As we approach the lunar new year, an important holiday in my wife’s Korean culture, I’ve been thinking back to last year and our long family road trip.
For the past many years, we’ve spent every lunar new year in Houston, Texas, where most of my wife’s family still lives. Most years Jamie and I flew out, but last year we opted for a road trip. Henrik was a few months shy of turning 3, and Kasper was barely 6 months old, so flying didn’t sound like much fun.
We broke the long drive into three days, with stops in Tallahassee and New Orleans each direction. This was prior to getting a Tesla, so we were driving a Honda Odyssey loaded with DVDs for Henrik to watch and a Yeti cooler full of snacks and lunches.
It’s hard to believe now, but Kasper wasn’t even crawling back then. We had “tummy time” on the big picnic blanket at each rest stop while Henrik stretched his legs and played with toys. For that matter, Henrik wasn’t potty trained yet, so we had two boys in diapers! Amazing how much has changed in the last year.
On the way out to Houston, we spent two nights in New Orleans so the boys could experience the city and get a day off from sitting in their car seats. I was still obsessed with specialty coffee so we spent some time looking for coffee shops, including hot chocolate for Henrik.
The highlight of our day in New Orleans was the Audobon Aquarium. We spent a couple hours wandering the exhibits, enjoying the huge variety of fish and other aquatic wildlife. The penguins were Henrik’s favorite, especially the one that swam back and forth in front of the glass playing with him.
Another favorite pit stop was the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, just off the instate near downtown Mobile. We stopped both coming and going, planning the second visit as one of our longer breaks. The weather was beautiful, and we didn’t need to tour the battleship itself as there was plenty to see in the surrounding area.
This year we are skipping the long trip, thankful that our boy’s Korean grandparents are coming to visit us for a week. While I love Tesla road trips and look forward to repeating this journey in our new family car, I want to wait until Kasper is facing forward and we aren’t relying on naptime to get us through a long drive.