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Posts from — July 2008

Pipe Cleaner Creatures – Fun for the Road

Get your kids wired on your next road trip! This is an activity that will keep them busy for hours.

All you need are some pipe cleaners, a nail clipper (for trimming the pipe cleaners to different lengths), and some creativity. A pencil or pen might also come in handy to create coiled sections by wrapping the pipe cleaners around it.

For more photos and ideas, check out the full article: Pipe Cleaner Crafts and Creatures

July 24, 2008   Comments Off

Rolling Reviews from the Backseat: Doodleballs

By The Back Seat Reviewer — Road Trip Mom’s Daughter!

Step away from the Doodle Balls. You might get addicted. These tiny magnetic balls are a perfect way to keep any kid of any age busy on a long road trip. All you do is move the magnet above the Doodle Balls to drag them around and make a picture, number, or word. Doodle Balls are also a great deal for the money. They will last a long time and be loved by everyone!!!

The only thing I don’t love about Doodle Balls is that the magnet stick is very easily lost. You can use any magnet, but it is easiest with original magnet.

Any kid short, tall, big, or small would love Doodle Balls. I like them, and so does my 9-year-old sister. I’m sure you will too.

NOTE FROM ROAD TRIP MOM: This is a review by my road trip daughter! She is becoming a regular on my website with her product reviews and backseat opinions.

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July 20, 2008   1 Comment

Where to Find Road Side Attractions

My blogging pals are on Day-3 of their cross country road trip to the Blogher conference in San Francisco. They are heading across Nebraska today on their way to Denver, and it’s a long dry stretch.I have been checking out roadside attractions for them to squeeze in between all their tv interviews.

Road Side America is a great web site resource to help you find something amusing along the road to make your trip more interesting. Just enter the state you’ll be traveling through, and you’ll get a map with all the local attractions marked on it. Yesterday I told them to watch for the giant smiley face water tower at exit 76 in Iowa. Today, the Nebraska map produced lots of options, and I managed to find an eccentric little place for them to have lunch – Ole’s Steakhouse and Big Game Lounge. I am looking forward to a report. … and a photo of my pals in front of a giant polar bear or elephant.

If you don’t have internet access along your drive like they do (they are such techie goddesses), it’s no problem because there is a wonderful book: New Roadside America: The Modern Traveler’s Guide to the Wild and Wonderful World of America’s Tourist.

I just got back from a 1200 mile road trip myself, but looking at all the fun stuff to do in other states makes me crave the road again. No worries though, I am heading out again shortly for another pirate adventure … stay tuned…

UPDATE: They made it to the steakhouse and game lounge. Read all about it.

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July 14, 2008   Comments Off

Road Trip Playlist

Here are some suggestions for your road trip playlist! These are all “road trip” themed songs or have to do with cars or vacation. There are many suggested road trip playlists similiar to this all over the net. I made this list for my friends who are starting their Mom Road Trip to Blogher from DC to California tomorrow. Have a great trip!

California Here I Come – Pete King Chorale (OK, I know this one is cheesey, but you can’t start a trip to California without it!)
Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane & Red Rider
Peter Gunn Theme – Blues Brothers Sound Track
On The Road Again – Willie Nelson
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
Back on the Road Again – REO Speedwagon
Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
I Would Walk 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
Slow Ride – Foghat
On The Road Again – Canned Heat
Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
Ramblin’ Man – Allman Brothers
Truckin’ – The Grateful Dead
18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses – Kathy Mattea
Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen
Slow Ride – Foghat
No Particular Place to Go – Chuck Berry
King of the Road – Roger Miller
I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Haggar
Running on Empty – Jackson Browne
Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
Drive My Car – The Beatles
Low Rider – War
East Bound and Down – The Road Hammers
Start Me Up – Rolling Stones
Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin
Already Gone – The Eagles
Free Bird –Lynyrd Skynryd
Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf
Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
Route 66 – Cheetah Girls or Route 66 – Rolling Stones
California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
I’m Bad I’m Nationwide – ZZ Top/Dwight Yoakam
California Sun – The Ramones
Permanent Vacation – Aerosmith

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July 11, 2008   Comments Off

Rolling Reviews – Autolite Triglo and Blink Trash Tossers

Here are a couple of items I recommend that make my road trips safer and more comfortable…

Autolite Triglo - This would have been a great item to have with me on a recent road trip when I had a flat tire on the interstate in the dark. After that experience, I am making sure never to leave home without an emergency light such as this.
It serves two functions – to warn passing cars that I am pulled over, or to light up my work area to change a tire in the dark. It can’t do both at the same time though, so you need to choose one or the other. It stands up on it’s own and is very sturdy.

