Having to work and not being able to see my grandkids whenever I want, sometimes makes me feel guilty. There are times I realize I haven't talked with them or done anything fun, though the fact they're about 750 miles away does tend to prevent physical interaction.
I just had Shelby and Sean with me for a week, starting June 26th through July 2nd. I met my daughter in Little Rock, which is about the halfway point. Once we started back to Alabama, we drove for about an hour and a half, then I pulled into a Hampton Inn, my favorite place to stay, where we registered and then changed into our swimsuits to go swimming. We all started our trip between 5:30 am and 6:00 am. From past experience I find that stopping for the night and then driving on in the next day saves on stress. Because being 11 and 8 and couped up in a car for 8 hours can become very boring. We all love to get into the pool, I would have said jump, but no way would I jump, lol! They will stay at the pool for an hour or more, then we go inside and either order a pizza or go out and eat. This helps them to release that pent up energy from the trip and we all sleep better at night and are able to face the rest of the trip without being too grumpy and restless.
Have you ever stayed at the Hampton Inn? Their breakfast is worth every penny of the extra money you pay for the night. They have choices from fruit to Belgen waffles; it includes eggs and bacon, toast, cereal, bagels, cream cheese and even pastries, and it's fresh! There's flavored coffee, decaf and regular. Even juices and tea. The food is arranged in a buffet style, with plenty of tables and chairs. Sean isn't an early eater, so I save him a banana or yogurt and maybe a pastry to eat later in the car.
After not having children around for a while, the ability to fill the days seem to have vanished or maybe when being a mother, I didn't try to fill the days. Being a grandparent is totally different! I did sign on to the Grandparents.com and got a few ideas. On the trip out there and back I noticed something that I hadn't paid any attention to before and that was how many grandparents with kids were traveling. I bet there were 4 sets of grandparents at the Hampton Inn with their grandchildren and when I stopped at a rest stop, there were some more and at the gas stops! I think it's a new way of grandparenting. Families live further apart or parents can't take off anymore so the grandparents are lucky to have the grandkids. Maybe it has been this way all along but I'm just now noticing!
I remember when I was a kid, we would go to my grandparents, my brother and I, and spend time with them. We didn't travel around though, instead, because we lived away from the core relatives, we were able to play with our cousins, get to know my aunts and uncles. This was an era of children in the background while adults monopolized the conversations and activities. But I learned a lot about family on these visits. My Dad's side loved to get together and play Rook and make homemade ice cream. Of course we kids had to sit on the ice cream makers while the adults pushed the wench around to make it.
We had a great time! It went by so fast! Once I rested for a few days, I'm missing them and can't wait till next year!