!

Happy me? Check!

So, could we have survived this experience without the help from our electronic travelmates? Of course – driving through mountains, historic towns, and other major attractions was an amazing experience we’ll always appreciate. The gift of enjoying this experience as a family? Unmistakeable. Seeing the joy on my son’s face as we pulled in to Disney or my husband’s face as we explored historic downtown Savannah? Priceless. And if you ask my son, one of his favourite memories of the trip was falling in love with Maggie, his new 'furry friend' at the Bed & Breakfast in West Virginia! (Hey, beats the hamster!)

And for that I will always be grateful – to GM and to my family, for an experience I will never forget. And for reminding me how cool my family really is.

Is technology necessary to surviving family time? Of course not – but that Starbucks app was definitely appreciated!

Does technology get the invite on your road trips?
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