WSOP Road Trip Day 0

It’s been a hectic few days. I wish I had more time to share some of the craziness with you, but the truth is that I’m not at all prepared for the Vegas road trip on which I’m about to embark. I think the kids’ mother is even less prepared than I am, so we are really going to be flying by the seat of our pants. Should be an adventure. Probably you won’t see any blog updates until I get to Vegas on July 1, but I’ll try to get on Twitter when I can. Here’s a quick cast of characters so that you’ll have an idea of what I’m in for:

Henry – Just turned 8. Intense and mature for his age in a lot of ways, but also very sensitive. Has a long attention span and likes to lose himself in big projects, stories, books, etc. Believes in doing things the right way and gets upset when he fails, which of course happens a lot because he is 8 and trying to do things like build a remote controlled helicopter. Also gets upset and sulky very easily if you reprimand him or speak to him sternly. Loves being clever and tricking people. I’ve started teaching him a little about poker, and he really likes the idea of bluffing.

Oliver – Wild. You can see it in his eyes. About 4 years old. Everything he does is big and loud and involves a lot of movement. Communication isn’t just about words for him; whatever he wants to say he conveys with big facial expressions and the pitch of his voice and usually jumping and flailing his arms. It’s really hard to imagine him stuck in a car seat for hours at a time. When asked about what color to paint the boys’ new bedroom, his vote was black, because ninjas. Second choice was camouflage.

Walter – About 18 months old and barely talking. He’s very laid back, usually content just to watch his brothers. Tries to join in on what they are doing but doesn’t get too frustrated by his many limitations. Now that he’s walking, the fact that he’s so quiet has become a liability, because it’s easy for him to slip off and get into trouble. As the third child, he’s accustomed to not getting a lot of attention.

Jerica – My cousin’s wife. A devoted if often harried mother. Originally from rural Idaho, has worked as a snowboarding teacher and a lactation consultant. She’s the sort of mom who will help the boys catch toads or make their own make-believe kitchen. I suspect that her usual discomfort with electronic entertainment is going to get compromised on this trip.

You can also read a bit more about their family here.

10 thoughts on “WSOP Road Trip Day 0

  1. Clearly missing a description of the 5th character. And I don’t mean you. I mean the vehicle this crew is rambling in. I’m hoping it’s a mini-van for your sake, and not a Honda Accord…

    safe travels!

    • They got a rental larger sedan – the family’s car was odds on favorite not to survive the adventure. Seemed like a rental was a better deal than putting wear & tear on our car b/c of how much mileage in the short time, and rental is better MPG than ours.

  2. I’ve met these guys and can say that they are all cool people. The first 5 or so hours should be very fun.

  3. As a father of 4 (all boys) who annually drives the brood from N. Carolina to Wisconsin (and back), let me give you some recommendations that have worked really well for us.

    1) Break up your trip into 3 hour segments, with scheduled stops for at least 10-15 minutes to let the kids get pent up energy out. Regardless of your dietary requirements, McDonald’s playlands are blessings… except in Indiana where they’re apparently outlawed, since none seem to exist. Plan things like lunch and dinner around these stops.

    2) Travel no more than 9 hours per day.

    3) At least once per travel day, give the kids some new thing to explore. Puzzle books and books on tape have worked for us. Self contained toys work also. Movies are an option but we try to limit those.

    4) Have an ample supply of snacks. But ration them.

    5) When you stop for the night, have options for the kids to do something fun. Looking forward to the evening’s activities is a benefit for both adults and kids. Swimming is (by far) our kids favorite.

    The trip that we take is an 18 hour trip, and takes us 2 days each way. I’m not sure if these ideas can scale to the length of trip that you have planned. But if I were going to make such a trip, I would start with this but then be flexible enough to decide if it’s wearing thin by day 4-5.

    • Oh some other things I just thought of

      6) Pack destination bags and overnight bags. The destination bags can remain in the vehicle not to be taken out until you get there. The overnight bags are the only things you should have to unload when you stop overnight. Eases the unpacking & repacking the vehicle when stopping.

      Update to 2) 9 hours of travel means on the road, belted in a seat. For us that typically means about 500 miles per day (the last segment of each day is shorter than the first two).

  4. These characters sound much more interesting than a bunch of typical poker players. I can’t wait for the movie!

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