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Thoughts on ordinary and not so ordinary adventures in the life of one Mom

Monday, May 30, 2011

Gearing Up

We are going on a cross-country family road trip in about a month.  2 adults, 3 kids,1 minivan, 6000 miles, 29 days.  I think it's a little crazy but that isn't stopping me from getting excited about it.  It's too early to pack and clean out the van, but it's just the right time to shop for all the gear we'll need before we hit the road.

I am very happy that our kids don't have all the latest devices, like Nintendo DSs, iPods, cell phones, netbooks.  This way, when I spring some of these gadgets on them right before our trip, they'll be so plugged in that they'll forget that we are cooped up in van driving for >5 hr stretches at a time.

Once they get their toys, I think they'll have hours of fun, especially if they can play Angry Birds.  But when the novelty wears off, I have an ace in the hole, something that has sustained us for many a roadtrip:  the audiobook.   After many rough and loud starts to road trips, turning on the soothing, yet animated, voice of a skilled actor reading a good story, instantly calms everyone in the car.  We stop to listen and get caught up in the story.  In fact, while listening to L Frank Baum's description of Oz on The Wizard of Oz audiobook cd on last year's trip to California, Nicki (5 at the time),  asked, "Are we supposed to be imagining this?".  We all were.

This old tech device has a new tech update which I am happy to report fits into my shopping spree and helps me justify my next purchase. I can download lots of audio books to my new 64G iPod touch and have room to spare.  And with my new found favorite site, the Greater Phoenix Digital Library, I can do it for free.  With their large collection, I'm sure to find some geographically relevant titles to make our travels more meaningful. 

So, armed with my iPod touch, a new Nintendo DSi XL, our old portable DVD player, we'll be gear-ed up for our trip.  We'll play games, watch movies and may even resort to our old alphabet game or I Spy.   But when things get a little rambunctious, I'll hook up my iPod and turn on the next chapter of our current audiobook and we'll listen to a great story while still enjoying the changing American landscape around us. 

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