Re: Road trip

1

You just do it so I can tell you what a bad parent you are. Weirdo.

I bought these http://www.ellaskitchen.com/ellas_range/nibbly-fingers/ once just because and they've become a road trip mainstay. They're in a sweet spot between treat and food, so we dish them out on demand.

That's a long fucking drive. Good luck, monster.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:24 AM
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2

Just because I believe in a 32 point safety harness that restrains all digits and voice box of the child doesn't make me a monster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:36 AM
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3

Randomly inject the marshmallows with vinegar or something like that. Maybe it's a treat, maybe not!


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:36 AM
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4

Maybe it would keep the kids interested if you let them do some of the driving?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:42 AM
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5

I honestly don't know how kids today do it. My kids mostly do fine in a car (although we've never done four days), and it boggles my mind every time. I would have died of boredom strapped into a damn seat for that long. On every single trip we took when I was a kid, all the kids were loose in the back seat(s) of the car. It was still sort of awful, but with books and toys, it was bearable. In a goddamn car seat?! No way. I'm hopeful that once the self-driving cars take over, accidents will become rare enough that the seatbelt mania will subside, and we will all look back on this period and gawk with curiosity at this cruelty we inflicted on small children. Completely immobilized for hours at a stretch! Can you believe it?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:51 AM
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I've had that same thought. They just can't shift positions, for hours! Pokey complains that his bottom hurts from his seat, and we sort of pad it, but it's really got to be unpleasant.

OTOH, ipads and TVs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:53 AM
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7

re: 1

xelA is somewhat obsessed by various Ella's Kitchen snacks. So much so that if he knows any are in the ktichen 'box' he'll pester us until we give in.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:54 AM
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8

Just because I believe in a 32 point safety harness that restrains all digits and voice box of the child doesn't make me a monster.

Alien-style freezer pods are the way forward here. You and your family get in, are frozen, get hauled to your destination in the back of a container lorry, they unload you on the doorstep, press DEFROST, hang around until you wake up, pack the pods back on the lorry and leave.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:55 AM
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One side effect (I suspect) of us not driving very much is that Zardoz is really not a fan of being in the car for a long time. Our recent trip was four-ish hours and she was so, so upset whenever we tried to get her back into her car seat after taking a break.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:56 AM
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One side effect (I suspect) of us not driving very much is that Zardoz is really not a fan of being in the car for a long time.

I doubt there's any cause-and-effect. Some kids are fans, some aren't, and in two years she may be totally different on this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:57 AM
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11

Switch the paradigm! Tell them that you get bored and tired and it's their job to keep you entertained and awake. Also you don't know the way, and they need to figure out which way to go with the maps. Ocassionally start panicking that you're lost, just to keep things interesting.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:00 AM
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12

My family when I was growing up (two boys) did a summer vacation car circuit from Ohio to Maine and back. We were criminally well-behaved, I'm told, but thinking back to earlier times, I think we had a number of books on tape (some read by other family members).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:02 AM
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13

One thing tricky about the part where I'm solo-parenting is that the kids can't read yet, so I can't do anything involving reading, like activity books with instructions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:03 AM
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14

Yeah, xelA's never been on trips longer than about 90 minutes, I think. The last time he was crying, hot and upset at the end. Admittedly it was a very hot day, and we'd been stuck in traffic.

I think the furthest I've ever driven with him is about 40 miles.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:04 AM
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15

Do cars there have air conditioning?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:05 AM
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16

The big kids have done amazingly well coloring, watching movies, and sleeping, but doing that for one day is very different from doing that for four days.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:06 AM
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The thing about "treats" is that the existence of them always seems to turn our kids into monsters who are preoccupied with the next treat,

Thank goodness this isn't just our kids. I swear that they have our city mapped by "one time Daddy got us a waffle there" and "that's the place that Daddy got us a cookie there once", etc. You do that enough in the same city enough times, even if you do tell them it's a "sometimes thing" (i.e. less than once every 3 months) and they're still pressing the levers.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:12 AM
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18

like marshmallows and pretzel sticks

Gross. Kids are filthy. Snacks end up ground into the upholstery and carpets. Marshmallows will end up wetly stuck to everything.

Benadryl and TV for the win.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:18 AM
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19

One thing we do is pack snacks but not treats, but we let the kids pick some garbage treats at the gas station every time we stop for gas. Frequent enough to be exciting without being constant (or leading to constant begging for more).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:31 AM
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20

Ocassionally start panicking that you're lost, just to keep things interesting.

I think Heebie's oldest would not respond well to that AT ALL/


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:43 AM
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21

A few weeks ago on the train from DC, we were sitting opposite a woman and her one-year-old, on their way to the Jersey shore--but because the kid apparently didn't like being in the car, her husband was driving up from DC and picking them up in Philadelphia. So instead of a ~3.5 hr car trip with the kid, they had a 2 hr train trip (with all the attendant dealing with the Union Station and schlepping stuff to amuse the kid; and the kid had a lot of stuff for a 2 hr trip) followed by a ~1.5 hr car trip. Either these people were insane or the kid really doesn't like being in the car.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:44 AM
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22

Either these people were insane or the kid really doesn't like being in the car.

