Looking at these photos makes me long for yet another sea-shore adventure already. We had such a wonderful time exploring the east coast.
Matt and I just calculated we spent a total of 32 hours with the boys in the car. That’s Thirty Two hours over 7 days.
But we survived! And we stayed Paleo the whole time (except for the gluten-free, dairy-free bakery goods).
We managed to do all this without fast food or other stops on the road (except planned meals)! We packed for our car ride food:
- 3 london broils worth of beef jerky (our ginger-tamari and Diane’s maple-sage),
- a half-bushel worth of dehydrated cinnamon apples
- a batch of our grain-free granola
- a dozen mixed lara bars
- apple squeezers
- roasted seaweed
- tons of bananas
- 18 hard boiled eggs
- 5 water bottles, 2 reusable coffee cups
One of our biggest tricks was the eggs, which supplemented our hotel “breakfasts”. We put them in a small cooler and then moved them to the hotel’s refrigerator when we would arrive (putting our ice packs in the freezer). They kept for 4 days that way (the last 2 went bad the day we arrived in MA).
Another trick was to have our own cups for beverages. 7-11 allows you to use their water for free (!) so I’d just run in, fill-up the cups and come back out without risk of “Mommy, I want XYZ” in the store. Also, having those coffee cups was great because it made getting coffee super easy and cheap (7-11 and Dunkin’ Donuts offered to fill them for less than $1 if we used our cups).
The apples were the first to go, our boys LOVE to eat dehydrated apple slices (as did Uncle Kris on our way to Gigi’s house). In fact, much of the trip was spent listening to Wesley’s shrieks as he pointed to the bag of apples. Don’t worry, we fed the baby. For the big boys, we had to “hide” the Lara Bars, because they’re always the first to be asked for and pretty high in sugar. But we offered them as a meal replacement with beef jerky and seaweed on a couple of occasions and that worked perfectly.
Matt and I were both shocked at how successful it was. The boys love bunless burgers, so we used our phones to find local high-quality burger joints or Chipotles when we needed meals. We were very fortunate to have our hosts (grandparents and great-grandparents) offer to cook Paleo for us while we were there. It took some discussion on what are or aren’t foods we’ll eat, but what a difference it made!
Not a single food purchase on the road, except planned meals (OK, the bakeries didn’t provide meals, but they were at least planned). It was SO nice to not have anyone be sick, tired or grumpy on the road from accidental food consumption! I highly suggest you figure out some foods that will hold up for you and make them in bulk the next time you find yourself with 8 states between you and home, and 3 kids in tow…
More photos and info about our awesome family vacation below
We started in Virginia Beach, visiting Gigi and Grampie with Uncle Kris for Independence Day fireworks.
I, of course, forgot an SD card in my camera – but I did get one of everyone relaxing in grandma’s awesome salt water pool with my phone.
Please note, my family did not inherit my mother’s Mediterranean complexion. We get plenty of Vitamin D, we just have two shades of color: pink or white.
Then we drove up the eastern shore, finding nooks, piers and alcoves to explore.
Cape Charles, VA is a fantastic train town with natural sea glass washing up on the shore.
Wesley was especially excitable for the entire stay, just happy to hang with us all.
We continued up the Eastern Shore and visited NASA’s visitor’s centeron Chincoteague Island, hoping to catch a scheduled launch.
Unfortunately we missed it, but the boys loved playing at the science center.
We then visited Rehoboth Beach before making our way in the rain up to Philadelphia, where we visited the awesome Please Touch Museum.
The best part was when the boys found the grocery store and insisted on only shopping for Paleo food.
They point to the “middle aisle items” and then shout, “We don’t eat that!”
After a wonderful and long day playing hard in Philly, we headed up to the Berkshires in MA the next day. Finally we arrived at Papa and Grammy’s lake house! Matt’s grandparents took better care of us and fed us better than we even do ourselves.
Such a lovely way to end our road-trip adventure!
On the long trip home we stopped in New York City, but you don’t need to be teased bygluten and dairy free donuts!
Lesson learned: If there’s something you want to do – do it. Don’t be afraid of what may come as a result.
I’d been fearing this trip for months, but it ended up being wonderful, relaxing and the connection I’ve needed with the family for quite some time.