washers and dryers and my big van

van

I am doing a whole lot of laundry– blankets and clothes.  We only did laundry once when we were gone.  It was such a great trip, and it is nice to come home to a washer and dryer that work well and are heavy duty.  It is a must for a large family.  We are cleaning out the van today also.  We have a 15 seat Chevy Express and it is awesome.  I didn’t want white, but it was the only used one available when we needed to buy it.  It has worked really well for us, no problems on our long trips and everyone is plenty comfy and everyone fits.  It beeps when we back up which is a little embarrassing, but better than running over someone, and it can be difficult to find parking, but we did fine on this trip.  Parking wasn’t too much of an issue, plenty of outside parking and we found places where it would be easy to back up when we were done.  We took out the last bench which seats 4 and put all our camping equipment and food back there.  That leaves us with 3 benches which sit 3 kids each, so we had 3 carseats on the first row, then 3 and 2 kids on the next 2 rows.  Big machines and the right tools are definitely good things!!

summer road trip

We just drove in last night from an awesome awesome road trip through Canada.  Yes, we includes me, my husband and our 8 children ranging in age from 15 – 2.  We camped 6 days in a row, stayed in a motel the last night because the campgrounds were all full, and drove straight home 7 hrs from Quebec City.  I am super proud of us,  that was a huge undertaking and we managed quite well.  The kids were very well behaved for the most part, although they were extremely loud at times and bickered and complained at others.  They enjoyed camping, they enjoyed the walking around the cities.  The hardest part was the 2 yr. old in the car, but he was fine as long as he had the iPad to play on.  It was much easier than past road trips when we have had a nursing baby, or the last one when we moved from Utah to New Hampshire — 40 hrs.with a fully packed van.  My husband was fantastic, doing the bulk of the work setting up and taking down camp each day and unpacking and packing it all up again.  The secret to camping is to take a shower every single day, then it doesn’t feel so much like camping, plus during the day we went and toured interesting places, it was just fun.  I think everybody had a good time, but we are all glad to be home!!