Although I don't think I can string any coherent thoughts together, I do have a few atypical trip-taking tips that might be useful for someone else.
- We travel to Saranac in a convoy, driving first to MD to redistribute luggage and cousins between my sister's van and ours. One of our best tools for convoy driving is a set of walkie-talkies. When we're in an area with no cell phone service, the walkie-talkies are invaluable. And, really, they are quicker than dialing and ringing and picking up. At least once a shouted, "This exit! Now!" has saved a delay. Especially if we keep the vehicles in sight of each other, we can negotiate meals, potty breaks, routes, etc. with ease.
- For Saranac, with its large crowd, house, and grounds, my school bell is a big help. Its ringing means, "Come!" and we typically use it to summon the family for meals or bedtime prayer.
- Since the house is not our own, we bring a small cross to help everyone focus at prayer time.
- On the way up, my cooler stays chilled with frozen food. While we're away I rinse some milk jugs and refill them with water to make ice packs for the return journey, when I'll still have a little food to keep cool.
- I have a packing list (3 columns, small font) that I print in advance (a week or more) so I can add destination-specific items or tasks as I think of them. I try to keep it in my planner, and I use colored paper to make it easy to find. I know lots of people use lists; the advance printing is what I find most helpful.