It’s is not as big as warning triangles that truck drivers use for road side emergencies in their 18 wheelers, but since it’s more of a compact item, it stores easily in the car at all times. I feel better having this with me, especially if I end up changing a tire alone in the dark again.

Blink Trash Tossers – This is from a line of products for moms like me who spend a huge amount of time in our vehicles, either on road trips or carpooling kids around town. There are 20 bags per pack – more than enough for several road trips. The bags can be filled up and “downloaded” when we stop to fill up, or hung on the back of the seat and used on the go.

With three kids, my child in the way-back row never had access to the trash bin before. Now he can have his own bag for the massive pile of gum wrappers that he seems to generate on long trips. These bags are also fantastic for stashing that dirty diaper that you have to carry around with you in the car until you can find a trashcan to unload it. Hmm… and I’m thinking that my perpetually car-sick child will probably get a few good uses out of these bags too.

There are a few more tips on this video Moms Get Road Ready that I found helpful. And of course, to really be road ready, make sure you hit my printable car games page for some activities for the road! Happy travels everyone.

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July 9, 2008   Comments Off

Blogger Mom Road Trip!

My blogging BFF’s Devra and Aviva are taking it on the road! They are part of a cross-country Mom Road Trip for mom bloggers on their way to the BlogHer convention in San Fransciso this month! Five fabulous bloggers and several thousand miles to cover in a Chevy Tahoe Hybrid SUV with all the wireless internet and gadgets they can carry, starting July 12th.

Sounds like they’ll have plenty to do to keep busy. Still, the Road Trip Mom part of me couldn’t help but worry that they’ll get bored eventually and start hitting each other in the back seat. I mean, seriously, road trip bingo games and Slug Bug can only amuse a blogger for so long.

So, being a concerned friend, and hoping I can be there in spirit if not in person, I sent them a copy of my personal favorite road trip amusement item: All-American Car-i-Oke.

This is way better than ordinary music. It’s full participation music! It has a CD with the music, and all the lyrics in the spiral bound book. It also includes several smaller lyrics booklets – one for the back seat, the way-back seat, and another for anyone who doesn’t like to share (I’m wondering which booklets Devra and Aviva are going to use!).

I bought a copy of this for my kids a few years ago. We never tire of it, and use it at least once every trip. We have the most fun with the backseat drumming, and the “make up your own Blues” song. In fact, it helped evolve a rule in our car — No whining allowed unless you’re singing the Blues!

At least two of the moms on this road trip are trained singers, so I predict good times as they hit the highway. Listen carefully if you’re on the road this July — you might just hear a group of moms roaring through the Rockies singing “Proud Mary” or “When the Saints Go Marching In” over the sound of fingers flying across their keyboards. Blogher here they come!

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July 6, 2008   4 Comments

Crazy — Are We There Yet?

Recently I was trying to come up with a title for an article I was writing. The subject was one I frequently write about — having fun while traveling with your kids. There are those people who cannot imagine “fun” being any part of traveling with children. I feel sorry for those poor souls. They don’t know what they’re missing. Laughter is honestly the best medicine, and most parents do expect a little reasonable chaos of some kind on these adventures. The key is to embrace it!

I bounced a few ideas off a friend, and we joked about possible titles that might catch the attention of someone who might be driving down the road to crazy. Here’s a list of rejected titles:

  • Traveling With Children and Keeping Your Sanity
  • Dragging Children Through Airports and Across the Country
  • Family Road Trippin’
  • Traveling With Kids and Not Wanting to Kill Yourself
  • Hit the Road, Not Your Kids
  • Hitting the Road without Hitting Your Kids
  • Hitting the road, and not the bottle, …..with your family
  • Where are we going? Crazy, and your kids are driving.
  • Are We There Yet? That Depends, Are We Going Crazy?
  • Traveling With Children, or Why Grandma Drinks Wild Turkey
  • Tripping with your kids without heavy drugs
  • There’s no crying on vacation!

In the end, an acceptable title was chosen for the piece instead. There are many moms though, my grandmother and my own mother included, who could still get some good mileage out of these rejections, at least as far as a good laugh can take them. Your mileage may vary.

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July 2, 2008   4 Comments