If he's like I was, he's upchucking within half an hour of leaving, with attendant screaming. Even after I got over that,I couldn't do long car journeys without feeling pretty ill until I was about six.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:54 AM
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23

Are your kids used to doing any planning? If so, or if you think they're naturally anal, give them a check list or bingo board or something with choices for the day. Have on hand materials for some of these: art materials, maps of your route that can be drawn on, outdoor exercise and exploration for rest stops (magnifying glass, balls, etc). Then your snacks.

On the bingo card, but the choices: snack times, x-hours of video, reading, mapping, science (eg sketches, photos of flora and fauna), game time, nap time, whatever.

Then, the kids choose what to do when, mark it off with markers or stickers. They can't over do one area, but have the fun of managing they're own time. Your older child can help the younger one.


Posted by: Calypso | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:56 AM
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24

The longest one-day trip we've done with the kids (1.5 and 3.5 years old) was about 350 miles. That was a long day, let me tell you, and they're actually pretty good in the car, and we were two people, and we're pretty liberal with the ipad on long trips. Have I wished you luck yet?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:33 AM
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25

Calypso has this solved for ya, Heebert.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:47 AM
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26

I went on tons of multi-day road trips as a child, but I've never done any with children as an adult. I couldn't read in cars without getting carsick even when I was older, so there was a lot of listening to random tapes on a walkman while staring out the window, for me. Occasionally I would be allowed to choose the tape on the main car stereo system, but not very often. That was exciting. Otherwise I probably just tormented all my younger siblings in irritating ways.

Along with 23, I think maybe just having a new/different toy or activity ready for each day maybe? Not exactly a treat, but just, "oh look what new thing I had scheduled for you to play with/watch/etc today!" (or per morning & afternoon, or something). So that there's some amount of saving new things for later, but also not providing fun new things in response to crabbiness? Or just do whatever you have to to get through it relatively unscathed.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:52 AM
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27

Also, hey Charley Carp, I'm in Missoula. Want to hang out next week sometime? I'm here til the 6th; the rest of this week & weekend are pretty scheduled but I got lots of time after that.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:55 AM
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28

Yes! I'm also pretty scheduled up -- we're having the summer of out-of-town visitors (including my daughter! arriving today!) -- but I think some time can be found.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:04 AM
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29

I had an epiphany while I was out doing errands: I might as well keep the drive to Montana as simple as possible, and then if it's a disaster, I can get treats for the ride back home.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:53 AM
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30

I think you should get yourself treats.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:56 AM
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31

You're going to go all the way to Montana without feeding them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:56 AM
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32

They'll have a bingo card and they can earn points for water and bathroom breaks. They can eat when we get to Montana.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:58 AM
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33

We hand out a treat at half hour intervals as a reward for not yelling or hitting. Usually some kind of chocolate, but marshmallows and pretzels sound like fun. My kids would have that stuff in their mouth so fast they wouldn't have time to make cute art with it. I hate when their teachers send home marshmallow crafts that have been all Elmer's glued together. The kids just eat them up. They are insane monkeys.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:59 AM
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34

That a pretty big competitive advantage for the ones still in diapers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:00 PM
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35

Oh hell yes I will have treats, because otherwise I'm worried I'd fall asleep driving. We've totally been busted eating candy or chocolate by the kids who smelled it, and we answered "Weird! This town we're driving through must smell like chocolate!" and we got away with it. (Monsters, etc.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:00 PM
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36

I've found that the DVD player/IPad makes road trips a total breeze, incredibly easy when compared to my childhood memory of road trips. Giving them a DVD player and headphones doesn't work if you have a kid who is too little for a DVD, or if you don't believe in letting your kid watch endless hours of TV, or maybe if your kid isn't as TV obsessed as mine, but we've done several 8 hour road trips without a single real complaint other than asking to get back in the car to watch more TV. I guess 4 days in a row might be a bit much TV even for her but I wouldn't count her out.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:04 PM
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37

Well, yeah, they've been sedated just fine with movies when we drove to Florida and Kansas - I'm not against movies on steady drip. I'm going to attempt that again, but this is just much longer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:08 PM
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38

Maybe you could find a really, really long movie, like Warhol's Empire or Sátántangó or something.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:11 PM
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39

I didn't think my older boy had a movie-watching limit, but he did hit it on the road trip. He handed back the ipad and said "I'm done." Little one: no fucking interest in videos/movies/tv. Now that's a monster.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:11 PM
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40

I was fine as long as I had plenty of reading material. Later I also had my walkman and bag of tapes. After dark was a pain, as were mountain roads - those were for fantasies, whether of the Tolkien/space opera variety or, after I hit puberty, less violent sort.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:13 PM
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41

