Traveling with a Large Family
Traveling with a large family is quite humorous all the way around. I have to remember to laugh when things get a little hairy scary! I have at times felt like ‘the Darlins’ from the Andy Griffith Show. The show that I am referring is the one the Darlings had to sneak into the hotel for over occupancy reasons. The hotels only allow 4 per room and even with two rooms, we have one extra. This time it was a little easier because we vacationed with Scott’s parents making 3 rooms as opposed to our 2 rooms.
Packing can be the most frustrating part of the trip, but I have come up with an easy mostly foolproof method of making sure that everyone has what they need. (Once when I only had 4 children, we went to Williamsburg. I had one of the bigger kids (8) in charge of checking the next youngest bags. Well… he forgot. The bag had only a toothbrush in it. I think it might have been a pretty clever idea if it was intentional. That child had to get a new wardrobe just to be clothed.)
Oh…the foolproof method…Probably most organized people already do this, but for those of you who are not as organized or have a hard time managing a lot of things at once, make a boys list and a girls list (clothing and extras) for a 2, 3, 5, and 7 day trip for winter and summer as well as one for you and your husband. I give each of the kids the list (make sure they don’t lose it), have them put their clothes on their beds, I get the list and go through it and have them pack it in the suitcase.
Also make a list of things to do in the house before you leave (food for the dogs, chickens, arrangements, etc.). I know this is so elementary, but it has been a real lifesaver for me. I keep it with my very important papers in my filing cabinet! I would show you my list and if you request it I will, but I have to warn you that I am a messy writer and you may not be able to read my chicken scratch.
We LOVE food! We study the locations we will be passing through and base our trip around the best local eateries. We only took a 3 day trip this time and heard that Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati was a fabulous place to eat. I usually go in alone to get the table since our party is so large and mainly consists of children. The reason I go in alone is that with 7 children, we get “what are we going to do with all these kids looks” and if they seat us, they seat us by the kitchen or where no one would want to sit. Our kids are very well behaved and I know once they see that, they will be relieved and be happy to serve us. I have to say that ALL the folks at Montgomery Inn were hospitable and kind and the food fantastic!
The views of the beautiful bridges were spectacular.
I had never been to Cincinnati before and was quite surprised to see how very beautiful it really was. The skyline is fantastic and the buildings are gorgeous and old.
By the way, we did eat at a Skyline Restaurant. Half of my family loved it and half …well, didn’t.
Montgomery Inn is famous for their pork chops and ribs, therefore we ate that! We always eat the special. I am not that big of a pork chop fan, but I have to say THEY WERE DELICIOUS! Ribs are my favorite. O.K. Scott and I rarely have disagreements, but I have to admit that I got a little miffed when it was brought to my attention that my plate had four rib bones and his only one…We shared a plate…his parents were sitting in front of me…what’s a girl to do? I thought we had split the plate. WEll, I SERIOUSLY DO NOT KNOW HOW THOSE BONES GOT ON MY PLATE. I know how much he loves ribs (AND BOY WERE THEY GREAT) as much as I do. I was very upset that he had given them all except one to eat or ..had put the bones on my plate to make it look like I had eaten them. I was thinking his parent’s were thinking, “that selfish girl.” Well, maybe they were thinking, “We raised a great man!” Well, all I can say is that the ribs were FANTASTICO! and that I have a GREAT husband!
On the way home, thankfully we didn’t need the GPS (we got lost in Kentucky going down roads that got skinnier and skinnier. I have never laughed so hard in my life. We were looking for the hotel and the GPS was taking us to crazy out of the way places. The kids think that criminals hiding in the back woods are in control of the GPS instructions and bring you right to them). We were able to find our next food destination, Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Restaurant.
This was our second trip to this restaurant. The BBQ sauce is tangy, sweet, and nothing like anyone else’s I have had. He has won myriads of awards for his BBQ and rightly so. He should also win them for his PIES. I just love a coconut cream pie and boy, does he know how to make them.
Traveling with grandparents is truly a joy! I have kind loving in-laws who enjoy every minute of being with their grandkids. They are leaving a heritage for their kids and setting the example of Godliness and character. I am truly blessed by them, but more than anything for them having Scott and raising him to be who he is… AWESOME.