Have they seen Shoah?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:13 PM
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42

For the first long road trip I did with her I forgot the headphones -- she just had the IPad and no headphones. Holy shit was that a mistake. I mean, she had a great trip but I had 7+ hours of listening to e.g. Rugrats: The Movie with no visuals.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:15 PM
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43

OT, could I get a FPP to go back and redact Nia's name since it's not actually googleproofed? Sorry I didn't follow up then.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:16 PM
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44

Yes. I know the dialogue of several Pixar movies by heart, but haven't seen many of the scenes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:17 PM
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45

Yeah, that's our situation. The minivan has a built in TV, but the headphones are ridiculously too big for the kids and they get all snivelly about them, so we've established the precedent of just letting them use the speaker system. Maybe we'll have to backpedal on that, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:17 PM
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46

Reading this thread earlier I was honest-to-god worried that we're hurting Zardoz's cultural literacy but not managing to give her more TV to watch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:19 PM
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47

OMG you need to get headphones for the kids. It's a night and day pleasantness difference.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:20 PM
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48

Won't driving through the Texas Panhandle at the start of the trip effectively anesthetize the kids?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:21 PM
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49

|| Holy shit you guys, Halfordismo is starting in Indonesia!!!|>


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:27 PM
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11 may be a joke, but my daughter would love it. If we were lost and she knew the way, she would lord it over us until the end of time.

My daughter doesn't like to watch things twice in a row, and she'll watch the same thing twice in her life and never want to watch it again. So if I took her on an eight hour trip, I would need at least 4 movies to keep her entertained.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:36 PM
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Gross. Kids are filthy. Snacks end up ground into the upholstery and carpets. Marshmallows will end up wetly stuck to everything.

Our kids are weird neat-freaks who flip out if their hands are sticky ("I NEED A WET NAPKIN NOOOOOW") but per 29, I'm going to forgo the treat-snacks anyway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:40 PM
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So if I took her on an eight hour trip, I would need at least 4 movies to keep her entertained.

Best to use DVDs then, instead of bringing the 35 mm projector and 16 reels.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:40 PM
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53

38, 41 to 50.2.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:45 PM
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Later I also had my walkman and bag of tapes

For whatever reason, I misread that as "bag of tropes."


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:59 PM
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54: Yeah, when the kids get older, just give them a tablet with a live internet connection and a link to TV tropes. That should do it for a trip of any length.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 1:37 PM
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who flip out if their hands are sticky

Ha, Keegan was that way as a little kid. It was awesome. The other two regularly approach full-body stickiness and can't be made to notice or care.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:06 PM
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51, 56: yep, we've got a mr. fastidious as well. His half sister spent years trying to get him to go grubby - no dice. His adoration for her has strict limits.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:10 PM
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Oh god, headphones definitely. My children have never been allowed to have any electronic devices making sounds within my hearing, so it's either headphones on or volume off. Drives me fucking mental when someone else's child is playing on a ds or iPad or something with NOISE.

50 - my parents used to foster this boy with learning disabilities, but an amazing sense of direction. As in, find yourself lost driving in some part of south London that you've never been to before, and he could give you directions to get home. Extremely useful.

Good luck, anyway!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:28 PM
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58.2 seems (anecdotally and IME) not uncommon in kids with certain early trauma histories. My specific just-so story is that in cases of children who know from a young age they can't learn to rely on parents, they have to have a mental Hansel-and-Gretel trail at all times because they need to be able to get back home. But it's also related to general hypervigilance.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:20 PM
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60

We had actually been planning a similar drive -- to Montana! -- but ultimately decided it was just too much with the limited amount of time available.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:02 PM
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61

So, heebie, why are you driving to Montana anyway?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:31 PM
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62

She's asymptotically approaching Canada.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:40 PM
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63

O(Canada)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:41 PM
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64

63 is beautiful!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:43 PM
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65

That's a great pun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:53 PM
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66

Can anybody else make a pun on a national anthem using mathematical notation?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:59 PM
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67

61: why montana? Or why driving?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:00 PM
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68

Why driving.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:02 PM
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66: Looking at the list on Wikipedia, you could maybe do Libya3 or Deutschland/Alles (not the title, eh). But I think Sifu has the only good one.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:13 PM
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70

marcha ∈ ℝ


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:14 PM
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71

La marcha real numbers will proceed indefinitely


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:14 PM
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72

Nice


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:15 PM
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73

Maybe it just works better when it arises from an inadvertent straight line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:16 PM
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68: flights are usually upwards of $700.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:23 PM
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75

I'm currently planning a bunch of days driving around New England universities with my son and ex-wife, but I guess it's not the same when your kid can pitch in with the driving.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:25 PM
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74: Ah. I guess I'm just used to that. I'm sure the tradeoff between money and convenience looks a lot different when you're talking about five people rather than one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:28 PM
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